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Symbolism In Meaning Of Bhakti

In Hinduism, Bhakti or devotion is so intense that the devotee surrenders unconditionally at the lotus feet of Bhagavan. Here is a look at the symbolism in the meaning of Bhakti.

The word Bhakti or Bhagati is constituted of ‘bhag’ meaning may or illusion and ‘iti’ meaning ‘end.’ Thus bhakti is the end of illusion. It is said that the entire samsara (world) is maya, a construction.

Shiva told Goddess Uma (Parvati) that the whole world is a mere thought-construct; the truth is only Bhagavan or Supreme Truth.

The Bhagavad Gita says, “anityam sukham lokamimam prapya bhajasva mam" (the world is transitory and its pleasures are also false and transient, and one should pray to Bhagavan).

When the worldly illusion of maya ends, Bhakti starts.


Bhakti literally means ‘apportioning’ or ‘sharing.’ It is therefore, in spirit of yagna, which is also paraspara bhavana (participation, mutual understanding). Bhakti has an additional meaning, ‘to wait upon,’ ‘to serve,’ ‘to seek support’ and therefore, to be suppliant before a higher entity; it is an extension of the concept of upasana (a form of worship).