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Sivani Mata Francis
Category: Yoga


There are many ways to find one’s true nature, and for me the path of Bhakti Yoga is what accesses that truth most easily. Bhakti Yoga is finding union (of our mind with body, spirit, other people, divinity) through devotion – approaching life from a space of love and compassion, reacting from the heart rather than the head. I find that the main ways one can tune in to this space is through feeling gratitude; through Kirtan – singing Sanskrit mantra (ancient sound formulas) from this heart space; and through Seva, selfless service.

Seva is Bhakti in action. A physical manifestation of Love. It could be offering a pregnant woman a seat on the tube or bringing a friend soup when they are sick, it could be rebuilding homes for people who have lost theirs in a natural disaster, saving someones life, or any other gesture big or small. It is unconditional kindness, ‘love with its work boots on’. 

In many traditions, this action of service to others is equal to service to the Divine. When the great saint, Neem Karoli Baba was asked by a student how they could know God, he responded simply with the answer “Serve People”. When we rise above our own needs to help others we transcend the ego and realise greater truth.

In the UK at the moment, I am grateful and excited for the many beautiful gatherings that are manifesting centered around this Bhakti path. People coming together to share in Kirtan for an evening, a day or a weekend. One thing that makes it happen is through seva – the community all join hands to co-create and serve in the general running of the gathering, mirroring ashram life, where all who stay are involved in doing something helpful towards daily life together. This attitude of togetherness is inspiration for a natural way of living in tune with each other. May we come together in unity in all parts of our lives. 

This message of harmonious living is expressed most beautifully by the divine saint, Sri Haidakhandi Babaji:

“Love and serve all humanity.

Help everyone.

Be happy. Be courteous.

Be a dynamo of irrepressible joy.

Recognise God and goodness in every face.”



Haripyari (Naomi Francis)

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