The temple I lived in Neem Karoli Babas ashram in Vrindavan, who was the famous Guru to Ram Dass an American born spiritual teacher of the 70’s who was a revolutionary leader of his time, bringing spiritual teachings of his Guru to the west.
Every morning I would wake up very early and literally spring out of bed to run down for the temples morning Aarati, the auspicious morning waving of candles and incense for the Gods and Guru.
I used to try and sing along with these morning chants as other sadhu’s and devotees had come along for this morning ritual and would bang these heavy instruments and bells as they sang along to these sacred chants.
As the months went by I started to sit with many Yogi’s, Great Acharaya’s, Guru’s, Sadhu’s,temple staff, Bhakti practitioners, and all kinds of interesting people.
No matter who they were they all had something in common and that was singing or reciting sacred chants and practicing Bhakti.
Everywhere I went you could here the sounds of people chanting all hours of day and night!!
I later found all these various kinds of practitioners in India who would tell me that Bhakti was the foundation the very origin of all Yoga practices.
I had already been practicing and teaching Yoga when I arrived in India, but had never really met a Yoga teacher who could explain to me the importance and place of Bhakti in the life of a Yogi.
As I came to delve deeper into this subject, I found that the way of Bhakti could be compared to the roots of a tree the tree of Yoga. All the branches on the tree were the various Yoga practices that the foundational roots were Bhakti.
Bhakti is connecting to ones original nature…
Bhakti underlines the deepest values of an individual and harnesses sacred inner awareness.
Join Vrajdevi at the British Yoga Festival for her workshop Bhakti – The Origin Of Yoga where she will use story telling and ancient healing Sanskrit chants along with Vrajwasa love poems to uplift and inspire. You will learn about the origin of all the Yoga practices and why Bhakti Yoga is such a powerful tool for transformation and how to integrate it into our daily lives.
In the journey of Bhakti we reconnect with the divine essence within ourselves, and ultimately through singing these sacred chants we can rediscover the eternal source of love. Buy tickets.
Vrajdevi currently resides in London, UK, and continually teaches in various countries in the world. Every year she holds Bhakti retreats in the lands of Vrindavan, northern India. An international Yoga and Bhakti teacher, she is one of the few westerners to be intiated into Pushti Marg “The Path of grace” and has devoted her life to this ancient Bhakti tradition.
Vrajdevi is a Kirtan singer and has recently brought out her new Kirtan devotional music album called “Loving Grace”. www.vrajdevi.com
She has toured USA and Europe promoting and sharing this album and her stories from living in India.
“Vraj Devi, is as her names implies, a loving devotional soul. She is a beautiful devotional singer and an inspired fiery ignited being; know the blessings to have her association. She is well versed in the Vedic traditions of The Path of Grace and she revels in its teachings of devotion”. Shyamdasji Vaishnav Scholar & International Kirtan singer.
“We have spent many beautiful and inspired moments in India with the wonderful Vrajdevi and have always been enchanted by her joyful and loving energy. She definitely carries a heartfelt spiritual mood wherever she goes and we have no doubt that her love and devotion will inspire many – in fact all who are fortunate enough to come in touch with her and her music”. Deva Premal & Miten International spiritual musicians.
About the editor
Passionate about wellness, yoga, meditation, and raw food – Cheryl Slater heads up the social media team for Yoga Magazine and her business Soul Seed Media specialises in providing social media and PR support to holistic businesses.