What is Bhakti?

Article1 Photo5The name Bhakti Lounge comes from the type of yoga we practice here – bhakti yoga. What is bhakti-yoga? It is more than just yoga asanas, music and good food. Although you can find all that here at Bhakti Lounge, the purpose of bhakti yoga is much deeper than what is visible to the eye. The fundamentals of the bhakti world view can be found in the Bhagavad-gita, a handbook on the goals and practices of yoga. Here are some of the key elements of bhakti philosophy:

Connection

The word bhakti can be translated as the “loving and devotional connection to our ultimate conscious source, Krishna.” Awakening this connection allows us to connect to our authentic self and unravels a new inner world full of non-material happiness. As we tap into this world, we relate to others around us with more compassion and love.

The more you give the more you gain

The relentless pursuit of economic gain and personal achievement has created a civilisation starved of peace and contentment. In Bhakti philosophy and practice the notion of “get as much as you can for yourself” is reversed to “the more you give, the more you gain.” The more we give up selfishness and reach out to help others on the deepest level, the more satisfied we become. As an expression of this principle, Bhakti Lounge is run by volunteers, who see their service as an integral part of their yoga practice.

Living with Purpose

Everyone wants to live with purpose. If you don’t have anything worth dying for, you don’t have anything worth living for. What could be worse than, at the end of your life realising you just went along with the flow – “work, buy, consume, die” – but you never really fulfilled your real purpose? Dying with regrets – isn’t that something everyone wishes to avoid?

So what is a successful life? Having enjoyed your senses as much as possible? Having fulfilled all your dreams? Created something that brought fame and wealth? Still, sooner or later, the stark reality of living in a temporary material body dawns upon us: we realize that time will separate us from our cherished possessions and loved ones. Indeed, at death, we are forced to confront the fact that life as we know it, will soon end. Can you imagine being completely fearless at this stage?

You can be fearless at this stage if you are self-realised. This means knowing that the real you is beyond the temporary body and mind; knowing that the real you is an eternal particle of consciousness intimately connected to the Supreme Consciousness, Krishna. For advanced bhakti-yogis, this is not just sophisticated philosophy, but a realised reality. Consequently, they live and die without fear. To achieve this state of consciousness, the bhakti texts tell us, is the real purpose of human life. Now, isn’t this a goal worth striving for?

But what about the “here and now?”

Don’t worry, bhakti-yogis also have their legs firmly planted on terra firma. We want to have a satisfying life right here-right now, as much as everyone else. The bhakti lifestyle offers numerous benefits: the bhakti meditation practice awards you a peaceful mind, the famous Krishna food offers a healthy yet super-tasty diet, a community centered on selfless service facilitates deep and fulfilling friendships, and by studying the bhakti books you develop expert life-management skills.

Enter the bhakti spiritual laboratory, and allow your senses to have a full bhakti experience. There is nothing to lose, only lots of benefits to gain ☺

Writer Karuna-Purna