As per my understanding, Bhakti yog is the way of life i.e. one should always be devoted towards god. But one's mind always gets diverted away from god. Because of this there should be certain methods for pursuing bhakti. What are different methods and ways of practising Bhakti Yoga ?

I am enlisting some -

  1. Mediation on god's image.
  2. Worshipping, Singing and listening to Bhajans.
  3. Reading stories of God.
  4. Doing Pilgrimage.
  5. Fasting for god.

What are the other methods ?


1 Answer 1


You have to first decide your relationship to God.

But in order to realize God, one must assume one of these attitudes: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhur.

"Santa, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had this attitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment. It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband. She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty and love, a veritable Madan.

"Dasya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. He felt the strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. A wife feels this mood also. She serves her husband with all her heart and soul. A mother also has a little of this attitude, as Yasoda had toward Krishna.

"Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Friends say to one another, 'Come here and sit near me.' Sridama and other friends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of which they had already eaten, and sometimes climbed on His shoulders.

"Vatsalya, the attitude of a mother toward her child. This was Yasoda's attitude toward Krishna. The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds her husband with her very life-blood, as it were. The mother feels happy only when the child has eaten to his heart's content. Yasoda would roam about with butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna.

"Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels it for her husband. This attitude includes all the other four."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 4, Advice to Householders

Prahlada’s nine points of devotion

Hearing about Vishnu, singing about Him, remembering Him, serving Him, saluting Him, being His servant, being His comrade, and surrendering oneself and everything that is one’s own to Him – these are the nine aspects of Bhakti or God-love. If man could be trained to practice devotion characterized by these nine features that indeed would be the highest education he could have.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana VII.5.23-24

Service to humanity

I abide in all beings as their inner-most soul. Disregarding My presence within them, men make a show of worshiping Me through images. If one disregards Me present in all as their soul and Lord but ignorantly offers worship only to images, such worship is as ineffective as a sacrificial offering made in ashes. A man who persecutes Me residing in others, who is proud and haughty, who looks upon God as the other – such a person will never attain to peace of mind. If a man disregards and persecutes fellow beings, but worships Me in images with numerous rituals and rich offerings, I am not at all pleased with him for proffering such worship. A man should, however, worship Me in images, side by side with discharging his duties, which include the love of all beings, until he actually realises My presence in in himself and in all beings. As long as man is self-centred and makes an absolute distinction between himself and others (without recognising the unity of all in Me, the Inner Pervader), he will be subject to the great fear of Death (including every form of deprivation of self-interest). So, overcoming the separateness of a self-centred life, one should serve all beings with gifts, honour and love, recognising that such service is really being rendered to Me who reside in all beings as their innermost soul.

Srimad Bhagavata Purana III.29.21-27


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