How can you start your practice of bhakti yoga – the highest yoga?
2. Mantra Meditation
Listen to Vedic knowledge – this is already the practice of Bhakti-yoga, when you use your time and energy to receive the knowledge of the Absolute Truth. The more you listen, the more your mind is purified. Listen to the lectures on Balakhilya’s website starting from the beginning, then the lectures on Bhagavad Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam – and you will discover another world, new values and a new purpose in life. Such listening is very important. Organize your life so that you can listen every day.
You can download “Bhagavad Gita ~ As It Is” by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and read it from start to finish. This book has changed the lives of many sincere people.
“Bhagavad Gita ~ As It Is” by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Listening also includes regular hearing of the mantras. Download the mantras; this is an easy way you can bring the transcendental sound into your home, in your car, into your life. You can listen to the mantras constantly; you will make spiritual progress just by listening to the transcendental sound. You can also help your friends and family. If they are interested, you can play them music with mantras and they will also make spiritual progress, even if they don’t understand what the mantras mean.
Practice mantra meditation and you will get the taste of God’s names, which it’s described as the nectar that we are always anxious for. Love for God and all living beings will grow in your heart. You will feel true happiness and satisfaction.
“All glories to the congregational chanting and singing of God’s names, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years together, and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This congregational chanting of the names of God is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names, you have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach you by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly”.
These are the prayers of Lord Chaitanya, the incarnation of God, who came to the Earth to teach the process of mantra meditation for the current age we live in, and to show us by his personal example how to practice it.
There are three methods of mantra meditation:
This is an individual practice. If it is easier for you, you can play this recording when you practice your Gauranga-meditation.
Japa meditation on beads
This practice is also individual. If it helps you can play this recording during your practice of Japa-meditation.
Congregational chanting – Kirtan
You can sing the mantras along with your family and friends. If you don’t have suitable company, you can sing along with Balakhilya’s Kirtans (along with choir)
Become a vegetarian. Do not engage in the unjustified killing of animals. Mantra meditation makes your heart softer, but the daily use of the flesh of innocent animals makes it harder. (By the way vegetarians live longer :))
PS: If you can try to get to Balakhilya’s seminar. You will be able to meet him personally, learn the deep practice of meditation and experience the reality of this philosophy and to make friends with other people, who are interested in spiritual perfection.