Bhakti Information

Bhakti in practice signifies an active involvement by the devotee in divine worship. The term is often translated as "devotion", though increasingly "participation" is being used as a more accurate rendering, since it conveys a fully engaged relationship with God. One who practices bhakti is called a bhakta, while bhakti as a spiritual path is referred to as bhakti marga, or the bhakti way.Bhakti is an important component of many branches of Hinduism, defined differently by various sects and schools.

Bhakti emphasises devotion and practice above ritual. Bhakti is typically represented in terms of human relationships, most often as beloved-lover, friend-friend, parent-child, and master-servant. It may refer to devotion to a spiritual teacher as guru-bhakti, to a personal form of God, or to divinity without form . Different traditions of bhakti in Hinduism are sometimes distinguished, including: Shaivas, who worship Shiva and the gods and goddesses associated with him; Vaishnavas, who worship forms of Vishnu, his avataras, and others associated with; Shaktas, who worship a variety of goddesses. Belonging to a particular tradition is not exclusive—devotion to one deity does not preclude worship of another.

The Bhagavad Gita is the first text to explicitly use the word "bhakti" to designate a religious path, which the Bhagavata Purana develops more elaborately. The so-called Bhakti Movement saw a rapid growth of bhakti beginning in Southern India with the Vaisnava Alvars and Saiva Nayanars , who spread bhakti poetry and devotion throughout India by the 12th-18th century CE.Bhakti influence in India spread to other religions, coloring many aspects of Hindu culture to this day, from religious to secular, and becoming an integral part of Indian society.

Wikipedia, Bhakti, (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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Bhakti Gurus

gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Bhakti guru.

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