Souls on the path of spiritual development practice Sadhana of various kinds. Depending on the exact path chosen, aspirants follow many procedures, rituals, actions and thought processes.
Bhakti, devotion to God with loving sentiments is the sweetest path towards God realization. It has been repeated declared in the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagawatam, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayan and many other sacred texts. Even the Bible and holy Quran asks us humans to love God unanimously.
In the tradition of Sanatan Dharm and as per the holy scriptures, Devotion to God can be practiced in any of the five sequentially higher bhāvas, or sentiments. We can love God as our King, our master, as our friend, as our child or our soul beloved. The choice is ours.
How to practice “Bhakti” on a daily basis? Do we have to do something special?
The greatness of Bhakti lies in its amazingly divine characteristic to blend with our daily life. Whatever we do in our daily life, whatever our vocation, Bhakti can be integrated into it seamlessly like mixing honey and milk.
The primary aim of doing daily sadhana is to increase our loving sentiments towards God and move closer to him. To do that, we must detach our mind from the external material world and attach it to God. It will not happen automatically but we must force the mind to contemplate upon God and his divine virtues.
1) Everyday, set aside 1 or 2 hours in the morning or evening for sadhana. Sit in a calm and serene place / room within your home or any suitable environment where you will not be disturbed.
2) Close your eyes and listen to kirtans, bhajans glorifying the names, virtues, forms and leelas of Shri Radha Krishna and your Guru.
3) As you listen to the kirtans, meditate on your chosen form of God with deep sentiments of love, affection and humility. It can be any form of God that you like. It can even be changed every minute. Keep a picture of God if you cannot imagine a form.
4) Feel the presence of God and Guru with you all the time, never let your mind wander towards the external world. Shut out the external environment completely. Feel that they are protecting you every second of your life.
5) If the mind starts to think of your family, office, etc., you have to immediately drag it back towards God and Guru. Forget that an external world exists and immerse yourself in the sweet divine chanting of God’s names.
This process of meditation and contemplation upon God and his divine virtues is called Roopdhyan. This is the single most important aspect of sadhana and it has to be done with the complete involvement of the mind. Practice this for 1 hour and increase the amount of time you spend alone with God everyday.
The key aspect is not to feel dejected or disappointed when the mind does not co-operate. Try harder everyday and slowly but surely, the mind will come under your control.
This 5-step process is like a antidote or an immunity for the weakening effects of the external world, Maya.
Performing your daily routines will now be a cakewalk. With God and Guru in your mind, you can breeze through the daily chores and office work without stress, tension or anxiety. External disturbances and events will not affect you as much as it will others.
Daily practice is a must and should not be ignored due to laziness or any other reason. It is the daily schedule that will strengthen the mind to constantly think of God and not worry about the events of the material world which we cannot control.
The proof of the pudding is in the experience of the aspirant. Just one week of daily practice can bring about a great change in one’s life. Try it and see for yourself!
This practice can only grow stronger and stronger. Spending more hours with God and Guru daily can only increase your speed towards God-realization. Detachment from material world will increase and attachment to God will automatically increase.
We all know the benefits of attaching the mind to a divine entity – attainment of supreme bliss!