Definition - What does Nisthita mean?

Nisthita is a Sanskrit word that means “consummate,” “accomplished,” “certain” and “complete.” In the context of Hindu and yogic philosophy, nisthita refers to nisthita bhakti, or steady devotion. Its opposite is anisthita bhakti, or unsteady devotion.

Bhakti describes both devotional service and the yogic path of devotion to a deity that leads to liberation from samsara, or the life-death-rebirth cycle. Nisthita bhakti is one of the nine stages of bhakti that the yogi passes through on the path to moksha (liberation).

Yogapedia explains Nisthita

The bhakti path begins with faith, which leads to anisthita bhakti (sometimes devoted and sometimes not) followed by nisthita bhakti, which provides the foundation upon which the rest of the journey builds.

The nine stages of bhakti include:

  • Faith
  • Association with saints
  • Devotion in practice, such as worship or service
  • Cessation of bad thoughts and habits (anartha)
  • Steadiness, or nisthita bhakti
  • Developed taste for devotion
  • Attachment to the deity
  • Emotion and enthusiasm
  • Pure love for the deity

Although anarthas are cleared in the previous stage, they are still present in nisthita bhakti, just not active. They eventually disappear as the yogi advances and pure bhakti manifests.

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