Re: Bhakti Yoga - For 'baseline development'
Establishing a personal relationship with God of our preferred form (iShTa dEvata) in bhaktiyoga has the first advantage of giving as the assurance that He/She will be there for us.
Initially, it is inevitable that we seek God for personal fulfilments--called kAmyArtha bhakti. Eventually, we come to realize that not all our wishes can be fulfilled, even by God, due to our karma. Therefore, we learn to leave it to Him/Her, learn to surrender ourselves. This is when we learn to think of the wishes and sufferings of those around us, and include them in our prayers--lOkakShEma bhakti.
Once we learn to surrender ourselves, the mental maturity to accept our circumstances follows, and this eventually leads us to the realization that God is not a power outside us but is the Atman inside us and in every other form of life. The bhakti at this point in life would be at its purest--AtmArtha bhakti.
It would be the most desirable achievement if one can attain this form of bhakti in lifetime.
Originally Posted by Soul of Light
रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥
To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.