Bhakti means “devotional service ” Yoga means “to connect onself with God.” So Bhakti-yoga means to practice connecting with God, and re-establishing our relationship with Him, through acts of love and service, or devotional service.
Bhakti connotes devotion, or love, and love implies service. Service refers to that activity which is intended to please the beloved. Thus “devotional service” is an eloquent definition of Bhakti.
Love is the most fundamental drive of every living entity. We cannot be happy without satisfying this desire to love, and we will not be able to perfectly fulfill this desire without permitting its expansion to the most inclusive extent. Love can become all-embracing only when we understand that Krishna (God) is the supreme beloved, the root of all creation. By embracing Him we successfully embrace everyone, just as pouring water on the root of a tree successfully nourishes every leaf and branch.
The Nectar of Devotion teaches us the science of loving everyone of the living entities perfectly by the easy method of loving Krishna.
Yoga includes different practices depending on one’s level of spiritual advancement, and can be compared to a ladder for attaining the topmost spiritual realisation. The complete ladder is called yoga and may be divided into 3 main parts: Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti.
1. Karma-yoga – When a person knows the goal of life is Krishna (God), but is attached to working to get material comforts, then he is acting in karma-yoga.
2. Jnana-yoga – When he knows the goal is Krishna, but takes pleasure in mental speculation, he is acting in jnana-yoga.
3. Bhakti-yoga – When he knows the goal is Krishna and is not attached to any material thing, either gross or subtle, but simply desires to work for the pleasure of Krishna, then he is acting in bhakti-yoga. This is the highest perfection of the yoga system.
To make yoga practice really successful it requires self restraint (see Principles). The yoga process that the devotees of Krishna practice and endeavour to perfect is in the line of bhakti-yoga.