Bhakti

Aggiornamento: 1 giu 2021

THE BHAKTI

The Sanskrit term "Bhakti" is difficult to translate into English. It is usuallytranslated as "devotion", but in Eastern culture the word devotion has a broader meaning than in Western culture. Bhakti, in the East, means“devotion as unconditional love towards God”. A "Bhakta" is a person who practices bhakti. Following the way of bhakti (bhaktimarga) in many Indian religious traditions is one of the waysto achieve liberation.

“Those who teach this most confidential knowledge amongst my devotees perform the greatest act of love. They will come to me without doubt. No human being does more loving service to me than they; nor shall there ever be anyone on this earth more dear to me.”

(Bhagavadgītā XVIII, 68-69)

The way of expressing the bhakti is very personal; in fact, various traditions have left the people “carte blanche” to ensure that everyone could establish direct contact with the divinity in their own way.

The teachigns of the Indian mystic Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902) highlighted the fact that bhakti is pure love for God, without condition.For example, to obtain a reward in this life or after death is not achieved by asking God for something, but by "giving oneself" by seeing the divine in every daily activity.

In the West, the Hare Krishna movement expresses this concept of "personal love" between the individual and God, referring directly to the teachings of the Bhagavadgita.

The goddess Parvati is the quintessential manifestation of bhakti towards Shiva. As the legend goes, it was when Parvati decided to take the mountain route, becoming an ascetic only for the love of Shiva andshowing total devotion, that He noticed her and married her. Shiva is the force that dissolves and destroys the universes, but also the one who regenerates, preserves and sustains them. Parvati is the “Shakti”, thefeminine manifestation of this force, indispensable for activatingShiva’s energy as if devotion wasnecessary to the functioning of the universe.

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