Dasya

Definition - What does Dasya mean?

Dasya is a Sanskrit word meaning “service” or “servitude.” In yoga and Hindu philosophy, dasya refers to a type of devotion (dasya bhakti) and a mental attitude (dasya bhava).

Dasya bhakti is love and devotion to God through servitude. Everything the devotee does is in service to his/her supreme lord. Dasya bhava is the attitude of servitude that allows the devotee to dedicate his/her life to divine service: God is the master and he/she is the servant.

Yogapedia explains Dasya

Dasya bhava is one of five kinds of bhava, the others being:

  • Santa bhava (peaceful)
  • Madhurya, or kanta, bhava (attitude of romantic love)
  • Vatsalya bhava (in role reversal, parental love for God)
  • Sakhya bhava (divine friendship)

Through dasya bhakti, the devotee may clean sacred places, care for the poor, meditate on the scriptures or perform any other task as God's servant and slave.

Dasya bhakti is one of nine types of bhakti in some traditions. The other eight are:

  • Sravana (listening to the scriptures)
  • Kirtana (singing or chanting)
  • Smarana (keeping God foremost in one's consciousness)
  • Padasevana (showing love of God through service to others)
  • Archana (worship through external images or internal visualizations)
  • Vandana (prayer and prostration)
  • Sakhya-bhava (friendship type of love for God on the level of companionship or a family member)
  • Atma-nivedana (complete self-surrender to God)

Dasya is also the name of a style of yoga. Dasya yoga incorporates aspects of domination/submission, bondage, Kinky yoga, and Tantra to promote growth and healing.

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