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 Hindu Heritage Study Program  
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A Companion to the Study of Hinduism - Part I
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HR 255.01
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
~ Level - 2
Devotional and Ritualistic Paths of Religious Practices
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Paths of Rituals, Devotion, Prayers and Surrender
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Lesson
- 03 -
Bhakthi Yoga - the Devotional Pathway
Fundamental Disciplines needed for Practicing Bhakthi Yoga
Companion
Part - I

 

 

1. Abhyasa: Practice of constantly and continuously remembering God with a steady mind.
2. Viveka: Discrimination, the ability to choose between right and wrong.
3. Vimoka: Intense longing for God, rejecting everything that hinders our progress.
4. Sathyam: Truthfulness, to be always observed as a basic rule of spiritual ethics. We have to live a life of truth, think truth alone, speak truth and listen carefully to their own inner voice called conscience.
5. Arjavam: This is straightforwardness or honesty.
6. Kriya: Doing good to all beings, as the devotee will God in all forms.

7. Kalyana: This is wishing well of others with a loving heart, praying to the Lord for the well-being of others, for the peace and welfare of the world.
8. Dhaya: Compassion, as God is love, mercy and compassion personified. As we seek to realize Him, we, too, must develop the same qualities.
9. Ahimsa: The practice of non-violence, non-injury to all creatures, by way of action, thought or word.
10. Dhaana: Abundant and spontaneous charity with a pure heart, for relieving the suffering of the distressed is a potent means of growing spiritually.
11. Anavasada: To be cheerful and hopeful is an essential quality of a devotee. One must always have faith and hope.

   
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Lesson
- 04 -
Bhavas and Forms of Feeling of Relationship
Various forms of expression of Surrender to God
Companion
Part - I
Bhavas are the expression of ones attachment and surrender to God in one form or other dear to them creating a strong feeling of identity of the self and its relation to the Divine. The Hindu Bhakthi Sasthra describes nineteen forms of Bhakthi or devotion. Of these Six are important. When God is conceived as a person it is the feeling a worshipper gets towards Him in various ways, called Bhava. It is the feeling one develops towards God when a worshipper conceives Him as a person. It is the inner attitudes or mental state that expresses a particular relationship with God. Each devotee develops his/her own form of Bhakthi since the love of God is like an ocean. Each one accepts his/her own personal 'God' for their devotion just as each person sees his/her own rainbow. Everyone sees his or her own rainbow which is the sunlight reflected through water droplets. It is not an illusion but a vision of Nature where reality is covered by the limitations of our perception. Similarly, every one sees God through one's own vision where the Supreme Truth appears Himself for us in many forms, through the covering of Maya, to each one according to one's own desire, need and limitations of knowledge.
Once a person develops the intense devotion and understands the Divine forces inside and around him/her all the time he/she is ready for the state of saranaagathi or total surrender. As they develop the devotion, they get the feeling of attachment to the Divine just like a servant to a master, a child to the mother, a mother to the child, a young girl to her lover, a wife to her husband. This is a state of unconditional love and attachment, not looking for any favor in return. Here, the devotees imagine their own self as the woman in love with the Supreme as her own child, lover, master or husband, or as a friend towards another friend or a servant towards his master. In all instances this attachment is of pure love without degenerating into a state of familiarity or sensuality. All Puranas explain this state of pure love and attachment as a state of surrender or saranagathi of the Jeevathma or the self towards the Pramathma or the Divine Soul.
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Lessons: - 01 , 02 , - , 03 , 04 , - , 05 , 06 , - , 07 , 08 , - , 09 , 10 , - , 11 , 12 , - , 13 , 14 --

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