Back Strengthening Yoga Poses
In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says. “And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me—he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.” (Bg.7.47) Kirtanam or chanting the holy name is the most potent of all the nine limbs of bhakti. Therefore, when a devotee chants in full ecstasy, even though none of the other limbs may apparently be manifest, they are automatically being performed due to the Absolute nature of the Lords holy name and therefore one benefits from performing all the nine processes simultaneously, there is nothing lacking in the performance of Hari-nama-kirtan because the holy name is Absolute. For example, by performing kirtanam or chanting there is automatically sravanam or hearing and Vishnu-smaranam or remembering, which are all directly perceivable to the yogi engaged in Hari-nama-kirtan.
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Bhakti-yoga has two distinct divisions referred to as vaidhi-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti. In the division called vaidhi-bhakti, devotional service is conducted according to the rules and regulations of the Vedic scriptures like Narada-pancharatrika and Hari-bhakti-vilasa, that revolve around the nine limbs of devotion service; Sravanam, kirtanam, visnu-smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakyam, atma-nivedana. In the division called raganuga-bhakti, devotional service is impelled by spontaneous attraction. In raganuga-bhakti, one must surrender oneself under the guidance of a vrajavasi, one of the eternal associates of Krishna in the transcendental Vraja-lila pastimes, like Mother Yashoda or Nanda Maharaja, or one of the sakhas or sakhis, and thereby serve Krishna internally through meditation, while performing the same particular service and devotional mood of that particular vrajavasi. It is advised that one first begins the practice of vaidhi-bhakti in order to be fully purified of all anarthas or unwanted remnants of false-ego in order to develop the correct mood of spontaneous devotion. One who achieves success in vaidhi automatically develops raganuga-bhakti in due course of time once he reaches the required level of attachment to performing bhakti-yoga. Regardless, the process of kirtanam or chanting the holy name is constant in both processes. Therefore, simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, a yogi’s success is guaranteed and he will automatically develop the mood of spontaneous devotional service where he is motivated day and night, and even in his dreams, in serving the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
The Bhagavad-gita says. “A person who accepts the path of devotional service is not bereft of the results derived from studying the Vedas, performing sacrifices, undergoing austerities, giving charity or pursuing philosophical and fruitive activities. Simply by performing devotional service, he attains all these, and at the end he reaches the supreme eternal abode.” (Bg.8.20) “My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.” (Bg.11.54) “Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is the knower of everything. He therefore engages himself in full devotional service to Me, O son of Bharata.” (Bg.15.19) “One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” (Bg.18.55)
By practicing bhakti-yoga one develops many saintly qualities. The prime qualifications of an advanced yogi are mentioned in the Chaitanya-charitamrita. It is said there that a ‘sadhu’ or ‘holy-man’ has innumerable good qualifications but primarily possess the following signs of spiritual goodness as follows: (1) kind, (2) tolerant, (3) truthful, (4) equal, (5) stainless, (6) liberal, (7) mild, (8) clean, (9) meek, (10) altruistic, (11) peaceful, (12) surrendered to Krishna, (13) satisfied, (14) humble, (15) fixed up (16) self-restrained, (17) frugal, (18) sagacious, (19) respectful (20) simple, (21) grave, (22) compassionate, (23) friendly, (24) poetic, (25) expert (26) silent. A devotee of the Lord automatically develops all these saintly qualities in due course of time simply by his engagement in pure devotional service, bhakti-yoga.