yamadibhir yoga-pathair
abhyasan sraddhayanvitah
mayi bhavena satyena
mat-katha-sravanena ca
yama-adibhih—beginning with yama; yoga-pathaih—by the yoga system; abhyasan—practicing; sraddhaya anvitah—with great faith; mayi—unto Me; bhavena—with devotion; satyena—unalloyed; mat-katha—stories about Me; sravanena—by hearing; ca—and.
One has to become faithful by practicing the controlling process of the yoga system and must elevate himself to the platform of unalloyed devotional service by chanting and hearing about Me.
Yoga is practiced in eight different stages: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Yama and niyama mean practicing the controlling process by following strict regulations, and asana refers to the sitting postures. These help raise one to the standard of faithfulness in devotional service. The practice of yoga by physical exercise is not the ultimate goal; the real end is to concentrate and to control the mind and train oneself to be situated in faithful devotional service.
Bhavena, or bhava, is a very important factor in the practice of yoga or in any spiritual process. Bhava is explained in Bhagavad-gita (10.8). Budha bhava-samanvitah: one should be absorbed in the thought of love of Krsna. When one knows that Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the source of everything and that everything emanates from Him (aham sarvasya prabhavah), then one understands the Vedanta aphorism janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1] (“the original source of everything”), and then he can become absorbed in bhava, or the preliminary stage of love of Godhead.
Rupa Gosvami explains very nicely in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu how this bhava, or preliminary stage of love of God, is achieved. He states that one first of all has to become faithful (sraddhayanvitah). Faith is attained by controlling the senses, either by yoga practice, following the rules and regulations and practicing the sitting postures, or by engaging directly in bhakti-yoga, as recommended in the previous verse. Of the nine different items of bhakti-yoga, the first and foremost is to chant and hear about the Lord. That is also mentioned here. Mat-katha-sravanena ca. One may come to the standard of faithfulness by following the rules and regulations of the yoga system, and the same goal can be achieved simply by chanting and hearing about the transcendental activities of the Lord. The word ca is significant. Bhakti-yoga is direct, and the other process is indirect. But even if the indirect process is taken, there is no success unless one comes fully to the direct process of hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. Therefore the word satyena is used here. In this connection Svami Sridhara comments that satyena means niskapatena, “without duplicity.” The impersonalists are full of duplicity. Sometimes they pretend to execute devotional service, but their ultimate idea is to become one with the Supreme. This is duplicity, kapata. The Bhagavatam does not allow this duplicity. In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is clearly stated, paramo nirmatsaranam: “This treatise Srimad-Bhagavatam is meant for those who are completely free from envy.” The same point is again stressed here. Unless one is completely faithful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engages himself in the process of hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, there is no possibility for liberation.

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