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Book of Vladimir Antonov "Forest Lectures on the Highest Yoga"

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Bhakti Yoga

The principle of bhakti — devotion-love for God — was first proclaimed by Krishna through the Bhagavad Gita.

In particular, Krishna said:

11:54. … Only love can contemplate Me in My innermost Essence and merge with Me!

9:27. Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice or offer, whichever feat you perform… — do it for the sake of Me!

12:14. … Seeking unity with Me, resolutely cognizing the Atman, having devoted the mind and consciousness to Me — such a loving Me disciple is dear to Me!

12:20. … All for whom I am the Supreme Goal… are dear to Me above all!

It is clear to everyone who has advanced already on the Path of spiritual development that without love for the Creator it is not possible to achieve the Highest Goal of human life: that is direct cognition of God in the Aspect of the Creator and mergence with Him.

It is the emotions of love that help consciousnesses to become closer to each other and to unite with each other — consciousnesses of ordinary people and Those Perfect Consciousnesses that dwell in the Abode of the Creator.

So the task of every spiritual seeker is to develop love-aspiration for the Creator that can attract him or her to the Embrace of the main Beloved and can help to abandon all worldly attachments, all vices — so that there remain only the Creator and devotional service to Him.

In this way one can achieve disappearance of oneself — in Him. And then such a Perfect Soul acts from within Him, helping others who have not achieved the Highest Goal yet.

All who achieved the fullness of the Perfection were bhaktas of the Creator! There is no other way to cognize Him and to merge with Him!

Yet, how can one learn such love?

… In order to answer this question, one has to find out how the emotions of love are formed in us.

If someone asserts that these emotions are produced by the brain, it means that this person does not understand anything of love!

The point is that our emotions are a product not of the brain but of special bioenergetical organs: the chakras, first of all.

For example, the emotions of admiration caused by beauty, by harmony of particular situations (for instance: my dream came true!) are born in the neck chakra vishuddha .

The despising emotions of anxiety, irritation, malice, anticipation of unpleasant situations (for example, as in case of students before exams) are a product of the malfunctioning chakra manipura, located in the region of the solar plexus.

Sexual emotions originate in the chakra svadhisthana — in the lower part of the belly.

The emotions of self-confidence are produced when the lowest chakra muladhara is full of energy.

The emotions of love are produced in the spiritual heart, which begins its growth in the chakra anahata. When this chakra is developed, it occupies the entire volume of the chest.

God in the aspects of the Creator (or the Primordial Consciousness), of the Holy Spirit (or Brahman), of Messiah (or Avatar) — are the SUBTLEST components of the Absolute. And in order to cognize Him, to perceive Him with the same clarity as we perceive bodies of incarnate people — we have to refine ourselves, to make the consciousness subtle.

This is why God suggests that we rid ourselves even of the ability to enter coarse emotional states and cultivate in ourselves the most subtle emotions!

Emotions are states of the consciousness. And in order to become closer to the Divine states, we have to accustom ourselves to these states.

In particular, one has to keep in mind that after the death of the material body, we continue to live in the state of the consciousness which was the most habitual for us during the life in the body.

For example, people who accustomed themselves to emotional coarseness continue to live in this state among other souls similar to them.

People who are used to living in subtle, tender, harmonious states will become inhabitants of paradise.

And those who accustomed themselves to the Divine subtlety and learned to merge with God in the aspects of the Holy Spirit or the Creator — remain in Mergence with Them.

There are several ways of mastering the subtlety of consciousness.

Among them there is a quite common, natural way — sexual love (however, it must not be sex with just anybody but only with the representatives of the corresponding guna, that is with people of the same level of spiritual advancement; the “mixture of gunas” is not approved by God).

Another way is to develop in oneself tender love-care for children.

Let us note that Jesus Christ paid much attention to this. For example, in the New Testament there are the following commandments:

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another!” (John 13:34).

“And above all things have fervent love for each other…” (1 Peter 4:8).

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God, for God is Love” (1 John 4:7-8).

“We have to love one another… If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His perfect Love is in us” (1 John 4:11-12).

“God is Love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God — in them.” (1 John 4:16).

“Owe no one anything, except… love” (Rom 13:8).

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you…” (Matt 5:44).

“… If you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matt 5:46).

“They who claim to be in the light but hate their brothers or sisters are in the darkness!” (1 John 2:9).

“Let your love be without hypocrisy! Shrink from evil, cleave to good!

“Be brotherly loving one another!…” (Rom 12:9-10).

Jesus also demonstrated to the disciples His tender attitude towards Mary Magdalene, showing by this that such emotions and ways of behaving are welcomed by God.

Let me emphasize that in the sexual aspect of human relationships, it is the emotions of tenderness, caress, care for the partner that are valuable.

One can receive much help in this work from communion with the tender beauty of living nature, especially in the early morning or in the evening, at sunset.

We have to learn to sincerely love all the best in the Creation, and then the entire Creation as a whole! Only then can we gain the ability to fall in love with the Creator!

Now it must be clear to everyone that there can be no developed love in the person who satisfies his or her gluttony with meals made of bodies of killed animals!

Very helpful can be also works of art — appropriate films, photographs, painting, music, choreography.

There are also methods developed in religious movements that contribute to the development of the emotions of love directed towards God.

For example, in Catholicism there are schemes of expressing gratitude to Jesus for the feat of His earthy life, compassionating Him with regard to His painful death on the cross.

There are also good Orthodox chorales.

There are meditations contributing to the development of exalted love for God practiced in some Protestant Churches.

There are also bhajans: short meditative formulas repeated many times in the form of chanting. Their purpose is to imprint in the consciousnesses of the participants the state of reverence, gratitude for God and to rid oneself of vices, to develop positive qualities in oneself.

Among bhajans one can mention mahamantra invented by Divine Chaitanya; it praises the Creator of the Teachings of Bhakti Yoga — Krishna. Mahamantra sounds as follows:

Hare Krishna, hare Krishna,

Krishna, Krishna — hare, hare!

Hare Rama, hare Rama,

Rama, Rama — hare, hare!

Its meaning is the following: praise to Krishna Omnipresent! (Rama means Omnipresent).

Chaitanya told us that He personally comes to provide spiritual help to those who practice mahamantra.

One can dance when singing mahamantra or listening to its record. Chaitanya Himself always dances gracefully and gently to the sounding of mahamantra when He comes to incarnate bhaktas.

There are beautiful bhajans performed by the Avatar of our days Sathya Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Baba personally blessed us to include them in our film Sattva; you may listen to His bhajans in this film.

… But it is very important that there is a way to significantly accelerate the growth of the considered positive qualities by directly stimulating the development of the organ of emotional love in oneself — the spiritual heart — with the help of special esoteric techniques.

One of such techniques is the Jesus Prayer — an attempt to invite Jesus into the spiritual heart by repeating frequently an appeal to Him: “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!…” In this way, one can invite Jesus to enter one’s chakra anahata from behind. There are also other less effective formulas of appealing to Him. This method of spiritual work became the central one in the esoteric movement called Hesychasm.

The word hesychasm originated from the Greek word hesychia — that is inner quietness, inner calm. Hesychasm implies gaining steadfast calm of the mind, which is an essential foundation for meditative work.

Methodological developments of our School allowed us to create a full understanding of the mechanisms of opening the spiritual heart and achieving hesychia. This helps worthy spiritual seekers to master these stages of self-development in a quick and confident way, and then — to move further on this Path.

And what does one have to do then?

Then one has to grow oneself as a spiritual heart, which becomes more and more subtle, — in order to become capable of directly perceiving God in the Aspect of the Holy Spirit.

Having grown to sufficient sizes, much larger than the size of the material body, such a consciousness gains the ability to actively move in the multidimensional space with the help of the non-material arms consisting of the energy of the spiritual heart. With these arms we can embrace our Divine Teachers — like we can embrace our most beloved incarnate people.

Divine Teachers become as easily perceived for us as incarnate people…

And then They will bring their favorite disciples — into their Abode, into the Abode of the Creator. How it happens — we described in our other conversations and books.

(See demonstration of meditations in the film).


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