The Inner Transformation Brought About By Bhakti-yoga
In His book Just Love: A Journey into the Heart of God, Paramahamsa Vishwananda relates a conversation He had with a group of kriya-yogis. 'You have all been practising kriya for 20 years, but I don’t see any realisation inside you.’ And they agreed. Their practice was mechanical. But therein lies the difference between just doing your meditation, and what happens when you infuse it with devotion.
Atma Kriya Yoga is about the inner transformation you go through. It’s all about getting to know who you are in truth. It’s easy to say and even accept on faith that we are the atma, but that means very little if anything at all until we really realise it. To know the atma as the true Self is to let go of the ego and pride we’ve accumulated through many lives.
‘Mahavatar Babaji wanted people to elevate beyond that, to be free from the ego, to free your mind from all the things that you have accumulated, and let that mind transform.’ - Paramahamsa Vishwananda
All throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna instructs Arjuna to become a yogi, to transform His mind, and above all, to have devotion for Him and keep his mind focused on Him. But a yogi is not someone who sits in a cave or isolates themselves for ages. You do not need to run away from the life you have in order to become a yogi.
A yogi is one who is constantly absorbed in the Divine. They are continuously absorbed in the Lord’s Love, they are continuously absorbed in the service. They are not concerned about anything else. Their only focus and their only aim is the Love of God.
The further we delve into the relationship that we have with God, the easier it becomes to notice that there are only three things which are eternal in life: God, the soul and the love relationship in between. In Atma Kriya Yoga, we are trying to awaken something deep within. That awakening is divinity, it is God. It is Him, inside of us, that we are trying to reconnect with.
That divinity has a personality and form. It is real like any relationship and in Atma Kriya Yoga we refer to God in this way as Narayana. We chant the mantra om namo narayanaya to connect with Him, long for Him and be with Him once again.
Infusing Your Meditation with Bhakti
- Study Navada-bhakti: By studying the nine forms of bhakti that correspond to the practices of Atma Kriya Yoga, you can deepen your sadhana and experience Divine Love in your practice.
- Lose Expectations: When you lose expectations, what you’re left with is acceptance. It’s the acceptance of exactly what your meditation looks like today. That’s when the true beauty of your practice will begin to reveal itself.
- Set an Intention: Pray for bhakti to fill your heart. Meditation is your time to cultivate your Love relationship with God, focus on that and be present in Love.
You do not have to run away to a cave or an ashram to become a yogi. Learning to live spiritually, no matter where you are, is a key part of spiritual advancement and transformation. Learn how with our free guide on living spiritually in the material world.