Sages proclaim that the longest journey in any human life is the journey between the knowing of the mind and the wisdom of the heart.
Bhakti or devotional love is experienced as bliss, splendour, beauty, a radiant, fulfilling joy, calling us into more unity. An experience of bhakti is an experience of the Divine itself. Devotion opens our heart and lets our spirit soar, connecting us to the Divine within and enabling us to come into more unity with the Divine in others.
It is sometimes hard to put in words how a change in consciousness affects one’s appreciation of everything. When devotional love or bhakti yoga is added, life gets intensified and becomes brighter. By analogy, before devotion the world exists in muted tones, almost black and white. Through devotion and spiritual surrender, we discover that an entire world of colour exists. Whole areas of consciousness become visible when we fall in love with the everything-ness of creation.
The spiritual practice of surrendering the small will of the ego and conscious mind to the all-consuming Divine power of love, is called Bhakti Yoga. It is a tried and tested, simple and beautiful path to self-realisation.
Bhakti yoga is primarily an internal process, a change of state, an opening into something magnificent and wholesome, uplifting and glorious. The practices of bhakti yoga include lovely things like singing to the Divine, repeating the Divine names with a heart filled with love, performing ceremonies, no matter how simple or how complex, with a loving countenance. Prayer becomes a conversation with the beloved. It is not a distant or cold practice, but one that is heart-warming and nurturing.
One can practice Bhakti yoga alone, or one can attend spiritual events where bhakti is a large part of the intention of the group. Group practice is quite potent, as where two or more are gathered in a devotional bhav (mood) the Divine energy seems to coalesce quite quickly. Somehow the Divine ‘mist’ that brings in bliss is thicker, easier to access. This is even more so if we are with experienced spiritual aspirants who have practiced bhakti for many years. It is easy to ‘catch’ the state of love from those who are in it. This is one of the main reasons that we hold Kirtan (singing to the Divine) Chanting Japa (repetition of the names of the Divine) and Satsang (being in the company of seekers of Divine love and truth).
Within our community we have Kirtan most Friday nights at our Harmony Centre ashram. It is also broadcast live online. A few weeks ago the bhakti when we were singing to Lord Ganesha was so strong that He manifested as a profound blessing and singing discourse, opening all of our hearts and stilling our minds in wonder.
We have Satsang online every Sunday 8am Sydney time (Saturday afternoon for those in USA) and an in-person Satsang at the ashram at 10.30am every week. There is always music, always we sing to the Divine. We also hold chanting groups, including one that is run by Siddhi Shakti on a Thursday morning. Check out our calendar for more opportunities to sing and chant, be with others and flex your bhakti muscle! Access our calendar HERE