A devotee’s devotional development and attainment of perfection has to go through the NINE PROCESS OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE (BHAKTI YOGA).
Attaining the Purity in devotion requires consistent Practices and it can not be compared to the devotion with some expectation as followed by many now a days.
Intense and Pure Devotion to Krishna does not miraculously come just overnight. It starts from a spark and then grows and intensifies like big fire through these nine process of devotional service (Bhakti Yoga).
(CLICK HERE to read the QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA)
These nine process of devotional service (Bhakti Yoga) are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:
NINE PROCESS OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE (BHAKTI YOGA)
(1) HEARING (SRAVANAM):
This is the stage of developing a desire to listen to the glories and lilas of God and His creation.
EXAMPLE: Maharaja Pariksit (He constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam in the last seven days of his life).
(NINE STAGES OF BHAKTI YOGA (ADVANCEMENT IN DEVOTION) EXPLAINED HERE!)
(2) CHANTING (KIRTANAM):
Discussing and singing about the Lord in with love.
EXAMPLE: Sukadeva Goswami (who preached Srimad Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)
(3) REMEMBERING ( VISNU SMARANAM):
Always remembering the Lord, His beauty, majesty and compassion.
EXAMPLE: Prahlada Maharaja (He remembered Krishna in spite of the threats from his father Hiranyakashipu)
(FOUR QUALITIES ESSENTIAL FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH! READ HERE!)
(4) SERVING THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET (PADA SEVANAM):
Always concentrating on or honoring Lord Krishna’s feet or Paadukaa (sanctified sandals).
EXAMPLE: Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
(5) DEITY-WORSHIP (ARCANAM):
Regularly worshiping the Lord with rituals and manthras that enhances the level of devotion.
EXAMPLE: Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.
(FIVE PRIMARY DUTIES OF A DEVOTEE RECOMMENDED BY SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU! READ HERE!)
(6) PRAYING (VANDANAM):
Vandanam means seeing Krishna in every creations and living beings. Thus the devotee worships Krishna by seeing Him everywhere.
EXAMPLE: Akura offered prayers to Krishna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.
(7) EXECUTING ORDERS (DASYAM):
The devotee considers himself as the servant of Krishna and he is always ready to execute the orders of Lord.
EXAMPLE: Hanuman, who readily executed Lord Ramacandra’s orders with no excuse and remained as a nice servant of Lord Rama.
(SIX FAVOURABLE AND UNFAVOURABLE PRINCIPLES FOR DEVOTIONAL SERVICE! READ HERE!)
(8) SERVING AS A FRIEND (AAKHYAM):
The devotee considers himself as the faithful friend of Lord.
EXAMPLE: Arjuna who was the close friend of Krishna got the opportunity of having even Krishna as His chariot driver.
(9) COMPLETE SURRENDER (ATMA NIVEDANAM):
Surrendering completely to the Lord and leaving everything to the will of the Lord. He has no ego. He gains all the required knowledge about his real position and his relationship withn the Lord. He is now fully situated in Lord alone..
EXAMPLE: Bali Maharaja gave Lord Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions and also his own body in spite of the objections of his spiritual master.
(PURITTY or LOVE – WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR DEVOTIONAL GROWTH? READ HERE!)