What is Bhakti Yoga?
Although often called the yoga of devotion, it is more the yoga of managing emotions. Emotions are raw energy, energy in motion. Strong feeling possesses a person, overthrowing their moral sense. Logic and knowledge are of no avail in the face of raw emotion or energy. This same raw emotion directed to discovery of the self manifests itself as Bhakti.

Bhakti Yoga is a system for re-directing emotion which is flowing outward. There are nine limbs or aspects. The first three requirements are the essential foundation for further progress. The first requirement is to identify with Truth, or reality. The second is to develop an optimistic nature, by connecting with Hope. The third is about overcoming our ego. Removing our masks, examining ourselves and observing how we project a different front for each circumstance. We have to be natural, spontaneous.

When we drop the masks, our true nature can emerge and we connect with hope and optimism – like tuning in to a radio station.
Bhakti Yoga is not about adopting a sentimental attitude to God. Devotion is directed emotion.
This is where reading the scriptures, contemplating the lives of saints, and other devotional practices can help us. Once connected with hope, our natural state manifests. Repeating mantras, chanting kirtan, or visualizing a divine form help us to channel our emotions away from identification with the negative towards identification with the positive.
It takes effort to come in to the Light.

What is Karma?
Life is nothing but karma. The entire creation is the result of karma. People think we are here because of life, but really life is only the expression of our karma. Karma is universal, in the microcosm as well as in the macrocosm. Karma is circular. Consider the karma of a seed. It is to become a seed again, after going through changes. Seed to seed again.

As human beings, we are subject to the law of karma. Organs, senses, mind have their own karma. Without karma, there is no existence. Karma affects everything we think and do. We don’t recognize this as the nature of karma.
We are hypnotized, unable to extract our self from the influence of karma.

What is Karma Yoga?
With yoga it can be different. You can become aware of karmas and influence them. Karma means unconscious involvement: Karma Yoga means conscious participation. Normally we feel we are the doers, but the karma yogi knows someone else is doing it.

How do we practise karma yoga?
We do our job and expect a financial return. Karma yoga is about modifying this attitude. We can be free of effects if we stop identifying with personal expectations, and focus instead on helping others. The effect of karma yoga is an improved quality of mind: we become much happier, much less stressed.

Suggested Daily Practice
Know the difference between your head and your heart. Make yoga part of your daily routine and your natural expression. To make this happen, cultivate awareness. At the same time, try to connect with wisdom in your life by learning to exercise discrimination and detachment.
Seek to harmonise your head, your heart and your hands. This should now become our aim in yoga. Go back with this message, with inspiration and hope, and try to incorporate yoga in your life as much as possible.

Every night light a candle and turn off the light. Chant OM three times and recite Shanti Path. It encapsulate the aspiration of the yogi:

Lead me from the unreal to the real
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from mortality to immortality

May there be fulfilment everywhere
May there be peace everywhere
May there be wholeness everywhere
Let our environment be filled with auspiciousness
Let the entire world experience happiness

With the first few lines, feel your self changing, transforming, unfolding from within. With the next lines, extend the feeling from yourself out to the world. Reflect that as the burning candle spreads light in the darkness, so too will your convictions and aspirations light up the world around you.

If you have a question that needs answering, sit in meditation and pose the question. Then forget about it. The answer will come to you, perhaps by the end of the meditation or the next day.
Don’t analyse the answer using your intellect, but use your discrimination. We know many things, but we don’t let our self apply the knowledge. Applied knowledge is wisdom. Move from knowledge into wisdom.