Bhakti yoga is the yoga of emotional management. It transforms conditioned, limiting, restricting emotions into uplifting, expansive emotions. Bhakti yoga is the journey from tamas to sattwa, from darkness to light, chaos to harmony, inertia to creativity, dullness to luminosity.
Emotions are expressions of the ego. An unmanaged mind is constantly under the influence of the shatvikara or six inherent conditions of the ego: kama, desire; krodha, anger; lobha, greed; mada, arrogance; moha, infatuation; and matsarya, envy or jealousy. The mind is easily swayed by these tendencies, and the strength of the resulting emotions can sweep you off your feet.
The purpose of bhakti yoga is to soften the ego and bring these raw and often explosive emotions under control. Bhakti yoga lifts and lightens the mood and allows you to release the pressures that build up, preventing emotional spikes and outbursts. Through the systematic purification and sublimation of feelings and emotions, it counteracts the temptation of the agitated mind to ride the wave of passion and act on impulse.
The inherent energy in any emotion – love or hatred, grief or joy – is the same. Bhakti yoga develops the ability to channel that energy towards experiencing your inner, pure nature and expressing the beautiful aspects of yourself.
By practising bhakti yoga, you remove the tossing of the mind, fill yourself with positive emotions and then express the uplifting attributes of your nature through thoughts, behaviour and interactions. When your thoughts and actions become aligned with your purpose and nature, this harmony of head, heart and hands results in a feeling of fulfilment.
Associating with the best side of yourself, you begin to experience connection, first within yourself and then with all of creation.
From the book “Bhakti Yoga for Everyone Overview and Practice Capsules”, pg. 23-24, Sw. Niranjanananda Saraswati