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BHAKTI – THE TRANSCENDENTAL ART OF DOING WORK
One requires purified intelligence to achieve transcendental devotional service and communion with the Supreme Lord. The Sanskrit word ‘buddhi’ means ‘intelligence’ and when it is fully developed for understanding Krishna, then it is called buddhi-yogam, or the process of using ones intelligence to achieve union or yoga with the Supreme in pure Krishna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna said. “Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be most perfect.” (Bg.12.2) “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. Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.” (Bg.12.6-8) “Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.” (Bg. 12.20)
According the process of bhakti-yoga, ones actions or work are not stopped, but dovetailed in loving service to the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore one is always situated in pure transcendental consciousness, regardless of the work that one is doing. Thus the yogis are fixed in devotional samadhi while working for the satisfaction of God. Working without any attachment for one’s personal benefit is the secret to performing pure bhakti-yoga. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says. “Do not be attached to profit and loss, but you simply do your duty without attachment. Don’t care for either success or failure but remain steady in both, that is called yoga.” This instruction applies to all yogis. A yogi should act on behalf of the Supreme Lord in the mood of pure devotion. He should do so without attachment to the result, because he knows that the result is dependent on God.
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To achieve success in bhakti-yoga, a yogi simply has to perform all his activities, whatever they are, for the pleasure of Lord Krishna. “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform—do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me. (Bg.9.27) The foremost of all activity is sankirtan-yajna and if a yogi can be engaged full-time in sankirtan that is the highest form of activity possible for any living entity, especially in the degraded age of Kali-yuga.
In the process bhakti-yoga there are nine limbs or processes namely: Sravanam or hearing, kirtanam or chanting, visnu-smaranam or remembering, pada-sevanam or serving the lotus feet, arcanam or worship, vandanam or offering prayers, dasyam or serving, sakyam or friendship, atma-nivedana or offering everything including ones mind, body, words and possessions. A yogi can adopt just one of these devotional processes or all of them and thus one’s life will become perfect.