Bhakti practices are the ways and means of getting freedom from the worldly woes. Bhakti is a tool in the hands of man by the use of which he can easily attain to the highest spiritual goal of everlasting bliss. It has been assured in Bhagavad Gita that, through undistracted devotion to the Supreme Lord, even the most sinful of a person can transform himself into a sage. He becomes capable of defeating his evil tendencies, and settling himself on the righteous path. He can, thus, free himself from sin.
Bhakti leads to wisdom. Unwavering and unalloyed devotion to the Supreme Lord through exclusive dedication has been declared by Krishna as one of the means of gaining wisdom. It has also been stated (in shlokas 10.10 and 10.11) that Ishvara dwells in the conscience of those who are ever united with Him through devotion, and worship Him with love. He destroys the darkness of their ignorance by the shining lamp of wisdom. He grants to them such a buddhi (illumined intelligence) by which they attain to the Supreme Lord. In other words, instead of interfering directly with the laws of nature, God equips His true devotees with such wisdom by which they get clear direction and unambiguous goals. They become wise enough to protect themselves from uncalled for fears and unnecessary doubts ; and strong enough to resist any undue temptation. They develop an equanimous mind by which they can overcome hatred, lust, anger, jealousy ; and arrogance. Their mind is, instead, filled with knowledge, enthusiasm and bliss. They become capable of protecting themselves from the sorrows of life. Such devotees discover the whole other world of joyous living. They attain to the spiritual perfection.
Bhakti is a profound experience of fulfilment which makes the heart overflow with love and compassion ; and which negates all feelings of inadequacy. One’s weaknesses are transformed into his strengths. An unfailing faith in the benevolence of the Lord helps one in gaining enormous amount of self-confidence. Such a feeling of self-assurance is the key to his success in the material as well as spiritual fields. For the devotee, complete surrender before the Lord in itself is highest freedom.
Any work done as devotional service to Ishvara does not create any bondage. Having dedicated all his actions as an offering to the Lord and having accepted the results as His grace, one is not disappointed with the fruits of his actions. Such a devotee is blessed with both – the highest knowledge and the vibrant energy. He can, thus, lead a life of contentment.
In these times of hectic existence, bhakti is a great source of inner strength. Constant awareness of the Divine helps one in remaining calm and positive, even under challenging circumstances. Whatever be the outer life of a true devotee, inwardly he dwells in the Divine. He understands the real meaning of life ; and becomes one with the whole stream of life.
Shree Krishna has assured that His (the Supreme Lord’s) devotee never suffers. When one offers humbly his whole being to the Lord and opens his heart before Him without hiding his worries, guilts, fears, sorrows, humiliations, distresses, unfulfilled desires and other emotional pains ; the Lord accepts him with grace and creates an environment which is conducive for healing the festering wounds. He gains freedom from the simmering pains of the past and becomes capable of protecting himself from the future hurts.
God takes care of all the concerns of His sincere devotees. It has been stated in Bhagavad Gita that to those devotees who are ever united with the Supreme Lord and worship Him with exclusive devotion ; the Lord protects whatever means they already have, and helps them in getting what they do not possess. In other words, the Lord bears all the responsibilities of a true devotee, and addresses all his concerns.
At the end of His dialogue with Arjuna, Shree Krishna (in shlokas 18.65 and 18.66) has given a solemn promise that if one is devoted to Him (the Supreme Lord), fixes his mind on Him, prostrates himself before Him ; and offers his homage unto Him – he shall go to Him. It has further been assured that the one who comes for shelter to Him alone, he is released from all evil. To put it in simple words, pure and exclusive devotion to the Lord is sure to save one from all suffering. For a sincere devotee, there is no cause for grief.
To conclude, more than a practice, bhakti is an experience – the experience of oneness with the Divine and His creation. When one progresses on the path of devotion, he starts gaining spiritual wisdom. His every day life is elevated from the frivolous to the intense, and from mundane existence to the sacred reality. He is endowed with the everlasting bliss. He then becomes an instrument of joy in the merciful hands of the Lord. Whatever he does, he does it for overall good. The life of a true devotee is a celebration in itself.