In her book, Pranada Comtois, devoted practitioner and teacher of the bhakti yoga tradition, takes her reader on an educational and self-reflective journey through the subtleties of bhakti yoga philosophy and practice.
Tamil Kṛṣṇa bhakti is not a path of disembodied spiritual union; it is an imaginative, holistic, and embodied bhakti.
There’s a certain kind of magic in deity yoga, where we develop an intimate relationship with the deity, the object of our adoration. Pūjā is the procedure of developing this deep and sweet intimacy.
A mūrti is not an idol. It’s a living “vessel” of manifestation, incarnation, and personification. It follows the same logic that if you want to drink water, you require a glass.
Smaraṇa directly translates as “remembrance.” For many schools of bhakti, especially those informed by literature like Bhagavad-Gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, (or the “Bhāgavat School”) remembering the Godhead at the time of death is the ultimate fruit of a successful human life.
To understand the word tarka or its importance, we must first retrace our steps to find the fundamental problem that we are trying to address through spiritual practice.
Devotion is the fuel for sādhana (spiritual practice), the sweet longing that inspires sitting for meditation, for ritual, for learning and teaching.
The more I experience being immersed in devotion, the more I appreciate any expressions of devotion from any tradition or none.
Of all the Vedic ṛṣis (“seers”), the one who literally “pulls on the heart’s strings” is Nārada—the inventor of music, the inspirer of poets, the healer for the broken-hearted.
Images and text from Ekabhumi Charles Ellik. Previously published by Sounds True in The Bhakti Coloring Book (2018) and The Shakti Coloring Book (2015)
Śrī Krishna Caitanya is an extraordinary person of the sixteenth century whose example of ecstatic embodiment is unique in the world. His contagious spiritual emotions and kirtan flooded the Indian subcontinent and demonstrated the power of bhakti to dispel the deluding power of maya and bring one to love as an eternal state of being.
You’ve probably heard that bhakti is devotion or love. Though that’s correct, neither word completely conveys what bhakti is.
Conventional wisdom tells us that the paradoxical language of yoga’s ancient spiritual literature signifies Absolute Oneness; that despite any appearance to the contrary, we’re all One.
The Sanskrit word krishna has two meanings. It means the dark one. It also has another root and that is “karsha” which means to entice or enchant.
For the Bhāgavata School of Vedānta, Bhagavān is the divine perception of Absolute Reality as the Supreme Person intrinsically endowed (van) with opulence (bhaga) or sentient and insentient energy (śakti).
Among the many subjects that Bhagavad-Gītā (BG) is known for, one is the synthesis of the different Upaniṣadic yoga practices. Due to their terse and often cryptic style, the Upaniṣads’ discourse on yoga reads more like a gloss on the subject rather than an accessible exposition.