How does one practise Bhakti to the Supreme Brahman whose infinite glory is hailed by the scriptures as beyond description? They state that He is formless and that He is the very essence of Eternal Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. How does a simple Jivatma establish contact with such a great personality?
Sri Ramakrishna used to answer this legitimate doubt in the hearts of many of his devotees by advocating the practice of meditating on any one of the forms of the Lord, say Rama, Krishna or Siva, said Swami Gautamananda in a lecture. Is there any need for a thirsty person to know the extent of water available in a lake or a pond when a cup of water is enough to slake his thirst? Though the Lord's greatness is limitless, any form of God is enough for us to cultivate Bhakti. When a picture of the Lord or the stories of His Avatars can help one to meditate on Him, there is no need to take the trouble of trying to comprehend His infinite greatness.
The Bhagavad Gita extols the quality of Bhakti as a sure path to salvation and Lord Krishna holds the Bhakta in great esteem. What the Lord expects from the Bhakta is sincerity, faith and true devotion. The Lord accepts whatever a devotee offers — a fruit, leaf, flower or a drop of water — looking only for his love and devotion to Him.
The path of Jnana is difficult and it is easy for even the Jnani to succumb to the pulls of worldly attractions. All our sorrows are gone if we identify ourselves with the Atma rather than the body. This feeling liberates us from the limiting forces of worldly life. In Kali Yuga, doing one's duties in an unattached matter can lead to Bhakti. This attitude to one's day-to-day activities gradually leads our mind and thoughts to God. When we remember that all our actions, thoughts and words are on behalf of God and we just act as an instrument of God, there is no sense of ego with regard to the action. We also understand that the result of all our acts also is for the sake of God and not for any personal gain.
The ultimate aim of every Jivatma is to get liberated from the cycle of birth. This is attainable through devotion.