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Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Karma yoga..why not choose all of them?

(Amy Harilal) #1

Joy Nitai! All Glories to Shrila Nitaipreshthji and all the devotees.

Vaishnava philosophy has ever been in line with bhakti yoga and my understanding was that it is only to do with the practice of bhakti yoga; that is attaining perfection via the path of pure devotional service to the Lord.

But what is pure devotional service to the Lord? And moreover, what does the Lord want us to be? Just a sentimental devotee, or a more all rounded progressive personality? I think that most people would agree that they would want to be the more all rounded progressive personality who
has strengths in every department. And what is God but great? And what is greatness but non-enviousness? Therefore we should assume that the Lord wants the best for us as individuals and devotees, we only have to appease Him through pure devotional service via a bona fide Guru.

Once one attains the service of the Lord via His servant the Guru, how best should we execute that service? We are expected to fully surrender to the Lord so, in my (limited and no means perfect) experience I have found that the only way to do this is by employing every faculty that one owns ; the hard working hands of a karma yogi, the burning intelllect of a jnana yogi and the purifying heart of the bhakti yogi. For instance, with our hands we clean the temple, with our mind we figure out the best way to clean and in our hearts we do it for the Lord without expectation of any reward but a job well done (the clean temple and the pleasure of the Lord). In this way we are completely immersed in devotional service and nothing else.

I’m sure that most of these concepts are very familiar to many of the devotees here, stilll I felt inspired to write and I hope that it has helped someone out there.