BHAKTI (Sanskrit—dedication, love)—a term used in Hinduism to describe the love of God, complete dependence upon God, and complete devotion.

While salvation primarily depends upon God’s grace, bhakti is one of three paths of salvation. Bhakti is expressed in different ways, starting from an ordinary sigh to the meditative ecstasy propagated by the Bhagavadgita. There are certain differences in views on bhakti: some believe that God liberates man from the bonds of samsara without man’s participation; others think that man should take an active role in striving for union with God. The doctrine of bhakti is the doctrinal foundation of one of the paths of salvation—bhaktimarga, and also of contemporary Vishnu Hinduism, which has about 150 million adherents in India. Bhakti also plays a role in Buddhism (mahayana), where it requires paying reverence to the bodhisattvas as mediators in the attainment of salvation; there are also many followers of bhakti in Shivaism.

S. Chakravarti, Caitanya et sa théorie de l’amour divin, P 1934; S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Lo 1951 (Filozofia indyjska [Indian philosophy], I–II, Wwa 1959–1960); H. von Glasenapp, S. Kulandran, RGG I 1118–1121; M. Hiriyanna, Outlines of Indian Philosophy, Lo 1970 (passim); C. Vaudeville, Sour-Das, pastorales, P 1971 (passim); O. Lacombe, Les aspects philosophiques de la b., RPFE 164 (1974), 33–44; Bhagawadgita [Bhagavadgita], Wr 1988; J. Sachse, Ze studiów nad Bhagawadgitą [From studies on the Bhagavadgita]m Wr 1988.

Franciszek Machalski

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