Bhakti Yoga — the ultimate perfection of yoga

Bhakti-yoga means union with the Supreme through loving devotional service.


Yoga means connecting with God by focusing the mind on Him and controlling the constantly disturbing feelings. By practicing yoga, one gradually becomes free from material attachments. This is the main characteristic of the yoga process. When a person is free from material attachments, he loses interest in the body and becomes interested in spiritual perfection. Through the perfect practice of yoga, one becomes completely happy in this life and after death attains a state of eternal happiness called liberation. At the perfect stage of yoga, a person is freed from the cycle of material suffering (see karma and reincarnation) and goes to the spiritual world to serve God in perfect purity.

Types of yoga

Yoga includes various practices depending on the level of spiritual development and can be compared to a ladder for achieving the highest spiritual realization. The full ladder is called yoga. It is described in the Bhagavad-gita and can be divided into 3 main parts: karma, jnana and bhakti.

  1. Karma yoga – when a person knows that the goal of life is God, Krsna, but is attached to work in order to get material comforts. Then he acts in Karma Yoga.
  2. Jnana yoga – when he knows that his goal is Krsna, but takes pleasure in mental reflection. This is how he works in jnana yoga.
  3. Bhakti-yoga – when he knows that his goal is Krsna, and is not attached to anything material, gross or subtle, but simply wants to act for the pleasure of Krsna. Then he acts in bhakti-yoga.

Bhakti Yoga

The path of bhakti yoga develops through various activities. These include meditating on a mantra or chanting the names of God. Chanting is performed either individually on a rosary (japa), or in a community, chanting mantras accompanied by music (kirtan). The study of sacred texts such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, the association with like — minded people, the consumption of consecrated vegetarian food, and the observance of the principles of truthfulness, charity, asceticism, and purity are all essential practices for the life of a follower of Bhakti, to which everyone moves at his own pace. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna describes the process of yoga in Krishna consciousness:
Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.
(B.G. 9.14) it says in the practice of bhakti-yoga (Krishna consciousness) should sing to the glory of God.