Terminology: Bhakti Movement

Sep 3, 2021 - 23:27

The Sanskrit word bhakti is derived from the root bhaji, which means "divide, share, partake, participate, to belong to".

The word also means "attachment, devotion to, fondness for, homage, faith or love, worship, piety to something as a spiritual, religious principle or means of salvation".

The meaning of the term Bhakti is analogous to but different from the Kama. The Kama connotes emotional connection, sometimes with sensual devotion and erotic love. Bhakti, in contrast, is spiritual, a love and devotion to religious concepts or principles, that engages both emotion and intellection.

Karen Pechelis states that the word Bhakti should not be understood as uncritical emotion but as committed engagement. Bhakti movement in Hinduism refers to ideas and engagement that emerged in the medieval era on love and devotion to religious concepts built around one or more gods and goddesses.

Bhakti movement preached against the caste system using the local languages so that the message reached the masses. One who practices bhakti is called a bhakta.

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