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{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2016}}{{Use Indian English|date=May 2016}}{{love sidebar|cultural}}Bhakti () literally means "attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity".See Monier-Williams, Sanskrit Dictionary, 1899. It was originally used in Hinduism, referring to devotion and love for a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.Bhakti, Encyclopædia Britannica (2009) In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and love for any endeavor, while in the Bhagavad Gita, it connotes one of the possible paths of spirituality and towards moksha, as in bhakti marga.John Lochtefeld (2014), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Rosen Publishing (New York), {{ISBN|978-0823922871}}, pages 98-100. Also see articles on bhaktimārga and jnanamārga.Bhakti in Indian religions is "emotional devotionalism", particularly to a personal god or to spiritual ideas.BOOK, Hans G. Kippenberg, Yme B. Kuiper, Andy F. Sanders, Concepts of Person in Religion and Thought,weblink 1990, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3-11-087437-2, 295, , Quote: "The foundations of emotional devotionalism (bhakti) were laid in south India in the second half of the first millennium of our era (...)".BOOK, Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints,weblink 2014, Princeton University Press, 978-1-4008-6006-7, 4, footnote 4, The term also refers to a movement, pioneered by Alvars and Nayanars, that developed around the gods Vishnu (Vaishnavism), Brahma (Brahmanism), Shiva (Shaivism) and Devi (Shaktism) in the second half of the 1st millennium CE.Karen Pechelis (2011), "Bhakti Traditions", in The Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies (Editors: Jessica Frazier, Gavin Flood), Bloomsbury, {{ISBN|978-0826499660}}, pages 107-121BOOK, Rinehart, Robin, Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice, ABC-CLIO, 45, 978-1-57607-905-8,weblink 2004, It grew rapidly in India after the 12th century in the various Hindu traditions, possibly in response to the arrival of Islam in India.BOOK, Flood, Gavin, An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, 1996, 131, 978-0-521-43878-0,weblink Jerry Bentley, Old World Encounters: Cross Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 120.Bhakti ideas have inspired many popular texts and saint-poets in India. The Bhagavata Purana, for example, is a Krishna-related text associated with the Bhakti movement in Hinduism. Bhakti is also found in other religions practiced in India,BOOK, Flood, Gavin D., The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Wiley-Blackwell, 2003, 185, 978-0-631-21535-6,weblink BOOK, Neill, Stephen, A History of Christianity in India, 1707–1858, Cambridge University Press, 2002, 412, 978-0-521-89332-9,weblink BOOK, Kelting, Mary Whitney, Mary Whitney Kelting, Singing to the Jinas: Jain Laywomen, Maṇḍaḷ Singing, and the Negotiations of Jain Devotion, Oxford University Press, 2001, 87, 978-0-19-514011-8,weblink and it has influenced interactions between Christianity and Hinduism in the modern era.A. Frank Thompson (1993), Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters (Editor: Harold Coward), Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, {{ISBN|978-8120811584}}, pages 176-186Karen Pechelis (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, see Introduction chapter Nirguni bhakti (devotion to the divine without attributes) is found in Sikhism, as well as Hinduism. Outside India, emotional devotion is found in some Southeast Asian and East Asian Buddhist traditions, and it is sometimes referred to as Bhatti.


{{Hinduism small}}The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the verb root bhaj-, which means "to divide, to share, to partake, to participate, to belong to".BOOK, Pechilis Prentiss, Karen, The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, US, 1999, 24, 978-0-19-512813-0,weblink BOOK, Werner, Karel, Love Divine: studies in bhakti and devotional mysticism, Routledge, 1993, 168, 978-0-7007-0235-0,weblink 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".bhakti Sanskrit English Dictionary, University of Koeln, GermanyThe meaning of the term Bhakti is analogous to but different from Kama. Kama connotes emotional connection, sometimes with sensual devotion and erotic love. Bhakti, in contrast, is spiritual, a love and devotion to religious concepts or principles, that engages both emotion and intellection.Karen Pechelis (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 19-21 Karen Pechelis states that the word Bhakti should not be understood as uncritical emotion, but as committed engagement. She adds that, in the concept of bhakti in Hinduism, the engagement involves a simultaneous tension between emotion and intellection, "emotion to reaffirm the social context and temporal freedom, intellection to ground the experience in a thoughtful, conscious approach". One who practices bhakti is called a bhakta.Karen Pechelis (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, page 3The term bhakti, in Vedic Sanskrit literature, has a general meaning of "mutual attachment, devotion, fondness for, devotion to" such as in human relationships, most often between beloved-lover, friend-friend, king-subject, parent-child.BOOK, Cutler, Norman, Songs of Experience, Indiana University Press, 1987, 1, 978-0-253-35334-4,weblink It may refer to devotion towards a spiritual teacher (Guru) as guru-bhakti,BOOK, Sivananda, Swami, Guru Bhakti Yoga, Divine Life Society, 2004, 978-81-7052-168-6, BOOK, Vivekananda, Swami, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Advaita Ashrama, 1970,weblink 62, or to a personal god,BOOK, Neusner, Jacob, World religions in America: an introduction, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, 128, 978-0-664-22475-2, or for spirituality without form (nirguna).Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, page 21According to the Sri Lankan Buddhist scholar Sanath Nanayakkara, there is no single term in English that adequately translates or represents the concept of bhakti in Indian religions.{{sfn| Nanayakkara|1966|pp=678–80}} Terms such as "devotion, faith, devotional faith" represent certain aspects of bhakti, but it means much more. The concept includes a sense of deep affection, attachment, but not wish because "wish is selfish, affection is unselfish". Some scholars, states Nanayakkara, associate it with saddha (Sanskrit: Sraddha) which means "faith, trust or confidence". However, bhakti can connote an end in itself, or a path to spiritual wisdom.{{sfn| Nanayakkara|1966|pp=678–80}}The term Bhakti refers to one of several alternate spiritual paths to moksha (spiritual freedom, liberation, salvation) in Hinduism, and it is referred to as bhakti marga or bhakti yoga.BOOK, Klostermaier, Klaus, Klaus Klostermaier, A survey of Hinduism, SUNY Press, 1989, 210–212, 978-0-88706-807-2, Karen Pechelis (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 14-15, 37-38 The other paths are Jnana marga (path of knowledge), Karma marga (path of works), Rāja marga (path of contemplation and meditation).John Martin Sahajananda (2014), Fully Human Fully Divine, Partridge India, {{ISBN|978-1482819557}}, page 60KN Tiwari (2009), Comparative Religion, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120802933}}, page 31The term bhakti has been usually translated as "devotion" in Orientalist literature.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 15-24 The colonial era authors variously described Bhakti as a form of mysticism or "primitive" religious devotion of lay people with monotheistic parallels.Paul Carus, {{Google books|96sLAAAAIAAJ|The Monist|PA514}}, pages 514-515DG Mandelbaum (1966), Transcendental and Pragmatic Aspects of Religion, American Anthropologist, 68(5), pages 1174–1191DC Scott (1980), Hindu and Christian Bhakti: A Common Human Response to the Sacred, Indian Journal of Theology, 29(1), pages 12-32 However, modern scholars state "devotion" is a misleading and incomplete translation of bhakti.BOOK, Gale Encyclopedia of Religion, 856–857, Lindsay Jones, Thompson Gale, 2005, Volume 2, 978-0-02-865735-6, Many contemporary scholars have questioned this terminology, and most now trace the term bhakti as one of the several spiritual perspectives that emerged from reflections on the Vedic context and Hindu way of life. Bhakti in Indian religions is not a ritualistic devotion to a god or to religion, but participation in a path that includes behavior, ethics, mores and spirituality. It involves, among other things, refining one's state of mind, knowing god, participating in god, and internalizing god. Increasingly, instead of "devotion", the term "participation" is appearing in scholarly literature as a gloss for the term bhakti.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 23-24David Lorenzen states that bhakti is an important term in Sikhism and Hinduism.David Lorenzen (1995),Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action, State University of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0791420256}}, pages 1-2 They both share numerous concepts and core spiritual ideas, but bhakti of nirguni (devotion to divine without attributes) is particularly significant in Sikhism.Hardip Syan (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0199699308}}, page 178A Mandair (2011), Time and religion-making in modern Sikhism, in Time, History and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Editor: Anne Murphy), Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0415595971}}, page 188-190 In Hinduism, diverse ideas continue, where both saguni and nirguni bhakti (devotion to divine with or without attributes) or alternate paths to spirituality are among the options left to the choice of a Hindu.



The Upanishads

The last of three epilogue verses of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, dated to be from 1st millennium BCE, uses the word Bhakti as follows,, page 326Max Muller, Shvetashvatara Upanishad, The Upanishads, Part II, Oxford University Press, page 267}}This verse is one of the earliest use of the word Bhakti in ancient Indian literature, and has been translated as "the love of God".WN Brown (1970), Man in the Universe: Some Continuities in Indian Thought, University of California Press, {{ISBN|978-0520017498}}, pages 38-39 ScholarsPaul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120814684}}, pages 301-304Max Muller, The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, Oxford University Press, pages xxxii – xlii have debated whether this phrase is authentic or later insertion into the Upanishad, and whether the terms "Bhakti" and "Deva" meant the same in this ancient text as they do in the modern era. Max Muller states that the word Bhakti appears only once in this Upanishad, that too in one last verse of the epilogue, could have been a later addition and may not be theistic as the word was later used in much later Sandilya Sutras.Max Muller, The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, Oxford University Press, pages xxxiv and xxxvii Grierson as well as Carus note that the first epilogue verse 6.21 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad is also notable for its use of the word Deva Prasada (देवप्रसाद, grace or gift of God), but add that Deva in the epilogue of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad refers to "pantheistic Brahman" and the closing credit to sage Shvetashvatara in verse 6.21 can mean "gift or grace of his Soul".Scholarly consensus sees bhakti as a post-Vedic movement that developed primarily during the Epics and Puranas era of Indian history."Scholarly consensus today tends to view bhakti as a post-Vedic development that took place primarily in the watershed years of the epics and Puranas." Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, page 17BOOK, Monier Monier-Williams, Ernst Leumann, Clarendon, Oxford, A Sanskrit-English dictionary, etymologically and philologically arranged : with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages, new, 1899, 152275976, Monier-Williams, The Bhagavad 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.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, page 5 The Bhagavata Purana develops the idea more elaborately, while the Shvetashvatara Upanishad presents evidence of guru-bhakti (devotion to one's spiritual teacher).BOOK, Singh, R. Raj, 2006, Bhakti and philosophy, Lexington Books, 28, 978-0-7391-1424-7, name="Singh",

Bhakti movement

The Bhakti Movement was a rapid growth of bhakti, first starting in the later part of 1st millennium CE, from Tamil Nadu in Southern India with the Saiva NayanarsBOOK, Embree, Ainslie Thomas, Ainslie Embree, Stephen N. Hay, William Theodore De Bary, Sources of Indian Tradition, Columbia University Press, 1988, 342, 978-0-231-06651-8,weblink and the Vaisnava Alvars. Their ideas and practices inspired bhakti poetry and devotion throughout India over the 12th-18th century CE. The Alvars ("those immersed in God") were Vaishnava poet-saints who wandered from temple to temple singing the praises of Vishnu. They established temple sites (Srirangam is one) and converted many people to Vaishnavism.File:Meerabai (crop).jpg|thumb|left|Meera (1498-1546) was one of the most significant poet-saints in the (Vaishnava]] bhakti movement.SM Pandey (1965), Mīrābāī and Her Contributions to the Bhakti Movement, History of Religions, Vol. 5, No. 1, pages 54-73)Like the Alvars the Saiva Nayanar poets were influential. The Tirumurai, a compilation of hymns by sixty-three Nayanar poets, is still of great importance in South India. Hymns by three of the most prominent poets, Appar (7th century CE), Campantar (7th century) and Sundarar (9th century), were compiled into the Tevaram, the first volumes of the Tirumurai. The poets' itinerant lifestyle helped create temple and pilgrimage sites and spread devotion to Shiva.BOOK, Olson, Carl, The many colors of Hinduism: a thematic-historical introduction, Rutgers University Press, 2007, 231, 978-0-8135-4068-9,weblink Early Tamil-Siva bhakti poets are quoted the Black Yajurveda.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 17-18 The Alwars and Nayanars were instrumental in propagating the Bhakti tradition. The Bhagavata Purana's references to the South Indian Alvar saints, along with its emphasis on bhakti, have led many scholars to give it South Indian origins, though some scholars question whether this evidence excludes the possibility that bhakti movement had parallel developments in other parts of India.BOOK, Sheridan, Daniel, The Advaitic Theism of the Bhagavata Purana, South Asia Books, Columbia, Mo, 1986, 978-81-208-0179-0,weblink BOOK, van Buitenen, J. A. B, The Archaism of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, Encyclopedia Indica, 1996, S.S Shashi, 978-81-7041-859-7, 28–45,weblink Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., Scholars state that the bhakti movement focused on the gods Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and other deities, that developed and spread in India, was in response to the arrival of Islam in India about 8th century CE,Note: The earliest arrival dates are contested by scholars. They range from 7th to 9th century, with Muslim traders settling in coastal regions of Indian peninsula, to Muslims seeking asylum in Tamil Nadu, to raids in northwest India by Muhammad bin Qasim. See: Annemarie Schimmel (1997), Islam in the Indian subcontinent, Brill Academic, {{ISBN|978-9004061170}}, pages 3-7; Andre Wink (2004), Al-Hind: the Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Brill Academic Publishers, {{ISBN|90-04-09249-8}} and subsequent religious violence. This view is contested by other scholars.John Stratton Hawley (2015), A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement, Harvard University Press, {{ISBN|978-0674187467}}, pages 39-61The Bhakti movement swept over east and north India from the fifteenth-century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.Karine Schomer and WH McLeod (1987), The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120802773}}, pages 1-2 Bhakti poetry and ideas influenced many aspects of Hindu culture, religious and secular, and became an integral part of Indian society. It extended its influence to Sufism,BOOK, Flood, Gavin D., The Blackwell companion to Hinduism, Wiley-Blackwell, 2003, 185, 978-0-631-21535-6,weblink Christianity, and Jainism. Sikhism was founded by Nanak in the 15th century, during the bhakti movement period, and scholars call it a Bhakti sect of Indian traditions.W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1997), A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0700710485}}, page 22The movement has traditionally been considered as an influential social reformation in Hinduism, and provided an individual-focused alternative path to spirituality regardless of one's birth caste or gender. Postmodern scholars question this traditional view and whether the Bhakti movement were ever a social reform or rebellion of any kind.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 10-16 They suggest Bhakti movement was a revival, reworking and recontextualization of ancient Vedic traditions.Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195351903}}, pages 15-16

Types and classifications

Bhakti Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita, variously dated to have been composed in 5th to 2nd century BCE,JD Fowler (2012), The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students, Sussex Academy Press, {{ISBN|978-1-84519-520-5}}, see Foreword introduces bhakti yoga in combination with karma yoga and jnana yoga,BOOK, Minor, Robert Neil, Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita, SUNY Press, 1986, 3, 978-0-88706-297-1,weblink BOOK, Glucklich, Ariel, The Strides of Vishnu, Oxford University Press, 2008, 104, 978-0-19-531405-2,weblink while the Bhagavata Purana expands on bhakti yoga, offering nine specific activities for the bhakti yogi.Bryant, p. 117. Bhakti in the Bhagavad Gita offered an alternative to two dominant practices of religion at the time: the isolation of the sannyasin and the practice of religious ritual.Prentiss, p. 19. Bhakti Yoga is described by Swami Vivekananda as "the path of systematized devotion for the attainment of union with the Absolute".BOOK, Sundararajan, K. R., Bithika Mukerji, Hindu Spirituality, Motilal Banarsidass, 2003, 306, 978-81-208-1937-5,weblink In various chapters, including the twelfth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna describes bhakti yoga as one of the paths to the highest spiritual attainments.BOOK, Jacobsen, Knut A., 2005, Theory And Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, 351, Brill Academic Publishers, 978-90-04-14757-7, In the sixth chapter, for example, the Gita states the following about bhakti yogin,, pages 302-303, 318}}Shandilya and Narada produced two important Bhakti texts, the Shandilya Bhakti Sutra and Narada Bhakti Sutra.BOOK, Georg Feuerstein, Ken Wilber, The Yoga Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, 2002, 55,weblink 978-81-208-1923-8, BOOK, Swami Vivekananda, Amiya P Sen, The indispensable Vivekananda, Orient Blackswan, 2006, 212, Bhakti Yoga,weblink 978-81-7824-130-2, They define devotion, emphasize its importance and superiority, and classify its forms.BOOK, Bary, William Theodore De, Stephen N Hay, Sources of Indian Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, 1988, 330, Hinduism,weblink 978-81-208-0467-8, According to Ramana Maharishi, states David Frawley, bhakti is a "surrender to the divine with one's heart". It can be practiced as an adjunct to self-inquiry, and in one of four ways:{{sfn|Frawley|2000|p=133}}
  1. Atma-Bhakti: devotion to the one's atma (Supreme Self)
  2. Ishvara-Bhakti: devotion to a formless being (God, Cosmic Lord)
  3. Ishta Devata-Bhakti: devotion to a personal god or goddess
  4. Guru-Bhakti: devotion to Guru

Bhagavata Purana and Navaratnamalika

The Navaratnamalika (garland of nine gems), nine forms of bhakti are listed: (1) śravaṇa (listening to ancient texts), (2) kīrtana (praying), (3) smaraṇa (remembering teachings in ancient texts), (4) pāda-sevana (service to the feet), (5) archana (worshiping), (6) namaskar or vandana (bowing to the divine), (7) dāsya (service to the divine), (8) sākhyatva (friendship with the divine), and (9) ātma-nivedana (self-surrender to the divine).Vijaya Moorthy (2001), Romance of the Raga, Abhinav, {{ISBN|978-8170173823}}, pages 72-73Ellen Koskoff (2013), The Concise Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0415994040}}, pages 992-993The Bhagavata Purana teaches nine similar facets of bhakti.BOOK, Haberman, David L., Acting as a Way of Salvation, Motilal Banarsidass, 2001, 133–134, 978-81-208-1794-4,weblink Bhagavata Purana, 7.5.23-24


Traditional Hinduism speaks of five different bhāvas or "affective essences".BOOK, Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Other Asias, Wiley-Blackwell, December 28, 2007, 197, In this sense, bhāvas are different attitudes that a devotee takes according to his individual temperament to express his devotion towards God in some form. The different bhāvas are:
  1. śānta, placid love for God;
  2. dāsya, the attitude of a servant;
  3. sakhya, the attitude of a friend;
  4. vātsalya, the attitude of a mother towards her child;
  5. madhura, the attitude of a woman towards her lover.BOOK, Allport, Gordon W., Swami Akhilananda, Hindu Psychology, Its meaning for the West, Routledge, 1999, 180,
Several saints are known to have practiced these bhavas. The nineteenth century mystic, Ramakrishna is said to have practiced these five bhavas.BOOK, Isherwood, Christopher, Ramakrishna and his disciples, Vedanta Press, 1980, 111–112, 978-0-87481-037-0, The attitude of Hanuman towards lord Rama is considered to be of dasya bhava.BOOK, Sarma, Subrahmanya, Essence of Hinduism, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1971, 68, The attitude of Arjuna and the shepherd boys of Vrindavan towards Krishna is regarded as sakhya bhava.BOOK, Sharma, Hari Dutt, Glory of Spiritual India, Pustak Mahal, 1999, 95–96, 978-81-223-0439-8, The attitude of Radha towards Krishna is regarded as madhura bhava. The attitude of Yashoda, who looked after Krishna during his childhood is regarded as vatsalya bhava.BOOK, Devanand, G.K., Teaching of Yoga, APH Publishing, 74, Caitanya-caritamrta mentions that Mahaprabhu came to distribute the four spiritual sentiments of Vraja loka: dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and sringara. Sringara is the relationship of the intimate love.

Related practices in other world religions

File:Prayers in front of Jokhang temple.jpg|thumb|Bhakti (ENCYCLOPEDIA, Malalasekera, Gunapala Piyasena, G. P. Malalasekera, Indumathie, Karunaratna, Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Devotion, 2000, IV, Government of Ceylon,weblink 435, ) at a Buddhist temple, Tibet. Chanting during Bhatti Puja (devotional worship) is often a part of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.]]Devotionalism, similar to Bhakti, states Michael Pasquier, has been a common form of religious activity in world religions throughout human history.Michael Pasquier (2011), The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, Wiley-Blackwell, {{ISBN|978-1405157629}}, See article on Devotionalism and Devotional Literature, {{DOI|10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0417}} It is found in Christianity,L. D. Nelson and Russell R. Dynes (1976), The Impact of Devotionalism and Attendance on Ordinary and Emergency Helping Behavior, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 15, No. 1, pages 47-59 Islam,GJ Larson, India's Agony Over Religion: Confronting Diversity in Teacher Education, SUNY Press, {{ISBN|978-0-7914-2411-7}}, page 116Roxanne Leslie Euben and Muhammad Qasim Zaman (2009), Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought, Princeton University Press, {{ISBN|978-0691135885}}, pages 21-23 BuddhismMinoru Kiyota (1985), Tathāgatagarbha Thought: A Basis of Buddhist Devotionalism in East Asia, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2/3, pages 207-231Pori Park (2012), Devotionalism Reclaimed: Re-mapping Sacred Geography in Contemporary Korean Buddhism, Journal of Korean Religions, Vol. 3, No. 2, pages 153-171Allan Andrews (1993), Lay and Monastic Forms of Pure Land Devotionalism: Typology and History, Numen, Vol. 40, No. 1, pages 16-37 and Judaism.Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo (1998), The Evolution of Marian Devotionalism within Christianity and the Ibero-Mediterranean Polity, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 37, No. 1, pages 50-73


Bhakti (called bhatti in Pali language) has been a common aspect of Buddhism, where offerings and group prayers are made to images such the images of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas,Donald Swearer (2003), Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition (Editors: Heine and Prebish), Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0195146981}}, pages 9-25Karen Pechelis (2011), The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies (Editor: Jessica Frazier), Bloomsbury, {{ISBN|978-1472511515}}, pages 109-112 or to deities such as wrathful deities.BOOK, Louise Child, Tantric Buddhism and Altered States of Consciousness: Durkheim, Emotional Energy and Visions of the Consort,weblink 2016, Routledge, 978-1-317-04677-6, 138–139, Karel Werner notes that Bhakti has been a significant practice in Theravada Buddhism, and states, "there can be no doubt that deep devotion or bhakti / bhatti does exist in Buddhism and that it had its beginnings in the earliest days".Karel Werner (1995), Love Divine: Studies in Bhakti and Devotional Mysticism, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0700702350}}, pages 45-46According to Sri Lankan scholar Indumathie Karunaratna, the meaning of bhatti changed throughout Buddhist history, however. In early Buddhism, such as in the text Theragāthā,{{sfn|Nanayakkara|1966|p=678}} bhatti had the meaning of 'faithful adherence to the [Buddhist] religion', and was accompanied with knowledge. In later text tradition, however, the term developed the meaning of an advanced form of emotional devotion. Examples of the latter include the veneration of Buddha Amitabha and those in the Saddharmapundrarika Sutra.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Malalasekera, Gunapala Piyasena, G. P. Malalasekera, Indumathie, Karunaratna, Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, Devotion, 2000, IV, Government of Ceylon,weblink 435–7, BOOK,weblink Jayatilleke, K.N., K.N. Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist theory of knowledge, 1963, George Allen & Unwin, 978-1-134-54287-1, 384, This changed the meaning of Buddhist devotion to a more person-centered sense, similar to a theist sense used in Hindu scriptures. This sense of devotion was no longer connected with a belief in a religious system, and had little place for doubt, contradicting the early Buddhist concept of saddhā. Saddhā did not exclude reasonable doubt on the spiritual path, and was a step in reaching the final aim of developing wisdom, not an end in itself.{{sfn| Nanayakkara|1966|p=679}}In early Buddhism, states Sanath Nanayakkara, the concept of taking refuge to the Buddha had the meaning of taking the Buddha as an ideal to live by, rather than the later sense of self-surrender. But already in the Commentary to the Abhidhamma text Puggalapaññatti, it is mentioned that the Buddhist devotee should develop his saddhā until it becomes bhaddi, a sense not mentioned in earlier texts and probably influenced by the Hindu idea of bhakti. There are instances where commentator Buddhaghosa mentions taking refuge in the Buddha in the sense of mere adoration, indicating a historical shift in meaning. Similar developments took place with regard to the term puja (honor) and the role of the Buddha image. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, the doctrine of the trikāya (three bodies) and the devotion towards Bodhisattvas all indicating a shift of emphasis toward devotion as a central concept in later Buddhism.{{sfn| Nanayakkara|1966|pp=679–81}}In later faith-oriented literature, such as the Avadānas, faith is given an important role in Buddhist doctrine. Nevertheless, faith (śraddhā) is discussed in different contexts than devotion (bhakti). Bhakti is often used disparagingly to describe acts of worship to deities, often seen as ineffective and improper for a Buddhist. Also, bhakti is clearly connected with a person as an object, whereas śraddhā is less connected with a person, and is more connected with truthfulness and truth. Śraddhā focuses on ideas such as the working of karma and merit transfer.BOOK, Rotman, Andy, Thus Have I Seen: Visualizing Faith in Early Indian Buddhism, 2008, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-045117-2,weblink Getting and Giving, Nevertheless, affective devotion is an important part of Buddhist practice, not only in Mahāyāna Buddhism. According to Winston King, a scholar on Theravāda Buddhism in Myanmar, "warm, personalized, emotional" bhakti has been a part of the Burmese Buddhist tradition apart from the monastic and lay intellectuals.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Gokhale, Balkrishna Govind, Bhakti in Early Buddhism, Lele, J, 1981, Tradition and modernity in Bhakti movements, 31, Brill (publisher), Brill Archive, 978-9004063709, The Buddha is treasured by the everyday devout Buddhist, just like Catholics treasure Jesus. The orthodox teachers tend to restrain the devotion to the Buddha, but to the devout Buddhist populace, "a very deeply devotional quality" was and remains a part of the actual practice. This is observable, states King, in "multitudes of pagoda worshippers of the Buddha images" and the offerings they make before the image and nowhere else.BOOK, Winston Lee King, A thousand lives away: Buddhism in contemporary Burma,weblink 1964, Harvard University Press, 173–176, Another example is the worship of the Bodhisattvas and various deities in Tibetan and other traditions of Buddhism, including the so-called wrathful deities.


Bhakti has been a prevalent ancient practice in various Jaina sects, wherein learned Tirthankara (Jina) and human gurus have been venerated with offerings, songs and Āratī prayers.John Cort, Jains in the World : Religious Values and Ideology in India, Oxford University Press, ISBN, pages 64-68, 86-90, 100-112Jainism participated in the Bhakti school of medieval India, and has a rich tradition of bhakti literature (stavan) though these have been less studied than those of the Hindu tradition.BOOK, M. Whitney Kelting, Singing to the Jinas: Jain Laywomen, Mandal Singing, and the Negotiations of Jain Devotion,weblink 2001, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-803211-3, 87–88, The Avasyaka sutra of Jains includes, among ethical duties for the devotee, the recitation of "hymns of praise to the Tirthankaras" as the second Obligatory Action. It explains this bhakti as one of the means to destroy negative karma. According to Paul Dundas, such textual references to devotional activity suggests that bhakti was a necessary part of Jainism from an early period.BOOK, Paul Dundas, The Jains,weblink 2003, Routledge, 978-0-415-26605-5, 170–171, According to Jeffery Long, along with its strong focus on ethics and ascetic practices, the religiosity in Jainism has had a strong tradition of bhakti or devotion just like their Hindu neighbors. The Jain community built ornate temples and prided in public devotion for its fordmakers, saints and teachers. Abhisekha, festival prayers, community recitals and Murti puja (rituals before an image) are examples of integrated bhakti in Jain practice.BOOK, Jeffery D Long, Jainism: An Introduction,weblink 2013, I.B.Tauris, 978-0-85771-392-6, 111–114, BOOK, Sherry Fohr, Jainism: A Guide for the Perplexed,weblink 2015, Bloomsbury Publishing, 978-1-4742-2755-1, 91–102, BOOK, Lisa Owen, Carving Devotion in the Jain Caves at Ellora,weblink 2012, BRILL Academic, 978-90-04-20629-8, xii, 2, 12–13, 117–126,

See also




  • {{Citation | last =Frawley | first =David | year =2000 | title =Vedantic Meditation: Lighting the Flame of Awareness | publisher =North Atlantic Books}}
  • BOOK, Lorenzen, David N., David N. Lorenzen, 1995, Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action, New York, SUNY Press,weblink 978-0-7914-2025-6, harv,
  • {{Citation|editor1-last=Malalasekera|editor1-first=Gunapala Piyasena|editor1-link=G. P. Malalasekera|first=S. K.|last= Nanayakkara|encyclopedia= Encyclopaedia of Buddhism|title= Bhakti|date= 1966|volume=II|publisher= Government of Ceylon|url=weblink}}

Further reading

  • Swami Chinmayananda, Love Divine – Narada Bhakti Sutra, Chinmaya Publications Trust, Madras, 1970
  • Swami Tapasyananda, Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras, 1990
  • A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam (12 Cantos), The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust,2004
  • Steven J. Rosen, The Yoga of Kirtan: conversations on the Sacred Art of Chanting (New York: FOLK Books, 2008)

External links

{{Sister project links}} {{Yoga}}{{Vaishnava philosophy}}

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