Hinduism suggests many paths to liberation. As the Bhagavadgita declares, the paths to God are many all paths eventually lead to the Supreme Self only. However some paths are difficult to pursue. Some paths lead to other divinities and lesser gods. Some paths may even lead to one’s downfall. However, the consensus opinion is all paths leads to devotion and devotion culminates in liberation. This is so because liberation implies oneness and union and none can reach or become one with Brahman unless one is completely in harmony and agreement with Him. True union arises only when the individuality and all notions of separation and duality disappears from the consciousness. Therefore any union with God, whatever may be the means, is possible only with surrender, faith, harmony, peace, unconditional love, acceptance and devotion.
The Mahabhagavatam describes nine forms of bhakti or devotional services which are listed below.
Shravanam: Listening the stories and glories of God.
Kirtanam: Singing or Reciting the names and glories of God.
Smaranam: Recalling God and His exploits.
Padasevanam: Waiting on Him.
Archanam: Ritual Worship of God’s forms or images.
Vandanam: Prostration to God.
Dasyam: Service to His personality or incarnation.
Sakhyam: Befriending Him.
Atmanivedanam: Dedicating oneself to him, heart and soul
Bhakti, according to the Gita, is the love for God and love reinforced by a true knowledge of the glory of God. It surpasses the love for all things worldly. This love is constant and is centered in God and God alone, and cannot be shaken under any circumstances whether in prosperity or in adversity.