Definition - What does Bhakta mean?
A bhakta is a spiritual devotee or individual who practices bhakti or Bhakti yoga. Bhakti focuses on love and devotion to a particular god or deity; although, in some ancient Hindu texts, the word, bhakti, refers to love or devotion to any specific aim or goal. Bhaktas are individuals that give themselves wholly to the pursuit of their chosen deity or endeavor.
In Sanskrit, bhakta means “faithful,” “loyal” or “devoted.”
Yogapedia explains Bhakta
Bhaktas are considered spiritual devotees who are completely committed to seeking Divine love. They believe that salvation comes from lovingly and wholeheartedly pursing the Divine.
Within bhakti practice, there are four different types of bhaktas:
- Arta - An individual who is suffering from physical or spiritual ailments and seeks the Divine for grace and relief from suffering.
- Jijnasu - An individual who is unsatisfied with the world as it is and seeks the Divine for greater meaning, knowledge and, ultimately, wisdom.
- Artharthi - An individual who seeks the Divine to obtain material blessings in this world -- wealth, power, marriage and children, and/or a high reputation or fame.
- Jnani - An individual who is already connected with their higher Self, is satisfied with that self, and considers themselves complete like the Divine. This person usually is a sage or guru.
Practicing Bhakti yoga is one way of moving through these various stages and coming closer to the Divine. Yoga can even be the endeavor which the bhakta chooses to pursue and devote themselves to wholeheartedly.