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Nava Vidha Bhakti

From: Eswar Josyula (
Date: Wed Oct 18 1995 - 08:59:50 PDT

I share the same views as Sridharan and Ravi about Jagannath's
equating Bhakti Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga.  Ashtanga yoga is also
known as the Raja yoga.  The exact definitions of the yama, niyama,
asana, pranayama, dhyana, etc. are in Patanjali's yoga sutras.
Patanjali's ultimate goal of God realization is not the personal
God, Vishnu with all attributes.  So it has been rejected by Vaisnava
acaryas.  Even, changing the defintions of asana, dhyana, etc. they
can take hundred of years under a realized guru, so not recommended
for this Kali yuga.  Asana is rejected due to its ability to increase
body consciousness, not God consciousness.  However, meditation is 
perforemed by yogis on the Vishnu paramatama in the yogi's heart, and
this is extremely difficult for most practitioners.

Vaisnava acaryas have given importance to the nava vidha bhakti or the
nine forms of devotion, practicing any one, or all gets the aspirant
closer to God.  These are as follows.
Sravnam, Kirtanam, Vishnoh-smaranam, vandanam, pada sevanam, dasya, 
puja, sakhya, and atma-nivedanam.

-Eswar Josyula