important aspect of the Hindu faith is known as bhakti. In Hinduism, bhakti refers
to an individual’s personal love for and devotion to a god. The word bhakti
itself is Sanskrit and is literally defined as “love, devotion, fondness,
attachment, worship, homage”, among other words with similar connotations.
However, it is said that there is truly no direct translation of what bhakti
genuinely means and that no English word can adequately encompass what it
represents. Also, there can be some
minor differences when it comes to nuanced meanings of bhakti and how one
applies it in life.
Bhakti - The Most Valuable Asset
scriptures, the word bhakti simply refers to a type of participation or
dedication to an endeavor or undertaking. This type of definition for bhakti
can be seen in the Shvetashvatara
Upanishad. However, in the Bhagavad
Gita, bhakti refers to a spiritual path and a possible way for one to
achieve moksha. When describing bhakti as a spiritual path, it is more
specifically referred to as bhakti marga or bhakti-yoga. When particularly used
in the context of faith and religion, bhakti more closely means a type of
devotion to a god or a spiritual principle or idea that one lives according to.
It calls for a relationship between a god and a devotee.
Blissful Experience Bhakti: Quintessence of Indian Philosophy
context, when taken from Vedic Sanskrit, the definition of bhakti involves a
more mutual devotion and attachment. An example of this type of bhakti can be
seen in human relationships, whether it be between lovers, friends, a parent
and a child, a teacher and a student, or any other mutual, two-way
compare and contrast the meaning of bhakti with that of kama. The term kama
refers to an emotional connection, which could also be a sensual type of
devotion. Bhakti, on the other hand, is different in that it refers to a
devotion that is spiritual, and also involves both emotion and intellect.
Medieval Bhakti Movements in India (Sri Caitanya (Chaitanya) Quincentenary Commemoration Volume)
meaning of bhakti refers to a movement that came during the second half of the
first millennium BCE. According to many scholars, the bhakti movement
particularly focused on the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, and Devi, among
other deities. While some scholars claim that the development of the bhakti
movement came about due to the arrival of Islam in India, there are others who
are opposed to this. What is not disputed is that the bhakti movement was
spearheaded by the Saiva Navanars, who are devotees of Shiva, and the Vaishnava
Alvars, who are devotees of Vishnu. In particular, the Alvars or “those
immersed in God” were poet-saints who went from one temple to the next and sang
praises to Vishnu.
Bhakti (Pathway to God)
movement spread throughout east and north India. Because of its widespread
popularity, both religious and secular aspects of Hindu culture were greatly
influenced by bhakti ideas and poetry. It, in fact, became a vital aspect of
Indian society at large. The movement has been seen by many as a social
reformation of Hinduism. It meant that individuals could focus on their own
personal path to spirituality that was not based on one’s gender or caste.
Instead, individuals can express devotion to a god through their own attitudes
Bhakti and the Bhakti Movement: A New Perspective
Hinduism, there are five varying bhavas or attitudes that Hindus can adopt as a
testament to their devotion to god. The first bhava is called Santa, which refers to a placid love for
god. The second is dasya, in which a
devotee observes the manner of a servant. Next is sakhya, which refers to a devotee adopting the attitude of a
friend. The fourth is called vatsalya,
in which the attitude is based on a relationship that is akin to a parent and a
child. The fifth and last bhava is madhurya,
which is comparable to the relationship of a woman and her lover.
Pure Bhakti - The Path to God's Grace (An Old and Rare Book)
the different bhavas, the bhakti movement also involved different rites and
rituals which were practiced as a testament to one’s religious devotion. Some
of these practices included the singing of hymns, reciting the names of the
gods and goddesses, going on pilgrimages to different sacred places that are
dedicated to particular deities, and offering sacrifices, among others.
of the precise definition of bhakti and the manner in which one lives it out, there
is no question that bhakti brings deeper and fuller meaning to one’s life.
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