Bhakti is the most unique of all spiritual practises because the practitioner doesn’t depend on his abilities to advance spiritually. He seeks to draw strength from the source of all strength, Lord Krishna.
Bhakti Yoga emphasizes on a devotee’s heartfelt dependence on the grace of Krishna. All our efforts in our spiritual practises are to attract this grace of the Lord, which alone can help a devotee sustain his spiritual life.
For example a sincere spiritual aspirant on the path of Bhakti may be struggling with the weakness, anartha, of lust. A practitioner of ashtanga yoga will concentrate on certain yogic poses and try to overcome this problem on the strength of his yogic practises. A jnanai, or a philosopher or an empiricist would study the scriptures deeply and develop renunciation of the world and its pleasures. A bhakti yogi however while practising the discipline of a regulated lifestyle and doing the needful, increases his internal dependence on Krishna. He offers prayers to the Supreme Lord and to the Lord’s devotees who have overcome this terrible foe of lust that threatens every sincere spiritualist.
Thus on the path of Bhakti, humility is natural, whereas through karma and jnana, an aspirant could be distracted by his own spiritual prowess. A devotee however knows all his strength to practise spiritual principles comes from the Lord. He thus remains humble.
One of the prominent devotee scholars in our tradition is Srila Baladeva VIdyabhushana who was challenged to write a commentary on the Vedanta Sutra. He had the serious responsibility to uphold the sanctity and credibility of his tradition. He didn’t begin writing with the passion of a man out to prove his detractors wrong. No, he was humble. He spent days and nights praying to his dear Lord Shri Govindadeva, and then by the divine inspiration wrote his commentary which was appreciated by all the spiritual leaders of the time. Baladeva Vidyabhushana gives all credit of his writing to his own spiritual master Srila Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur whose blessings empowered Baladeva Vidyabhushana to write his work.
This mood is echoed by Srila Prabhupada too. He felt helpless, tiny and insignificant as he reached the shores of America while travelling on the cargo carrier Jaladuta. He offered heartfelt prayers to Krishna and his spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur to empower him to spread the message of Krishna Consciousness. And then when he received overwhelming success, he immediately gave credit to his own disciples, and said they had been sent by his own spiritual master to help him spread the message of the Lord.
This dependence on Krishna’s mercy not only keeps a devotee humble, it also helps him come closer to Krishna. A devotee, in this mood of sincere prayer develops a soft heart, imbued with rich emotions for Krishna. These emotions give a rasa, or a mellow, or a taste to sustain devotional practises.
Bhakti Yoga thus offers a rich reward of a taste of personal, loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. One can feel the reciprocation from Krishna; one feels loved by the all loving Krishna.Google+