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Bhakti is intense devotion and supreme love for God. There is no expectation of anything in Bhakti marga. This higher feeling is indescribable in words. It has to be sincerely experienced by the devotee (Bhakta).

As in one of the Pravachan, said that there are the nine different ways of Bhakti and the five kinds of Bhavas in bhakti. The nine modes of Bhakti are the ways in which a devotee attains the Supreme Ideal of life. A devotee can take up any of these paths and reach the highest state. I only know about Atmanivedana (absolute surrender to the Lord).

My questions on this:

  • What is the Navavidha Bhakti(The nine modes of Bhakti)? Is there any examples who attained supreme god from these 9 ways of bhakti?

  • What is the Bhavas? and What are it's five types?

I heard that about Navavidha Bhakti has already stated in Srimad Bhagvatam.

  • In which canto of Srimad Bhagvatam states about Navavidha Bhakti and Bhavas?

  • Is there any Spiritual book (Of any saint) which explains about Bhakti marg for more detail?

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Navavidha Bhakti

Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5:23-24

sri-prahrada uvaca sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam iti pumsarpita visnau bhaktis cen nava-laksana kriyeta bhagavaty addha tan manye 'dhitam uttamam

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) -- these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

From this it is clear about the meaning of nava-vidha bhakti. It is the various ways in which Lord can be worshipped. Here are some examples I can think of for such devotees.

  1. Shravanam - Listening - example: Parkishit Maharaj, who attained liberation, by listening to the glory of Lord Krishna towards the end of His days on Earth.
  2. Kirtanam - Singing - example: Lord Chaitanya, who spread the worship through Sankritana of Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
  3. Vishnu Smaranam - Thinking of God day and night - example: Lord Hanuman, whose every hair was found to be vibrating with the name of Lord Rama.
  4. Pada sevanam - Servitude to the feet of the Guru/God - example: Lakshmana, whose service to His brother Sri Rama is unparalleled.
  5. Archanam - Adoring the beauty of God - example: Gopikas
  6. Vandanam - Worshipping God - example: Prahlada
  7. Dasyam - Having the attitude of a servant to His master.
  8. Sakhyam - Having the attitude of a friend toward God.
  9. Atma Nivedhanam - Complete self-surrender toward God. (Example: Sri Radha)

Five Bhavas

Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita 19.185

santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhura-rasa naya krishna-bhakti-rasa madhye ei pa-ca pradhana "The chief transcendental mellows experienced with the Supreme Personality of Godhead are five — santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura.

Shanta Bhava - attitude of saint, a peaceful attitude towards God.

Sannyasi Bhaktas have Santa Bhava. A Bhakta of Santa Bhava type is not emotional. He does not exhibit much emotions. He cannot dance and weep and yet his heart is full of intense devotion. Sri Aurobindo Maharaj prefers this type and considers dancing and weeping as a kind of weakness.

Vatsalya Bhava - attitude of a parent toward God.

In Vatsalya Bhava, the devotee takes Lord Krishna as his son, a boy of ten years. The attractive features of this Bhava is that the devotee gets rid of all fears as he is the father of Krishna and destroys all kinds of selfish motives as he cannot expect anything from his small son. The followers of Vallabhacharya entertain Vatsalya Bhava.

Dasya Bhava - attitude of a servant toward God.

In Dasya Bhava, the devotee thinks that he is the servant and Lord Krishna or Rama is his master. Sri Hanuman had this Bhava. In Ayodhya the vast majority of persons have this Bhava. They have their names as Ram Das, Sitaram Das, etc.

Sakhya Bhava - attitude of a friend toward God.

In Sakhya Bhava, the devotee takes Lord Krishna as his friend. This Bhava demands purity, boldness, understanding and courage. Ordinary people will find it difficult to have this Bhava. But when Bhakti develops and matures, the Bhava comes by itself. Arjuna had this Bhava. There is equality in this Bhava between the worshipper and the worshipped. Sakhya Bhava is a mild type of Vedantic meditation. It will culminate in identity. Then the devotee says: "Gopaloham-I am Gopala."

Madurya Bhava - attitude of a beloved toward God.

In Madhurya Bhava, the Bhaktas entertain the idea of the lover and the beloved. He regards himself as the wife of Rama or Krishna. The Mohammedan sufis also entertain this kind of mental attitude. In Brindavan, Mathura and Nadiad, you will find a large number of Bhaktas with Madhurya Bhava. They dress themselves like ladies and behave and speak exactly like ladies also. They dance a lot till they get Murchha Avastha (swoon) and fall down in great exhaustion.

All quotes are from Sri Swami Sivananda from the reference: Bhava in Bhakti by Sri Swami Sivananda

Which spiritual book (of any saint) discusses Bhakti marg in more detail

Here are some:

  1. Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
  2. Bhakti Yoga by Sri Swami Sivananda

References: (Thanks to Keshav)

Please refer to Keshav's links below for more relevant resources and more examples of the nine types of devotion and five types of bhava. Thanks Keshav !!

  • 1
    These are five Bhavas, not four. I think learningbrain must be relying on some other source that only lists four Bhavas. In any case, is this list of Bhavas mentioned in Hindu scripture? – Keshav Srinivasan May 15 '15 at 15:38
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    yes there are five, I listed them, but for some reason I put the header as four! edited accordingly. thanks – Sai May 15 '15 at 15:39
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    I wonder how the twelve Alwars (saints important to Sri Vaishnavism) would be classified according to the Bhavas. I assume some combination of Dasya and Madhurya. – Keshav Srinivasan May 15 '15 at 15:45
  • 1
    I'm not sure which scripture mentions it, I am searching for it. But as of now, this is where I found it: Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 19:185 ""The chief transcendental mellows experienced with the Supreme Personality of Godhead are five — santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura." – Sai May 15 '15 at 15:50
  • 1
    I found a line in the Narada Bhakti Sutras which may be relevant: vedabase.net/nbs/82/en2 And in Prabhupada's commentary he says "Narada's eleven ways of bhakti appear to be a combination of the nine process of bhakti taught by Prahlada Maharaja and the five main rasas with Lord Krsna described by Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu". By the way, that purport also gives examples of devotees that match each of the nine modes of Bhakti. – Keshav Srinivasan May 15 '15 at 16:20
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In the Ramacharitmanas 3.35 - 3.36, Lord Shri Rama explains Navdha Bhakti to Shabri:

नवधा भगति कहउँ तोहि पाहीं। सावधान सुनु धरु मन माहीं।।

  1. प्रथम भगति संतन्ह कर संगा।

  2. दुसरि रति मम कथा प्रसंगा॥

  3. गुरु पद पंकज सेवा तीसरि भगति अमान।

  4. चौथि भगति मम गुन गन करइ कपट तजि गान॥

  5. मंत्र जाप मम दृढ़ बिस्वासा। पंचम भजन सो बेद प्रकासा॥

  6. छठ दम सील बिरति बहु करमा। निरत निरंतर सज्जन धरमा॥

  7. सातवँ सम मोहि मय जग देखा। मोतें संत अधिक करि लेखा॥

  8. आठवँ जथालाभ संतोषा। सपनेहुं नहिं देखइ परदोषा॥

  9. नवम सरल सब सन छलहीना। मम भरोस हिय हरष न दीना॥

English Translation can be found in Ramcharitmanas English version by Gitapress:

Now I tell you the nine forms of Devotion; please listen attentively and cherish them in your mind.

1-2. The first in order is company with the saints and the second is marked by a fondness for My stories.

3-4. Humble service of the lotus feet of one’s preceptor is the third form of Devotion, while the fourth type of Devotion consists in singing My praises with a guileless heart.

5-7. Muttering My Name with unwavering faith constitutes the fifth form of adoration revealed in the Vedas. The sixth variety consists in the practice of self-control and virtue, desisting from manifold activities and ever pursuing the course of conduct prescribed for saints. He who practises the seventh type sees the world full of Me without distinction and reckons the saints as even greater than Myself.

8-9. He who cultivates the eighth type of Devotion remains contented with whatever he gets and never thinks of detecting others’ faults. The ninth form of Devotion demands that one should be guileless and straight in one’s dealings with everybody, and should in his heart cherish implicit faith in Me without either exultation or depression.


Is there any examples who attained supreme god from these 9 ways of bhakti?

Shabri is one the examples:

नव महुँ एकउ जिन्ह के होई। नारि पुरुष सचराचर कोई।।

सोइ अतिसय प्रिय भामिनि मोरे। सकल प्रकार भगति दृढ़ तोरें।।

जोगि बृंद दुरलभ गति जोई। तो कहुँ आजु सुलभ भइ सोई।।

मम दरसन फल परम अनूपा। जीव पाव निज सहज सरूपा।।

Whoever possesses any one of these nine forms of Devotion, be he man or woman or any other creature — sentient or insentient — is most dear to Me, O good lady. As for yourself, you are blessed with unflinching devotion of all these types. The prize which is hardly won by the Yogis is within your easy reach today. The most incomparable fruit of seeing Me is that the soul attains its natural state.


Related

How can one increase bhakti?

0

9 forms of devotion is stated in 7th Canto of Bhagavata Purana(7.5.23-24).

śrī-prahrāda uvāca śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ  smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ  sakhyam ātma-nivedanam iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau  bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā kriyeta bhagavaty addhā  tan manye ’dhītam uttamam

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

The examples of each type of devotion is given in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.(1.2.265)

Parīkṣit is an example of hearing about the Lord and Śukadeva is an example of chanting about the glories of the Lord. Prahlāda is an example of remembering the Lord and Lakṣmī is an example of serving the lotus feet of the Lord. Pṛthu is an example of performing Deity worship of the Lord. Akrūra is an example of attaining perfection by offering prayers to the Lord. Hanumān is an example of service with an attitude of a servant of the Lord. Arjuna is an example of friendship with the Lord. Bali is an example of offering oneself to the Lord. They achieved Kṛṣṇa by following principally one aṅga

Ambarisa performed many angas of devotion. The next set of verses say:

An example of following many aṅgas equally is found in the Ninth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [9.4.18-20]:

“Mahārāja Ambarīṣa always engaged his mind in meditating upon the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, his words in describing the glories of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the Lord's temple, and his ears in hearing the words spoken by Kṛṣṇa or about Kṛṣṇa. He engaged his eyes in seeing the Deity of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's temples and Kṛṣṇa's places like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, he engaged his sense of touch in touching the bodies of the Lord's devotees, he engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of tulasī offered to the Lord, and he engaged his tongue in tasting the Lord's prasāda. He engaged his legs in walking to the holy places and temples of the Lord, his head in bowing down before the Lord, and all his desires in serving the Lord, twenty-four hours a day. Indeed, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa never desired anything for his own sense gratification. He engaged all his senses in devotional service, in various engagements related to the Lord. This is the way to increase attachment for the Lord and be completely free from all material desires.”

Bhakti is explained in greater details in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu(Nectar of Devotion) by Rupa Goswami.

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