What is Bhakthi?


The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj-, which means "to divide, to share, to partake, to participate, to belong to".

The word also means "attachment, devotion to, fondness for, homage, faith or love, worship, piety to something as a spiritual, religious principle or means of salvation



यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ ।
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः ॥ २३ ॥ [

He who has highest Bhakti of Deva (God),
just like his Deva, so for his Guru (teacher),
to him who is high-minded,
these teachings will be illuminating.
— Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23

This verse is one of the earliest uses of the word Bhakti in ancient Indian literature, and has been translated as "the love of God".

The Bhagavad-Gita Gita is the first text to explicitly use the word "bhakti" to designate a religious path, using it as a term for one of three possible religious approaches.

Śankarācāryasva-svarūpa anusandhānam — the investigation into one’s true nature is Bhakti.

Rāmānujācāryaśemuṣi bhakti-rūpam – Bhakti is of the form of reflective knowledge (upāsanātmakam jñānam - the knowledge of meditation).

Narada speaks about Bhakthi in his book Narada Bhakti Sutra, second chapter.

Srila Vyasadeva, the son of Parsara Muni, says that bhakti is fond attachment for worshiping the Lord in various ways.

Sandilya says that bhakti results from one are removing all obstructions to taking pleasure in the Supreme Self.

In simple word which every one can understand Bhakthi is Love of God.

When a person is in love with some one, he thinks always about that Person, same way when one is Love with God, always think about God

Unconditional love and devotion for Prabhu Sri Ram is Bhathi for Hanumanji

Prahlad’s ardent devotee of Sri Vishnu and his Love for God made him fearless that he could happily face the atrocities inflicted upon him by his father due to his firm belief in God.

Both Hanumanji and Prahalad asked for the same Boon from God:
“ALWAYS I WANT TO SERVE YOU, OH LORD!”

This is the selfless devotion towards the lord. We can take Hanuman ji and Prahalad as best role model for devotion.
The culmination of Bhakti is reached in Madhurya Bhava. The lover and the Beloved become one through the intensity of love. Radha had this type of love.

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How one can one devoted to God?

Pariksit did it by hearing
Sukadeva by speaking
Prahlada by remembering
Sri Laksmi by massaging the feet of the Lord and other services


SRAVANAM KEERTHANAM VISHNOHO
SMARANAM PAADASEVANAM
ARCHANAM VANDHANAM DAASYAM
SAKHYAM ATMA NIVEDHANAM

SRAVANAM: Hear the teaching of our Rishis coming through Srutis, Smrutis.

VISHNOHO:
That power, which sustains us and leads us towards our Goal, known as Sri Vishnu, the sustainer of all living and non-living beings.


KEERTHANAM: means do Naama Japa, Naama Sankeerthanam with devotion.

AATMA NIVEDHANAM: This is the Nineth step and the culmination of Bhakthi. Offer ourselves as a Nivedhyam (food for God). Once the Food is taken by God we do not remain we enter his Kingdom and become one with Him. Here is where identity with our Body, Mind and Intellect is getting lost. See the case of Bheeshmaacharya who surrendered to the Lord through this method.


This sums up what is called Bhakthi

Sources: Many

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