What is Bhakti Yoga?
In Bali – the island of the Gods, we often see the practice of Bhakti Yoga. Bhakti itself comes from the word Bhaj, which means to be attached to the Divine. In Indonesian language, “bhakti” means surrendering to act out of love and respect.
Bhakti Yoga can be translated as the Yoga of Love or the Yoga of Devotion (to Divine). This is the system in which love and devotion are emphasized.
When you join our Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud – Bali, you will be immersed in Balinese culture and practice, where the Balinese worship and practice rituals to show their devotion and love to the Divine. There are offerings every morning placed in various places. There is a strong sense – sometimes overwhelming sense – of devotion in the daily practices and rituals.
How to love the Divine?
To love something that we cannot see or grasp is challenging. There is faith needed. This love comes from seeing the Divine everywhere, and as the embodiment of love. The effort is to love unconditionally, without expecting rewards. It is said that the enemy of the devotion is the ego and the desire (to get rewards).
The Balinese also grow the love to the Divine through the creation of the divine. For example, there are practices to respect all trees and plants, there are practices to respect the ocean, the moon and even metal.
What are the benefits?
The practice of having such devotion and love, would open the heart. It is said that having such devotion would remove the feeling of anger, egoism, arrogance towards other being. By cultivating the practice, faith would come and the heart loses its worries and anxiety in life. There is faith that everything will be okay, because whatever happens to us is the Divine’s will.
The main outcome might be the sense of peace to get through life, whether the experience bad or good. Believing that it is not bad or good, it is just is. Having faith that it is the experience that we need to have in this life. Dropping all expectation, and cultivating love towards the Divine and all the Divine’s creation would spread love across the world. Living in peace and harmony with all beings is in the horizon.
Sources: Bhakti Yoga, SwamiSivananda