not only analyzes the degrees and forms of bhakti, but also describes the ways and means
to it. They first describe the external means (Bahiranga Sadhana) and then the internal
means (Antaranga Sadhana). To the former class belong offerings, vows, prostrations, the
reading of sacred books, and the chanting of hymns, the repeating of the Holy Name and the
seeking of the grace of a Guru.
In the later
Bhakti schools of Ramananda, Tulasidas, Vallabha, Nanak and Caitanya, the last two means,
namely, repeating the Holy Name and seeking the grace of the Guru are considered of very
great importance. The name of the Lord is said to be as important as His form. The mystic
utterance is the mediator between. God and man. It is a revelation in speech of the,
Ineffable and the Uncreated.
Therefore meditation on the Name is calculated to fill the soul
with devotion in the same way as the worship of an image fills the worshipper's heart.
Similarly, the Guru also acts as a mediator. He guides us to the Lord by the path he has
himself trodden. Books can only make us know about God. But a true Guru can make us know
Him indeed through his own direct experience. So the kind ness of a Guru is essential at
the outset. It is the most potent of the external means.