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  • srikarbuddhiraju

Bhakti: A forsaken abstraction entrenched in the Indian attributes & persona, a cognizing vantage.

Updated: Jul 1, 2023


A profoundly undeniable aspect when the term "India" is the subject of a discussion, or a matter is that it is just a modern rebranding of "Bharatavarsha". And all the entities about our culture and ethos assume a new form and action depending on the era, while the subtle underlying philosophy remains unaltered. Often the conception and mechanism of a protocol are renounced with the developing intuition whence, prime focus shifts from the purpose and technicalities of the action to just performing the prescribed action. As Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says at one of his talks, “...eventually the fantastic science following the construction of a temple and establishment of a Linga has dissolved as people are only concerned of the deity, not the science.". Various factors influence the behavioural traits and, the populace tends to perform actions for the sake of doing. Accordingly, reverence and the ability to be aware of the actualities are thoroughly deserted and contribute to incompetence that currently plagues the people of this country. This seemingly insignificant subject of matter, in a general perspective, is Bhakti, which constitutes the previously mentioned desolate entities. Just before your assumptions and approximations rally to judge the subject, I assert that Bhakti is not just associated with a god or a culture. Preferably it is an underlying notion that completes a framework owing to our daily motivation, perseverance, and the discipline essential for our aspirations in life. In the following paragraphs, we explore the mechanics and working principles of Bhakti, the inculcation of this subject in the deeds of successful personalities, a grim scenario of accepting this astonishing term as an insult from the Indian political standpoint, and the subtle essence.


Etymologically, since "Bhakti" is a Sanskrit term, the interpretation is manifold and is conceived according to the context, which also expounds the exquisite beauty of Sanskrit as a language and literature. With words and meanings being specific to the use-cases and the scenario, the outcome of literature based on Sanskrit is intricate, contextually cryptic, and elegant. A primitive comprehension of Sanskrit demands knowledge in technicalities of the language, numerous scenarios (stories sung, narrated, and written in Sanskrit) and, even the knowledge of Upanishads. The mastery over Sanskrit takes years of deliberate practice and a command not restricted to the previously mentioned entities. Hence, ignorant usage and abuse of exquisite Sanskrit terms is an insult to the language that we rightfully hailed as "The God's Language” and eventually to the timeless ethos of India.

“Faithfulness, attachment, faith or love or devotion, worship" are various definitions of Bhakti. Also, it means "that which belongs to, or something contained in anything else". These literal meanings do not correspond with what the consensus associate Bhakti with (God and the follower), but they are devoid of intermediaries. With the stereotypical constraint dismissed, we can critically examine the contextual significance of the expression and gain insight into the subject of matter. However, the essence of Bhakti in the term "Bhakti Yoga" exclusively refers to an intimate relationship between the bhakta/ practitioner and the Supreme Being/ Brahman.


Though the genuine meaning of the term Bhakti does not include the affinity between a Bhakta and the Lord, it is in actuality the Indian vista because of innumerable folklore and fables since aeons. Incidentally, intimacy in the relationship priorly mentioned is the subtle essence behind Dharmic dogmas that establish the Indian attribute that still lives on, just like this Prakriti. A notion of reverence that paradoxically transcends the common human comprehension and essentially becomes an immense propelling force is what Bhakti is in a practical sense.

Devoid of any discrimination towards sentient and insentient, arising from a state of pure intellect and awareness without aberrations, and an unyielding affinity towards the object of Bhakti, a resolution manifests eventually to work miracles. Perhaps to expound on this exquisite postulation, the conception regarding patriotism or, Desh-Bhakti provides appropriate insight into the underlying mechanics. Adhering to the Indic standpoint, whether a soldier's sacrifice or a dedicated scientist's for the motherland, the substratum of all the experiencing emotions motivating the person is Bhakti. It transcends fundamental human comprehension and willpower beyond the dread of death or absolute dedication towards a technological/ scientific breakthrough. A literal example would be Srinivasa Ramanujan, a simple person without any formal training in mathematics who eventually became one of the greatest mathematicians in recent history. He credited his work to the goddess Lakshmi and once said, "An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God". For Ramanujan, mathematics is a representation or a medium to ponder upon the idea of his goddess, whom he had an unyielding affinity to and lived to death by the same persona, which motivated him even in unfavourable times.

If closely examined, the attributes and behavioural traits of any great personality resemble the entities of Bhakti. To contemplate upon the more resonant aspects of this conception, we further need to enquire into the realm of Bhakti, which is beyond the usual comprehension of relationships. Before that, unlike Srinivasa Ramanujan, for whom mathematics is his rendition of the goddess, for many other achievers, the familiar narrative consensually is viewed as passion. Wherein an initiative is taken towards a greater goal and, sheer willpower shall ensure the accomplishment of that goal. In most scenarios, the person is minimally concerned about the results and is not the prime propellant behind the actions and thoughts, just like in Shrimad Bhagavat Gita, where Sri Krishna Paramatma spoke that be concerned only of your duties/ action not, the fruits of action.

Returning to the widely known persona of Bhakti, it involves a deep intimacy or affinity between the subject and the object, which from an outsider's standpoint might be excessive in terms of behaviour, motivation, and attributes. Considering the Bhakti saint Sri Ramadasu, in some of his Keerthanas, he calls Lord Sri Rama as if he is in casual conversation with his best friend. The ease and informality of the highly technical songs portray a deep bond that inexplicably is beyond any relationship. On resemblance, the notion of Bhakta and the Lord are inseparable. A pristine example would be Lord Hanuman and Lord Sri Rama, where a discrete recall of either Hanuman or Rama might seem insufficient, just like when there is fire and no heat.


As Bhakti itself invokes reverence into the person, he is the living embodiment of the statement "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam". Lack of reverence means that human tendencies are acquisitive, vague, and irresponsible. Noticeably, India, once glorious art eulogising, artistic society has now forsaken art itself and also the philosophies that Bharatavarsha as Sanatana Dharma has developed, practised, and considered sacred. Consequently, incompetence grows like a contagious illness, further fuelling the ever-present ignorance amongst the populace. It's an assertion that the current scenario is within the proximity of anarchy if the people remain the same.

It feels unfateful that "Bhakt", the derivative of the astonishing term Bhakti, is used and accepted as a means of humiliation/ insult from the Indian political standpoint. This condemnable behaviour, not only with Bhakti but with Indic conceptions, is rampant and should halt by all means.

The Resolution

The subtle, underlying entities of Bhakti essentially define your persona. When a tendency transcends into a discipline, it drastically changes the thought faculty and cognitive process, eventually transforming the person. Self-realisation is the ultimate contribution to a society that a person could achieve, and the entities of Bhakti are a catalyst. With diligence, inculcation of these entities alters the usual approach of life's critical problems and eventually transform the person to higher consciousness, leading to greater society and nation.

P.S.: Any quotes mentioned in the article are paraphrasing according to my understanding and are meant only for inspiration for my outlook.


1 Comment

Unknown member
Feb 17, 2022

This is something...a long way...but, got going ! For a while...I will be just looking at " That me "...and let it sink first ! Hats off to you the attempt ! Keep coming !

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