The path of Bhakti has been described as the simplest among all paths of Yoga. Having said that Bhakti is not easy; the inner core of the sadhaka’s heart is that which determines the final destination of the sadhaka. Inner transformation through Bhakti depends on a lot of factors which includes Karma, mercy of Vaishnavas, immaculate use of free-will in the service of the Lord, Surrender to Guru and Parampara and a host of other factors. Thus the means to final attainment is a complex variation of many concomitant factors which are not glaringly evident.
As one understands and even intellectually grasps theory related to Bhakti and Bhajana, the practical implementation of the precepts of Vaishnavism is a different ball game. Walking the talk in the life of a Bhakta is an arduous one and there can be much gap between the cup and the lip. A jeeva who takes on the role of a sadhaka finds it a great challenge many times to develop the mood of a Vaishnava. Having the qualities of a Vaishnava is mainly developing the right mood of service. Straight-forwardness in all dealings; be it serving at work-place or participating in business or dealings at home with relatives and friends is a must. Now somebody may argue that one does business in leather and that is one’s bread and butter and retorting to unfair means is a necessity. One has to realize that when one surrenders to the Lord and Guru, this surrender is supposed to be done with the heart on an Absolute platform. Dealing in leather is simply offensive and opposed to the mood of Bhakti since it is directly linked with immensely negative Karma. However if one tries to balance on two boats by continuing to do the business as well as performing Bhakti , it should be simply understood that one is igniting a fire and showering water on the fire both at the same time. Such an approach will never work. A person who is utterly sincere should endeavour to change one’s profession however impossible it may seem to with the assistance of the Lord and Sadhguru at heart. If one’s faith in the Lord is sincere and deep; such a changeover activity can be carried out at the wink of an eye. A person who simply resorts to excuses is a person who has a hidden agenda of sense gratification and is simply trying to fool his own self.
All sorts of prohibited activities which are offensive to the mood of Bhakti should be immediately given up. Bhakti cannot be used to praise the Lord and at the same time used as a garb to attain freedom from material bondage while engaging in grossly material activities simultaneously. A sincere aspirant has to understand what is good and what is not so good from one’s spiritual master in a submissive mood and toil to eradicate those factors from his life, that do not support Bhakti. One has to be consistently in touch with the spiritual master and weed out the smallest possibilities of non-adherence to the mood of Bhakti. Many times erudite aspirants have the habit of reading Bhakti related books and concluding within one’s own consciousness what is good for one and what is not good. Even such an approach cannot be much appreciated because one has to realize that unless one is completely under the auspices of a Sadhguru and understands every aspect of Bhakti at the deepest level, wry conclusions drawn from reading scriptures with one’s incompletely bred consciousness is inadequate and grossly misleading with regards to the path leading to one’s Prayojana or the Ultimate goal. The only way that one can protect oneself from the onslaught of self-deceit is to sincerely listen to the Sadhguru and hold tightly his fingers as one is traversing the path of self-redemption leading to Goloka Vrindavana. There is simply no other means.