Ragatmika Bhakti

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Ragatmika Bhakti Mean?

Ragatmika bhakti is a devotion to God that is not limited by customs, conventions or rules. The term comes from the Sanskrit raga, meaning “passion,” “love” and “affection”; atmika, meaning “characterized by”; and bhakti, which means “faithfulness” and “devotional service.”

With ragatmika bhakti, divine prem (love) flows freely without concern about what anyone thinks and without societal barriers of any kind or regard for public criticism. In contrast, vaidhi bhakti is devotion that follows rules, customs and ceremonies.


Yogapedia Explains Ragatmika Bhakti

In general, bhakti is deep devotion, love and attachment to God, but it is manifested in different ways. Bhakti, therefore, is categorized into various types depending on the tradition, and the categories may overlap. For example, ragatmika bhakti is also a form of mukhya (primary) bhakti.

Some examples of categories of bhakti include:

  • Apara bhakti – also referred to as lower bhakti, it is rooted in desire and ego
  • Para bhakti – known as higher bhakti, it is all-inclusive, universal love
  • Sakaam bhakti – worship with the desire for emotional or material gain
  • Nishkaam bhakti – the opposite of sakaam, this devotion has no selfish motivation
  • Vyabhicharini bhakti – loving material objects and family in addition to God
  • Avyabhicharini bhakti – devotion to God only
  • Mukhya bhakti – God is the primary aspect of devotion
  • Guana bhakti – devotion to God is a secondary aspect

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