Hridaya Bhajans — the Yoga of Devotion

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Hridaya Bhajans — the Yoga of Devotion

By Antoaneta Gotea

In Hridaya, every Saturday evening is a special celebration for all of us. We gather to express love towards the Divine, the consciousness that permeates every single atom in the universe and is the very source of everything, through sacred chanting.

We awaken our hearts through the power of mantras and sacred chants. This practice belongs to Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion, in which love is the means, love is the path, and Love is the final aim. The word bhakti means mutual love between the bhakta (the devotee) and the Beloved, the Divine. The personal love of the devotee blossoms into universal love and, finally, love-as-being.

Mantras are used in Bhakti Yoga to set the heart on fire, to ignite the divine love within ourselves. Mantras are mind and heart vehicles, capable of transporting the mind from a state of activity to one of silence. They bring silence of the mind and fullness of the heart.

As the great master Sri Aurobindo said, “The function of a mantra is to create vibrations in the inner consciousness that will prepare it for the realization of what the mantra symbolizes and is supposed indeed to carry within itself.”

A mantra is a combination of sacred syllables that form a nucleus of spiritual energy. This serves as a magnet to attract spiritual vibrations or a lens to focus. Thus, we are awakening within and outside ourselves those divine energies that mantras entail, leading us to more depth, more love, and more worship of the Divine.

As Rumi said, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

Mantras are born of silence and lead us to silence. And silence is the language that the Divine speaks. As the great poet Kabir said:

Be quiet in your mind,

quiet in your senses,

and also quiet in your body

Then, when all these are quiet, don’t do anything

In that state, Truth will reveal itself to you.

Somehow it is difficult to put into words the beauty, power, and depth of devotional chanting. Only the ones who experience it can know. So we would like to launch this invitation, paraphrasing Rumi:

Come to our side

We will open the gate to your Love.

And our minds will melt in silence, our hearts will melt in love, and the true nature of our being will emerge like the rosy dawn.

By Antoaneta Gotea, a Hridaya Yoga teacher serving at our center in Longeval, France.

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