Basics of Bhakti Yoga
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Basics of Bhakti Yoga

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Learn the basics of Bhakti Yoga and begin your practice with confidence and understanding. Learn about Krsna, Radha, mantra meditation and more from brief presentation on Bhakti Yoga.

Learn the basics of Bhakti Yoga and begin your practice with confidence and understanding. Learn about Krsna, Radha, mantra meditation and more from brief presentation on Bhakti Yoga.

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Basics of Bhakti Yoga Basics of Bhakti Yoga Presentation Transcript

  • Bhakti Yoga Course Introduction
  • Bhakti Yoga Course Basic
  • Basic Knowledge There are 64 Bhakti Yoga practices given in NoD. These 5 are considered the most important. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Reading scripture regularly Keep the company of mature devotees Sankirtan Worship the deity Reside in a holy place like Vrndavan/Mathura
  • Who is Krsna?
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Krsna? Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead  Bhagavan – Possesses all 6 opulences  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Beauty Fame Renunciation Wealth Power Knowledge
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Krsna?  The Narayana Upanisad, of the Atharva Veda, states that Krsna, the son of Devaki, is the Adi-purusa. • If the Vedas had a hierarchical structure the Upanisads would be considered “the crown jewel of the Vedas”.
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Krsna? There are 64 spiritual character traits.  50 of these traits can be found in limited measure in the devotees of the Lord and even in Demigods  Another 10 of these traits can be found in the Lord‟s personal expansions, (Visnu Tattva)  The final 4 character traits can only be found in Krsna Himself. 
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Krsna?  4 Character traits unique to Krsna. 1. 2. 3. 4. Lila-madurya Prema-madurya Venu-madurya Rupa-madurya - Wonderful pastimes (in all rasas) - Loving devotees (of all rasas) - Wonderful flute playing - Unparalleled beauty
  • Who is Radha?
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Radha? Hinduism is the only major religion that recognizes the feminine divinity.  Radha is the female counterpart of Krsna. Even though we say “Krsna Prema” it is impossible “to get” Krsna without Radha.  You cannot love and serve one without the other. 
  • Basic Knowledge  Who is Srila Prabhupada? Srila Prabhupada came to the US in 1965 and founded ISKCON.  He is a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati  He is the author of more English language books on Bhakti Yoga than any other person in the world. 
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the goal of life? “Jivera svarupa haya / Krsnera nitya dasa”  Freedom from the 4 basic miseries:  1. 2. 3. 4. Birth Old age Disease Death
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the goal of life? The material body is the source of suffering  Karma is the cause of our material body  If we eliminate Karma we can exist in our spiritual body in a spiritual realm devoid of material miseries. 
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the goal of life?  Krsna is the only person with the ability to eradicate both our Karma and our material inclination to produce Karma.
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the goal of life?  By advancing in Bhakti Yoga from Sraddha to Krsna Prema we can eradicate our karma and our inclination to produce it.
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the goal of life?  Krsna Prema is to have a genuine and realized loving relationship with Krsna.  By having that genuine relationship Krsna will deliver us from all our karmic reactions. (BG 18.66)
  • Basic Knowledge  There are only 2 outcomes of a successful spiritual practice.  Aham brahma „smi - I exist (Spiritual Realization)  Aham daso „smi - I serve (Krsna Prema)
  • What is the Bhagavad Gita?
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the Bhagavad Gita? The “Song of God” is spoken by Krsna to Arjuna circa 3000 BCE.  It is part of the Mahabharata , a Purana.  Puranas are “to be considered the fifth Veda”   Chandogya Up. (one of the oldest Upanisads)
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the Bhagavad Gita?  The Gita covers 5 topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Isvara Jiva Prakriti Kala Karma - The Supreme Controller - The living entities - Material Nature - Time - Activities
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the Bhagavad Gita?  The knowledge of the Gita is categorized in 3 ways: 1. 2. 3. Sambandha Abhideya Prayojana - Relationship (between the 5 topics) - Process - Goal
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the Bhagavad Gita?  A scripture that describes numerous processes for spiritual development and ultimately prescribes the process of Bhakti Yoga. (BG. 18.65)
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Srimad Bhagavatam? Its technical name is Bhagavat Purana.  It is considered an Abhideya or “process” scripture as it focuses primarily on the practices, processes and practitioners of Bhakti Yoga.  It is spoken by Sukadeva Goswami to King Pariksit. 
  • Lord Caitanya
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Chaitanya Caritamrita?  A devotional and philosophical biography of the Lord Chaitanya written by Krsna das Kaviraja.  Lord Chaitanya is Krsna, He appeared 500 years ago in the role of a devotee in order to experience firsthand the bliss of Bhakti yoga
  • Basic Knowledge  What is the Nectar of Devotion? Written by Sri Rupa Goswami it is one of the most important texts on Bhakti Yoga.  Its sanskrit name is Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu   (We will study this book in detail in Levels 6 - 8)
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism? Vaisnavism – Worship of Visnu  Shaivism – Worship of Shiva  Saktism – Worship of Durga/Kali 
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism?  1. 2. 3. 4. There are 4 Vaisnava Sampradayas (disciplines) Sri Sampradaya Kumara Sampradaya Rudra Sampradaya Brahma Sampradaya
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism?  ISKCON comes in the Brahma Sampradaya which, since Lord Chaitanya, is more technically known as the:  Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya
  • Basic Knowledge Sri Visnu Sri Kumara Rudra Brahma ISKCON
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism? Bhakti yoga is the process used to develop a relationship with either Lord Visnu or Krsna.  There are 5 kinds of Rasa in Bhakti Yoga  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Madhurya Vatsalya Sakhya Dasya Santa - Conjugal - Parental - Fraternal - Reverential - Neutral
  • Basic Knowledge Madurya Santa Vatsalya Krsna Dasya Sakhya
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism?  Vaisnavism is considered to be the most sought after process as it is the only spiritual process where, out of love, God allows himself to be subservient to the devotee.  None of the Visnu expansions, Lord Brahma or Lord Shiva or any of the 33 million demigods accept subservient relationships with their devotees.
  • Basic Knowledge  What is Vaisnavism? Visnu is Krsna‟s expansion that “manages” the material creation.  The difference between worship of Visnu and Krsna  1. Only with Krsna can the devotee have a “superior” role in the relationship where He, Krsna, is under the control of the devotee.
  • Basic Knowledge  Why Mantra Meditation? The energy and effects of various types of sound vibration is well documented.  Mantras are a unique collection of sanskrit syllables designed to create a very specific effect.  Mantras coupled, with Sankalpa (intention), are the most powerful method of spiritual development in this age. 
  • Basic Knowledge  The Hare Krsna Mantra  There are 4 Vedas: 1. 2. 3. 4. Rg Veda Sama Veda Atharva Veda Yajur Veda
  • Basic Knowledge  The Hare Krsna Mantra  The Yajur Veda, 4th Veda, has two parts (samhitas) 1. 2. Shukla Yajur Veda Krsna Yajur Veda
  • Basic Knowledge  The Hare Krsna Mantra  In The Krsna Yajur Veda is the Kali Santarana Upanisad where the Hare Krsna Mantra is given.
  • Basic Knowledge  The Hare Krsna Mantra. “These sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables are the only means of counteracting the evil effects of Kali-yuga. After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion for this age so sublime as the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra”. (Kali-Santarana Upanishad, Krsna Yajur Samhita of the Yajur Veda).
  • Basic Knowledge Rg Veda Sama Atharva Yajur Sukla Yajur Krsna Yajur KS Upanisad Krsna Mantra
  • Basic Knowledge  Why the bead bag?  We chant Hare Krsna aloud to purify ourselves, others and the environment.  Initiated Bhakti Yogis cover the beads to prevent negative energies or influences from effecting their chanting
  • How to Chant
  • Basic Knowledge  How to Chant Hold the japa mala (chanting beads) between the thumb and middle finger of the right hand.  As you chant the mantra aloud gently roll the beads between your fingers.  Chant the mantra on all 108 beads.  Do not skip over the “Krsna” bead, instead turn the beads around and “go back the way you came.” 
  • Basic Knowledge  How to Chant Do not take your beads into the bathroom.  Do not sit, walk or sleep on your beads.  Do not lend your beads to others. (Rare exceptions)  Do not use your bead bag as a pocket.  Do not kick, throw or play soccer with your beads. 
  • Basic Knowledge  How to Chant  There are 10 offenses we attempt to avoid once we have begun a chanting sadhana.  Refer to Handout.
  • Basic Knowledge  Why neck beads?  Neck beads (Kanti mala) are made of Tulsi Devi, a very dear devotee of Krsna.  Those who wear Kanti mala always have the protection and attention of Krsna.  They are worn 3x around the neck to signify that our body, mind and words are in relation to Krsna.
  • Basic Knowledge  Why “devotional” clothing?  In Vedic spirituality the integrity of the disciplic succession is of extreme importance. This integrity of practice prevents: 1. 2. 3. The proliferation of fraudulent spiritual teachers The abuse and cheating of sincere seekers The proliferation of pseudo “religions” and harmful cults
  • Basic Knowledge  Why “devotional” clothing?  While our spiritual development is uniquely personal we worship Krsna by following the instructions AND examples of those have attained Krsna Prema.  The pure and realized saints of Bhakti Yoga wore “devotional” clothing during their worship and instructed their disciples to do the same.
  • Basic Knowledge  Why Tilak?  The clay of Tilak comes from a place of pilgrimage, generally Vrndavan or Mathura for Vaisnavas.  It identifies the wearer as a temple of Vishnu  It is applied with a mantra requesting Vishnu to reside with us always.
  • Basic Knowledge  Why Arati? Arati is an expression of Bhakti  The articles of worship represent:  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Earth Water Fire Air Ether Mind – Flower – Water/handkerchief – Lamp – Peacock fan – Yak tail fan – Incense
  • Basic Knowledge  Why the conch?  The conch represents Sri Laksmi, the consort of Visnu.  The sound, a representation of Om, is purifying and heralds the “coming” of an exalted person or event.