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What is really "bhakti-yoga"?

Bhakti is derived from the Sanskrit word bhaj, which means - loving service. Yoga in Sanskrit means - connection. Bhakti yoga means to connect to the Supreme by means of loving pure devotional service. We all have divine love or Bhakti within our self. However, it is in dormant state. There is a simple way to awaken this dormant loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This process is laid down by Lord Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, and especially propogated by the GOLDEN AVATAR, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahabrabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krishna who appeared on this earth some 525 years ago.

The reccomended process of self realization for this age of quarrel in which we live (called the kali-yuga) is to chant the holy names of God. This is called kirtan, when such chanting is done loudly, and jappa when it is done softy for one's own personal benefit. Chanting of pure names of Lord can be done simply by regularly chanting the following Sanskrit Hare Krishna mahamantra - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna / Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama / Rama Rama Hare Hare. The chanting can be done as minimum fixed rounds on japa mala or it can be done together in congregation with musical instruments. Devotional dancing along with the chanting is also an important part of bhakti-yoga. Dancing is done gracefully in front of the Deity of the Lord in the temple, or in one's own home, with family members or friends. Dancing engages our whole body in glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Feasting on pure vegetarian foodstuffs, which are cooked in love and devotion and first offered to the Lord, is also an important component of the bhakti-yoga system. Such spiritual food is called prasadam and is free of karma. The tasting of prasadam, along with chanting and dancing in kirtan, helps the bhakti yogi attain very quickly to the spiritual realm, even while in the present body, and thus one does not remain entangled in the cycle of repeated birth and death in the material world. After leaving this temporary body, the perected bhakti yogi, returns back Home, back to the spiritual sky, and enters into the spiritual planets in his original spiritual body, to enjoy eternally his etrenal life of full bliss and knowledge.

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