Bhakti Yoga: Love and Faith in Leadership
This chapter presents the pursuit of divine love and devotion (bhakti yoga), one of three main yogas taught in the Bhagavad Gı̄tā. In Hinduism, the bhakti yoga is a spiritual path of loving devotion to a personal God. The Gı̄tā postulates two main paths to spiritual freedom: karma yoga: the pursuit of enlightened action; and jñāna yoga, the pursuit of Self-knowledge (BG 3.3). Bhakti yoga is considered a concomitant to both karma yoga and jñāna yoga, for without loving devotion to the ideal of action or knowledge, it is not possible to succeed in either the pursuit of action or Self-knowledge. Through equanimity, service, detachment, and surrender, the Gı̄tā teaches the art of spirituality while being deeply engaged in worldly conduct.
One of the most important applications of bhakti yoga is by way of treating everything as sacred, invested with intrinsic goodness and meaning. Bhakti yoga bestows the perspective that everyone and everything has a purpose. Essentially, it means a feeling of oneness (at-one-ment) with the whole existence (sarvātmabhāva) and seeing God in everything and everything in God. This understanding lends a certain sanctity to all of our activities and helps foster an environment of empathy, kinship, and solidarity. This reclaiming of the sacred dimension of life is sorely needed in the present-day world plagued by distrust, disengagement, and disharmony. The chapter will conclude with leadership lessons based on the path of loving devotion.