Bhakti Yoga is the branch of yoga that focuses on devotion and devotional practices. God is love and love is God. Bhakti yoga uses our fundamental emotional relationships and sublimates them into pure, selfless, divine love. There are 9 traditional ways to sublimate emotions to devotion, overcome egoism, and realize God according to the teachings of Bhakti Yoga. These methods can be applied in our relationships with others:

  1. Listen to inspiring divine stories – Develop the capacity to listen to others without judgment. Be honest in what you say about yourself.
  2. Sing God’s glories – Learn to praise others and to look for their positive qualities and be appreciative of one’s own positive qualities.
  3. Remembrance of His name and presence in prayers – Learn to hold people you love in your heart in a prayerful mood, feel the sacredness of relationships. Be detached and forgiving. Be grateful for all people who you interact with in your life.
  4. Service with humility – Learn to actively serve everyone as God whether you like them or not.
  5. Worship – Learn to see God in your relationships. Offer your time and presence, as well as beautiful gifts, as if they are being offered to God.
  6. Prostrations – Learn to give utmost respect to people you encounter or people surrounding you no matter who they are.
  7. Cultivate the feeling of being a servant of God – Learn to develop an attitude of self-sacrifice.
  8. Cultivate feelings of friendship for God – Learn to open your heart equally to all, without ulterior motives and discriminating who is higher or lower than you.
  9. Complete self-surrender – Learn to accept all things happening to you with equanimity and overcome your own expectations or feelings about anything done by yourself or others.

© Swami Sitaramananda 2014 No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.