"The Nine Stages of Bhakti Yoga - Bhakti Rasamrit Sindhu" By Shri Roop Goswami.
1. Sraddha: Faith.
2. Sadhu-sanga: Association with
3. Bhajana-Kriya: Performance of devotional practices.
4. Anartha Nivrtti: Decreasing of unwanted attachments.
5. Nistha: Steadiness.
6. Ruchi: Taste.
7. Asakti: Attachment.
8. Bhava: Love.
9. Prema: Pure love for God.
In the beginning, one must have a “Shrddha” a preliminary desire for God realization. This means an individual’s eager desire leads one to be in the company of a God realized Saint which is called “Sadhu Sanga”, in order to learn the methods of spiritual practices for God-realization alone and for no other purpose. In the next stage, one follows the instructions of a spiritual master and begins the process of “Bhajan-Kriya”, devotional practices like
Listening, Singing and Chanting the Qualities of God with his mind. By execution of devotional practises, one becomes free from all material attachment (”Anartha Nivritti”), attains “Nishtha” i.e steadiness, and thereafter acquires a “Ruchi”, taste for hearing about Sri Krishna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krishna called “Asakti”, which is matured in “Bhava”, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God where one develops an intense longing for his Beloved Lord. Here a devotee, doesn’t wastes his time, even for the twinkling of an eye without being constantly engaged in his Bhajans. He sometimes feels the presence of Krishna near him, and is drowned in the stream of ecstasy (the menifestation of “Satvik Bhao”). Last Stage is called “Prema”, Pure (Real) love for God. the highest perfectional stage of life where the Spiritual Master bestows his special mercy and grace to his completely surrendered disciple and give him “Prema”. So, by the process of devotional service, under the guidance of the spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage of divine bliss, being freed from all material attachment. Then thereafter one can ultimately reach to the abode of the Supreme Lord, “Golok Dham” to serve God.
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