The Goddesses and Bhakti Yoga
Ganapatis work contained an extensive teaching
on the Dasha Mahavidya or ten great knowledge forms of the
Goddesses. I wrote about this subject in my book Tantric Yoga and
the Wisdom Goddesses, using Ganapati's teachings. Ganapati was also
closely connected to Uma, Renuka, Chinnamasta and many other forms
of the Goddess. His teachings took me deeper into Devi worship.
Using various Goddess mantras has been central to my yogic practice.
Most of these mantras have come from Ganapati and Natesan. Mantra
after all is the form of the Goddess.
Bhakti Yoga became progressively more important
for me. Its value can be described with a simple metaphor: knowledge
(jnana) is the flame and the mind is the wick, but bhakti is the
oil. Without bhakti spiritual knowledge burns out the mind, like a
flame does a wick without oil.
I discovered that the Vedas are primarily books on
Bhakti Yoga, quite contrary to a modern scholarly belief that Bhakti
Yoga originated from a later Islamic or Christian influence in
medieval India. The Vedas worship the Divine in all the forms of
nature including human (Gods like Indra), animal (vehicles of the
gods like the bull and the horse), plant (the sacred ashwattha tree
and Soma plant), elemental (like fire and water), and cosmic (like