Vaidhi Bhakti

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Vaidhi Bhakti Mean?

Vaidhi bhakti is a form of devotion based on rituals and customs as described in the Hindu scriptures. It is based on a sense of obligation. The term comes from the Sanskrit vaidhi, meaning “law,” “rule,” “statute” or “one who does service,” and bhakti, meaning “faithfulness” and “devotional service.”

Hindus categorize bhakti into many different types. Vaidhi bhakti is one of two types of sadhana bhakti, or spiritual practice of devotion. The other is raganuga bhakti, which is devotion that can be more spontaneous because it is expressed in ways not limited by the customs and rituals.


Yogapedia Explains Vaidhi Bhakti

The 16th century guru Rupa Gosvanni listed 64 limbs of vaidhi bhakti, but the most significant are the nava-vaidhi bhakti:

  • Hearing (sravana) the name of the Lord for purification of the heart.
  • Chanting (kirtana) to glorify the Lord’s name.
  • Remembering (smarana) the Lord at all times.
  • Serving (sevana) through daily duties and such devotional practices as traveling to holy places.
  • Worshiping (arcana) through prayers, offerings, singing hymns, reciting mantras and meditating.
  • Praising (vandana) as a form of adoration.
  • Servitude (dasya) means living as a servant of the Lord.
  • Friendship (sakhya) is assisting the deity as one would a friend.
  • Surrender (nivedana/samarpana) is offering oneself to the deity by surrendering personal desires and concerns.

These, as well as the other limbs of vaidhi bhakti, are intended to immerse the body, mind, soul and senses in the service to the deity.

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