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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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interpreted, reviewed and corrected in the light of emerging collective wisdom, teachings of saints and practical common sense. The story of creation as given in modern science is also not to be taken as Gospel truth. Scientific wisdom is still not complete, all its theories have not yet been adequately verified. So the best course is to bring together the latest discoveries of Science and the best wisdom of spiritual traditions and see where lies the more relative truth. Let our minds be open, but yes not naïve and learn to perceive truth wherever it may be. 

Bhakti Yoga 

The word ‘Bhakti' includes the meaning of the words love, devotion, reverence and surrender. Psychologically if we ask ourselves what is our greatest need and if we have to answer this in one word; then surely we will all agree that this need is ‘love'. Love is our greatest need. Whose love? Love of life, love of human beings, love of work, love of nature. Yes all these but the love that we are all seeking beyond these is the love of the Self. Self and God are the same thing. We are like a wave and God is the ocean. The wave is seeking the love of the ocean. This is the real need. Presently we are seeking our love from a neighboring wave and we call it wife, or another wave and we call it my child. The love that we get from these other waves are limited and will never fully satisfy. When we learn to love the ocean and become aware of the Ocean's ever present, all responding love then the mind is fully satisfied. It is difficult for the average mind to love something that it cannot picture in the mind. So God the Ocean has to be reduced to a particular Name and a Form that appeals to the devotee's heart and to which the devotee can respond in love and devotion. God is infinite, Nameless and Formless. He can be reduced to infinite Names and Forms to suit the needs of infinite devotees. Each devotee can picture Him according to his own needs. Any teaching that says God has to be worshipped in a particular Name and Form or only through a particular path is a childish teaching. Bhakti yoga is the path of surrendering our mind and intelligence to God and learning to act as an instrument in His Hand for His purpose. We give up our own ego based activities which may have good intention but has a limited reach and perspective. 

Nature of God 
God's personality or God's being has a threefold existence. The most important or the highest aspect of His being is called the transcendental aspect. Transcendental aspect means that aspect of His being, which is beyond the created universe. This aspect is generally referred to in Hindu scriptures as Brahman or Para Brahman. In this aspect God is not a personality with a name or form. He is understood as a nameless, formless, changeless, impersonal being. His attributes are: 

  • He is self-created. 

  • There is no cause that produces Him. He is the causeless cause. 

  • He exists eternally, one without a second. 

  • He is Sat –Chit –Ananda. Existence absolute, Consciousness absolute and Bliss absolute. 

  • He is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. 

  • God is made of pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is a vibrationless, motionless, unchanging principle.

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