I have been journeying with Bhakti Yoga since I was a teenager, coming first to Kirtan through my love for psychedelic trance music which often has mantras in it. I regularly attended kirtans with GOMA since I was 18, and this seeded my connection to Babaji.
I see Babaji as a representation of Shiva, that light of consciousness that resides within all things, the sunlight behind the clouds, the still point that the waves of life ripple out from. Babaji is central to my connection with Bhakti Yoga, for me it is a love relationship, cultivating a taste of love and compassion in all my relationships: with family, friends, strangers and nature, everything in creation. This includes nurturing the love I have for myself, accepting who I am as I am which is not always easy.
Babaji sadhana (Japa, Puja, Araati and Kirtan) is an anchor. I sit in bhakti practice almost every day and find a strength and comfort from this which balances my mood and gives me courage through the exploration of life. Being able to come together with others from the Babaji community helps inspire freshness to this daily offering.
I also have the blessing of being regularly invited to share Kirtan with others. Every time I am moved by how the song brings people together in unity and how something so simple can create such transformation. Mostly I share Kirtan in yoga centres and places where often the idea of a Guru is foreign. I rarely talk about Babaji in the Kirtan, but let the practice speak for itself, and I share his teachings of Truth, Simplicity and Love in a universal way. I always have a picture of Babaji with me and if people ask I talk about him directly.
Here in the UK, the general bhakti community continues to grow, mainly through Kirtan: people of different backgrounds, lineages, gurus and paths come together to share in the practice we all know to be something truly incredible, and in a message that is at the core of all – to love and serve humanity. I believe this unity is beautiful and pray that it continues, acting locally for unity globally.