The Bhagavad Gita explains that bhakti can be classified into two types:
- Apara bhakti
- The lower bhakti, where the yogi may focus on an object or image as a
focal point for their worship. They may also observe rituals and
ceremonies with a focus on God as supreme.
- Para bhakti
- The higher bhakti, where the yogi sees and worships God everywhere
and experiences the Divine as manifested in the whole universe. They are
able to express their love and devotion through every action and
encounter in their lives.
Para bhakti is considered the
more advanced practice as it is more subtle and abstract to comprehend.
As such, many yogis may begin with apara bhakti and then gradually
progress to para bhakti. There may be a transitional period of several
years where apara and para bhakti are both practiced, before the yogi
moves fully into para bhakti.