Hindu Heritage Study Program  
A Companion to the Study of Hinduism - Part I
HR 255.01
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
~ Level - 2
Devotional and Ritualistic Paths of Religious Practices
Paths of Rituals, Devotion, Prayers and Surrender
- 05 -
Bhakthi Yoga - the Devotional Pathway
Bhavas as an expression of Devotion and Love
Part - I



1. Sãntha Bhãva:

1. Sãntha Bhãva [means calmness of mind] The mind of the devotee is filled with divine knowledge and is emotionless, always undisturbed, peaceful and tranquil. Only Yogis and Jñanis, like Bhishma, who are highly developed and have had direct experience of God will be able to practice Santha Bhava.

2. Dãsya Bhãva:

2. Dãsya Bhãva: The devotee considers himself as inferior to God. He takes God to be his Master and looks upon himself as just a humble servant. He considers it is his duty to worship and to love God. Hanuman is an example of Dasya Bhakthi.

3. Sakhya Bhãva:

3. Sakhya Bhãva: The devotee considers God to be a dear friend, the sole supreme companion, and as his equal in relation, with pure friendship not degenerating into familiarity. Arjuna is an example of Sakhya Bhaktha.

4. Vãtsalya Bhãva:

4. Vãtsalya Bhãva: The devotee considers God as his Child and the themselves as the mother giving and also getting the unconditional love of the Child. Mother Yashoda had Vatsalya Bhakthi towards Child Krishna as her own child.


5. Kãntha Bhãva:

5. Kãntha BHãva: This is the expression of devotion with a feeling like the one a wife gets and gives towards her husband, as in the case of devotion of Sita towards Sri Rama and Rukmini towardsSri Krishna, called Kantha Bhava.


6. Mãdhurya Bhãva:

6. Mãdhurya Bhãva: This is the highest expression of Divine love. Here, the devotee takes the lord to be his beloved, with deep love, devotion and surrenders himself. When Gopikas like Radha develops Bhakthi towards Sri Krishna, it is the romantic love and surrender of the self to the lover, without any sensuality but with pure devotion and surrender, called Madhurya Bhava.


- 06 -
Bhakthi Yoga - the Devotional Pathway
Modes of Expression of Devotion to God
Part - I
There are nine modes for expression of Bhakthi:
 1. Sravana:

1. Hearing of the Lord's Lilas or divine past times.
Listening to the Divine stories from a learned teacher is important.

 2. Kirthana:

2. Singing the glories and praises of the Lord.
It gives pleasures to the mind and at the same time purifies
the heart. Kirthan is the method suitable to all people.

 3. Smarana:

3. Remembrance of His Name and Presence.
God is to be remembered at all times. This alone will destroy
all worldly habits and turn the mind from sense-objects.

 4. Padasevana:

4. Service of His feet. As it is not literally possible,
we can have an image of God or consider the entire humanity
as His image and do service to them as a service to God.

 5. Archana:

5. Worship of God. The worship can be performed
to a picture or Image of God or through a mental form or image.

 6. Vandana:

6. Prostration to the Lord. This is a humble prostration
before the form of God with faith and reverence or to all beings,
regarding them as the forms of Lord.

 7. Dasya:

7. Service of the Lord. This includes service in the temple,
service to people, service to the poor and the sick as a service
to God. The devotee destroys his self will and gives himself
completely to God and does not retain any personal desires.

 8. Sakhya:

8. Friendship with the Lord. The devotee joyfully takes up
any work of the Lord leaving aside any of his personal work.
He feels, that everything he owns belongs to "his friend" God also.

 9. Athma Nivedana:

9. Complete self-surrender to the Lord.
The devotee offers himself entirely to God. God will take care of
everything far better than man can ever dream of.

Lessons: - 01 , 02 , - , 03 , 04 , - , 05 , 06 , - , 07 , 08 , - , 09 , 10 , - , 11 , 12 , - , 13 , 14 --