What according to you is the meaning of Bhakti? Your answer would be that Bhakti is to love God. How do you show your love for God? In the same manner as you love your mother? In the same way you love your brother or is it just as you love your spouse?
No, it is not the love which you have for your relatives. Bhakti has three relationships. The first is that of a father. The second is that of a son, that of affection, and the third is that of the love between a man and woman, as in the case of Radha and Krishna.
Bhakti is not just a philosophy. Nor is it a religion. Bhakti can transform the very roots of man. Bhakti transforms his thinking pattern. Bhakti brings about a change in his basic tendencies. Bhakti is the inner relationship that you have with God. You should find out your own relationship with Him. What does He mean to you? In which form of His do you believe?
Your thoughts and actions towards God become fruitful only when you establish a relationship with Him. You will have to find out for yourself what your relation is with God, because this is entirely your own personal affair. My relationship with God cannot be the same as yours, because my association with Him is purely personal, and yours too should be purely personal.
So, in the life of a Bhakta, it is important to know what God means to him or her and what he or her means to Him. How are you related to one another?
It takes time to discover your relationship with God. It is not necessary to discover it in one attempt. You will have to ponder deeply on it, and once you have ascertained this relationship, you may consider that your journey is almost over. Now you become very near and dear to Him.
In the Srimad Bhagavata it is said, ‘Just as every morsel of food carries with it satisfaction, fulfillment and freedom from hunger, and these three qualities merge into one another, in the same way, singing praises of God in complete surrender to Him brings about three things, the awareness of love, the awareness of the form of God and Vairagya’.