According to Vishnu Purana, there are nine types of bhakti.

By Courtesy of Sachinanand Ji,

1. Shravana Bhakti:
Shravana means listening the glories, stories, plays (lila) of incarnations of God with pure love. Devotees listen these stories so deeply that their mind is merged in loving thoughts of their beloved God.

2. Kirtan Bhakti:
Kirtan means singing names and beautiful stories of God. Kirtan destroys devotees all sins and purifies mind and heart of devotee. Kirtan gives divine bliss to devotees and it also purifies the whole environment. Kirtan is the quickest way to get oneness with God.

3. Smarana Bhakti:
Smarana means remembering God all the time without interruption. The devotees continuously keep remembering names and stories of God all the time with love. Cowgirls remembered Lord Krishna all the time with love from their deepest heart. Knowing this, Lord Krishna is pleased with them and all cowgirls became beloved of Lord Krishna.

If we remember God at the time of death, then cycle of birth and death stops and we get liberated and become one with God. So remembrance or Smarana of God is very essential.

4. Padasevaa Bhakti:
Meaning of Padasevana is serving the lotus feet of the God. An excellent example of Padasevana is Bharat, brother and greatest devotee of Lord Ram. When Lord Ram was in exile (vanvas), Bharat ji borrowed his wooden sandal and placed them on the royal throne (Rajsinhasana). He did not accepted the kingdom of Ayodhya but he worshipped these sandals as Lord Ram himself and served for him. As God is not present directly to our eyes we can worship an idol, picture, mental image etc.

5. Archana Bhakti:
Archana is offer beautiful and fragrant flowers in worship of God. God is pleased with whatever we offer him full of love. Lord Krishna said in Gita, patra (leaves), pushpa (flowers), jala (water), toyam (fruits) whatever my devotee offers me with deep love and devotion, I become please with him and I personally come to receive it. No matter how expansive is the offering, I see only heart and love to me. Rukmini offered only one leaf of Tulsi (basil) against all the wealth of satyabhama to measure the weight of Lord Krishna.

6. Vandana Bhakti:
Vandana means to pray and to prostrate before God. Lord Krishna adviced devotees to prostrate all creatures because all is God. Prostration to all destroyed ego in our body and takes to highest conscious plane. Vandana makes us polite, humble and egoless. As soon as we become egoless, we feel oneness with whole creation, which is the aim of bhakti. Many devotees use mental prostraion to whole creation.

7. Dasya Bhakti:
In Dasya Bhakti the devotee considers himself a servant of God. Devotee adopts attitude of servant, i.e. a servant doesn't have any wishes, the only aim of servant is to fulfill the wishes of his master. Similarly, devotee give up all wishes for God and wish only to perform the task given by God. Meera Bai, Sant Kabir, Surdas ji are excellent examples of Dasya bhakti.

8.Sakhya Bhakti :
In Sakhya bhakti a devotee makes God his friend. The aim of making friend is to be in close company of God all the time, love him and feel oneness with him. Cowboys of Village Nanda made Lord Krishna their friend. Lord Krishna praised Sakhya bhakti. He said, "A devotee, who make me friend, i always walk with him equally in his sorrows and happiness. I help my friend devotee on every step of his devotional practice."

9. Atmanivedana Bhakti:
Atmanivedana means complete self-surrender to God. Every particle of creation is nothing but God. Everything is at wish of God. With this knowledge devotee offers himself to God. He says "Nothing belongs to me, I don't have any wish of anything, everything is you and yours." The devotee always feels that he is the part of God and God the Whole. By complete surrender of self to God, Gad takes all responsibility of his devotee.


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