Himalayan Yoga Academy

Education & research Foundation


10 Apr 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Bhakti Yoga : The Nature of Devotion

Stage of Bhakti Yoga

  1. In the Srimad Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana it is told that the nine stages of Bhakti are:
     Sharavana (hearing of God’s Lilas and stories);
    Kirtana (singing of His glories);
    Smarana (remembrance of His Name and presence);
     Padasevana (service of His feet);
     Archana (worship of God);
    Vandana (prostration to the Lord);
    Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God);
     Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava); and
     Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self).

Types of Bhakti Yoga

  1. Apara (lower)  and Para (higher) devotion.
  2. Raagaatatmika (ritual without devotion) and method of devotion (Bhakti)
  3. Sakamya (devotion with desire) and Nishkamya Bhakti (selfless devotion)
  4. Vyabhichaarini (both worldly attachment and devotion to God) and Avyabhichaarini devotion (devotion to God only)



Arthi means any sorrow or grief. Sadness, distress, discomfort, trouble are all called arthi. Aartha is one who is seized by a distress, caused by a thief, tiger, or disease.


Artha means what is desired. In this context it means wealth and things similar to it – power, progeny and so on. One wants all these and to get them, the arthaarthi invokes the grace of Bhagavan.


The third one is jijnasu. The order in the verse artha, jijnasu, arthaarthi is for the sake of meter. But in order of their understanding artha and arthaarthi are one group, jijnasu and jnani, another. Jijnasu is the one who desires to know.


And then there is a fourth bhakta. All four recognize me and to the degree they recognize me they are in union with me. The fourth one’s recognition is complete so his identification is total.

To be on the path of Bhakti Yoga, you need to inculcate certain disciplines in your life.
Those being:

  1.  Abhyasa or practice of being connected to god in one way or the other.
  2. Viveka or discrimination
  3. Vimoka or freedom from worldly desires
  4.  Satyam or truthfulness
  5. Arjavam or being straightforward and not manipulating situations
  6. Kriya or doing good deeds
  7. Kalyana or wishing well for all
  8. Daya or compassion towards all
  9.  Ahimsa or non-injury
  10. Dana or charity
  11.  Anavasada or cheerfulness and positivity

There are five kinds of Bhava in Bhakti.

When the love for god grows you can raise above all the discrimination between forms of God, place of worship, method of worship, Route of worship or offerings in worship. You experience Bhava Of devotion that leads to is absolute self-forgetfulness and everything stops mattering except God.

Dasya Bhavas or servitude as depicted by lord Hanuman towards lord Ram

Sakhya bhavas or friendship with God, as depicted by Arjuna towards Shri Krishna

Vatsalya Bhavas or motherhood, as depicted by Maa Yashodha towards Kanha

Madhurya Bhavas– or Divine Love, the most supreme bhava, as depicted by Shri Radha for Shri Krishna and Meera Bai for Shri Krishna, wherein the deity and devotee unite.

Shanta Bhavas where in your mind is absolutely grounded and stable and nothing can agitate you.

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