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Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti yoga is the way of intense devotion to a god or goddess who is capable of delivering one from the cycle of existence. The goal is of bhakti is communion with and nearness to the deity.

It seems that such devotion can "short circuit" the karmic process and allow the devotee freedom from rebirth. As a reward for one's devotion, the god would deliver his followers from the ongoing cycle of birth and death. The Bhagavad-Gita considers bhakti to be the best course for the present age: According to Krishna, "Those who worship me, thinking solely of me, always disciplined, win the reward I secure."

Freed from attachment, fear, and anger; fully absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, and purified by the fire of Self-knowledge, many have attained Me. (4.10)

It should be noted that the vast majority of Hindus practice bhakti as the main form of religious expression. Bhakti yoga is not considered to be easier than the other yogas. It is however, considered to be the best path for the present age. Of course, one may practice devotion to any god or goddess. Within Hinduism, there is a multitude of deities - all thought to manifest the one ultimate reality. Consequently, one who worships one deity is in a sense, worshipping all deities. In the next section, we will consider some of the major gods and goddesses in Hinduism as well as ways of worship and devotion.


 Toggle open/close quiz question

Match the items.
The task is to match the lettered items with the correct numbered items. Appearing below is a list of lettered items. Following that is a list of numbered items. Each numbered item is followed by a drop-down. Select the letter in the drop down that best matches the numbered item with the lettered alternatives.
a. The way of meditation
b. The way of right action
c. The way of wisdom
d. The way of Devotion

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