Three Tools of Bhakti Yoga

From May I Answer That, Swami Sivananda Saraswati

I quite realize that contentment gives peace. But I have a doubt. If I become contented, all my ambitions will die. I will become lethargic and lazy. On account of my various ambitions, I move about hither and thither, I exert and I am energetic. Kindly remove this doubt of mine. I am quite bewildered.

Contentment can never make you idle. It is a sattwic virtue that propels man towards God. It gives strength of mind and peace. It checks unnecessary and selfish exertions. It opens the inner eye of man and moves his mind towards divine contemplation. It turns his energy in the inner, sattwic channels. It transmutes the gross energy like greed, that is forcing man towards selfish exertions, into spiritual energy, ojas.

That man who is contented is full of sattwa. He is more energetic now. He is inward. He has an inner life in the atman. He is always peaceful. He turns out more work calmly and with a one-pointed mind. All the dissipated rays of the mind are collected. Do you understand the point now?

It is on the strength of contentment that the sadhus and sannyasins, the fakirs and bhikshus move about in the world in a carefree manner by living on bhiksha.

It is contentment that gives strength to an aspirant to walk on the path of self-realization and emboldens him to march fearlessly on the rugged and thorny path of spirituality.

How can a person, who has been thinking in a negative way for a long time, change to positive thinking?

Let him start with some positive suggestive formulas: “I am hale and hearty. I am healthy. There is nothing wrong with me. I was under a misconception of my own abilities and capacities. Now I have realized my real nature.”

Let him do it with the help of some person advanced in yoga or a devotee of the Lord.

Let him start with a prayer to the Lord.

Let him make prayer a part of his daily life and ‘a must’ in life.

All negative thinking will end and he will become quite normal.

What is the purpose of singing kirtan constantly?

Singing kirtan incessantly will produce divine vibrations within and these vibrations are so powerful as to counteract all external forces distracting the human mind. They arrest the wanderings of the mind and bring peace and happiness to the individual.

There is a mysterious power in the Divine Name that singing it purifies the heart and mind and makes the kirtanist God-conscious.