Navavidha Bhakti

Definition - What does Navavidha Bhakti mean?

Navavidha bhakti comprises the nine ways to express devotion or develop devotion for God or the higher Self. Mentioned in the Hindu scriptures, the "Srimad-Bhagavata" and the "Vishnu Purana," navavidha bhakti is also described as the devotional paths that lead to moksha, or liberation.

The term comes from the Sanskrit, navavidha, meaning “nine-fold” or “consisting of nine parts,” and bhakti, meaning “faithfulness,” “devotion to” or “love.” In Hinduism and yoga, there are different paths to salvation with bhakti being just one. Jnana is the path of knowledge, Karma is the path of action, and Raja is the royal path, or the eight-fold path of yoga as explained in the Yoga Sutras.

Yogapedia explains Navavidha Bhakti

The devotional path of bhakti is divided into nine types, or navavidha bhakti. They are:

  1. Shravanam — Listening to the names of and stories about God
  2. Keertanam — Chanting or singing about God
  3. Smaranam — Remembering God throughout the day
  4. Paada sevanam — Serving God willingly
  5. Archanam — Worshiping God
  6. Vandanam — Praising God selflessly and with total submission
  7. Daasyam — Serving God
  8. Sakhyam — Developing a friendship with God
  9. Aatma Nivedanam — Surrendering oneself to God; Self-realization or samadhi

Some sources say that these are nine different ways of showing loving devotion to God, any one of which the yogi can choose to follow. Other sources describe navavidha bhakti as a step-by-step path that leads to moksha.

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