This article, "Essentials of Bhakti Yoga," was published in The Hindu, February 15, 1972, in Chennai, India.
MADRAS, Feb. 15.
Absolute detachment is alien to human nature and, as such, any advice to man against any kind of attachment is not practicable. So, he is only asked to divert gradually the craving he has developed for material objects towards Sri Krishna, the love for Whom is lying dormant in him. Bhakti Yoga essentially means becoming saturated with devotion for the Lord, so that one cannot live even a single moment without thinking of Him. Hence it is mainly a question of one's mental attitude rather than of scholarship. If a person incessantly utters the name of Sri Krishna, which is, in fact, not different from Him, his mind becomes closely associated with Him.
His Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in his discourse at the Rajeswari Kalyana Mandapam, Mylapore, on Sunday, said there are no rigid rules or regulations for chanting the Hare Krishna mantra; nor does it require formal education. While uttering the name of Sri Krishna, one should focus the mind on the bewitching form of the Lord, His auspicious attributes, His delightful sport and His role as the Gitacharya. Lord Chaitanya, during his visit to a temple in South India found a man scanning the pages of the Bhagavad Gita without seeming to read the verses. On enquiry, the saint found that the person was illiterate and yet he was turning the pages of the Gita, at the instance of his master, because, as he did so he had a vision of Sri Krishna expounding spiritual knowledge to Arjuna on the Kurukshetra battle-field. Thereupon Chaitanya embraced him, in all admiration for his devotion. Sincerity, faith and guidance of a spiritual master are necessary for God-realisation.