Bhakti Yoga is a path of meditation leading to the Lord by way of devotion and love. Bhakti is one of the three primary paths to enlightenment as described by the Bhagavad Gita. Rumi called it "Fanah" meaning that self must be abolished in love. Guru Gobind Singh says only those are entitled to the Lord, who devoted themselves to the pure love of the Lord. It is surrendering to the Divine, omnipresent Lord.
How to do it?
Except rare people, It is almost impossible to do it alone. You need company of the meditators called Sat-sangat (Truth Seekers) because Bhakti Yoga includes chanting of mantras, singing his songs and prayers. In Sat-sangat, you cultivate love, gratitude, and devotion for the universe, essentially outside yourself, you fill yourself with love.
So first thing is mantras.
Devotee repeat mantras like AUM, Har, Waheguru, Jesus, Allah everyday. They do it loud and they do it silently while inhaling and exhaling the breath. They fill themselves with the mantras. Reciting of mantras help achieve state of pure consciousness. You can recite mantras vocally and/or mentally. Also, you can recite mantras in which you actually visualize the letters and recite it mentally. On a deeper level, the mantra is involved with the prana energy. The deepest level of mantra has to do with shaping the energy and life force.
Herbert Benson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been researching since 1970 that how meditation and mantras can alter mental state. He’s been particularly interested in “the relaxation response.” Benson has experimented with subjects repeating mantras.” He’s found that mantras brings relaxation and relieves stress.
More recently, scientists have applied modern brain-imaging tools and they reach the same conclusions. A 2015 study from researchers in Israel found that people who silently repeated the word echad(“one” in Hebrew) experienced a quieting of the mind, particularly a deactivation of the typically active default mode network in the brain.
Along with mantras devotee sing and pray to the Lord! This is called the Kirtan. Chanting and singing Kirtan transform your energy and heal the soul from many branches of sorrows. Kirtan connects your soul with a stream of consciousness which has been flowing since ages all around you and it fill you with the divine love.
here are some great Kirtan, ancient chants and mantras.
Prayer of Universal Lord!
Aarti by Guru Nanak
Upon that cosmic plate of the sky, the sun and the moon are the lamps. The stars and their orbs are the studded pearls.
The fragrance of sandalwood in the air is the temple incense, and the wind is the fan. All the plants of the world are the altar flowers in offering to You, O Luminous Lord.
What a beautiful Aartee, lamp-lit worship service this is!
O Destroyer of Fear, this is Your Ceremony of Light.
The Unstruck Sound-current of the Shabad is the vibration of the temple drums.
You have thousands of eyes, and yet You have no eyes. You have thousands of forms, and yet You do not have even one.
You have thousands of Lotus Feet, and yet You do not have even one foot. You have no nose, but you have thousands of noses. This Play of Yours entrances me.
Amongst all is the Light-You are that Light. By this Illumination, that Light is radiant within all.
Through the Guru's Teachings, the Light shines forth. That which is pleasing to Him is the lamp-lit worship service.
My mind is enticed by the honey-sweet Lotus Feet of the Lord. Day and night, I thirst for them.
Bestow the Water of Your Mercy upon Nanak, the thirsty song-bird, so that he may come to dwell in Your Name.
I pray to my dear Lord. I see you as Un-Attired, Unborn, Impregnable, Ultimate truth, fearless, beyond death, the holder of peace and joy.
Dear Lord, you are Immortal, compassionate, beyond all forms and unrivaled.
You are Indestructible. All names belongs to you but you are beyond names. All places belongs to you but you are beyond observance.
You are beyond elements. You are beyond my ritual ceremonies. You are beyond my sensual desires.
You are present in all forms. You are kind and compassionate. You are the Killer and Creator of all. You are sustainer of all and annihilator of all
You are Omniwhere and Omnipresent. You are the Killer of death and ocean of kindness.
Your Name, Lord, is my adoration and cleansing bath. Without the Name of the Lord, all ostentatious displays are useless.
Your Name is my prayer mat, and Your Name is the stone to grind the sandalwood. Your Name is the saffron which I take and sprinkle in offering to You.
Your Name is the water, and Your Name is the sandalwood. The chanting of Your Name is the grinding of the sandalwood. I take it and offer all this to You.
Your Name is the lamp, and Your Name is the wick. Your Name is the oil I pour into it. Your Name is the light applied to this lamp, which enlightens and illuminates the entire world.
Your Name is the thread, and Your Name is the garland of flowers. The eighteen loads of vegetation are all too impure to offer to You.
Why should I offer to You, that which You Yourself created? Your Name is the fan, which I wave over You.
The whole world is engrossed in the eighteen Puraanas, the sixty-eight sacred shrines of pilgrimage, and the four sources of creation.
Says Ravi Daas, Your Name is my Aartee, my lamp-lit worship-service. The True Name, Sat Naam, is the food which I offer to You.
Dear Lord! You are the Knower, you bless all, You creates everything and inhabits everywhere.
Yours enjoyments and pleasures are on all sides of the universe.
You are destroyer of both the pains of birth and death
You are always with me!
Oh Cup holder!
Fill the soul from that pre-existent cup, that thief of the heart, that ambushes of formal religion.
Fill it with the wine that springs from the heart and mixes with the spirit, the wine whose bubbling intoxicates the God-seeing eye.
That grape wine – it belongs to the followers of Jesus; but this wine, it belongs to the followers.
Vats of this wine, vats of that: until you break that vat, you will never taste this wine.
That wine frees the heart from sorrow for an instant: never can it snuff out sorrow, never can it uproot malice.
One drop from this cup will turn your work into gold – may my soul be sacrificed to this golden cup!
When this state (of wine-drinking) comes, mostly it comes in the pre-dawn hours, to him who scatters his bed-roll and pillow.
|O for a Thousand Tongues|
O for a thousand tongues to sing - My great Redeemer's praise,
My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim,