02: Bhakti Yoga
My favourite part of story from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12 on Bhakti Yoga
Arjuna asks, “O Lord, some worship you as saguna (with form), while others as nirguna (without form). Tell me which of the two pleases you more.”
The Supreme Lord said, “Those who fix their minds on My personal form (saguna) and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be the most perfect. Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the un-manifested; because, the goal, the un-manifested (nirguna), is very hard for the embodied to reach.
But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pritha — for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.
Fix your mind upon Me only, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. If you are not able to fix your mind steadily on Me, then do seek to reach Me by the Yoga of constant practice (Abhyasa Yoga). If you are even unable to practice that, then become dedicated in working for My sake, as even by doing actions for my sake, you will achieve perfection. If you are unable to do even this, then taking refuge in union with Me, renounce the fruits of all actions, with the self (being) controlled.
He, who has no dislike towards anyone, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving; ever content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, possessed of firm conviction, with mind and intellect dedicated to Me, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.
He for whom no one is put into difficulty, and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me. One who never rejoices nor hates, never grieves nor craves, and remains detached for better or for worse – one who is such a devotee is dear to Me.
He who is the same to a foe and friend, and also in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat, and in pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment, who is balanced in censure (criticism) and praise, pain and pleasure, who is silent, content with anything, doesn’t care for any particular residence, steady-minded, full of devotion, such a devotee is very dear to Me.
And, those devotees who follow this Immortal Dharma (law or doctrine as described above) endowed with faith, regarding Me as their Supreme goal, are exceedingly dear to Me.”