Bhava

Definition - What does Bhava mean?

Bhava is mindful intent, which can include consciously and intentionally setting an appropriate mood or mental space for a yoga practice or in one's self. In Buddhism, bhava refers to reincarnation, the permanence and continuity of the life and death cycle, and the spiritual maturity that can be attained through this cycle. The Sanskrit term may be translated as “ecstasy,” “emotion,” or “expression" in English.

In Bhakti traditions, including Bhakti yoga, bhava also means directing and activating the emotional and spiritual energy that is created through routine and mature meditative thinking on an individual’s chosen deity or object of devotion.

Yogapedia explains Bhava

In Bhakti yogic philosophy, bhava is considered the center of spiritual feelings and affections, as well as the heart and everlasting soul (the true Self). Bhava can be a “sixth sense” so to speak -- as an individual begins to listen to bhava, it can provide guidance and insight into what is important and beneficial to the true Self. An example of this could be feeling a deep sense of spiritual wellness while engaging in a therapeutic or meditative activity, such as yoga or gardening.

At its core, bhava is setting or receiving an attitude of peace, vitality and wellness. Feeling a deep sense of conscious rest and spiritual peace is an excellent indicator of what is life-giving to the true Self. Individuals practicing spiritual aspects of yoga can also exercise bhava by setting positive and peaceful intentions for meditative times.

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