Vyabhicharini Bhakti

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Vyabhicharini Bhakti Mean?

Vyabhicharini bhakti is a type of devotion in Hindu and yogic philosophy that is divided between love of family and possessions and devotion to the Lord. The term comes from the Sanskrit vyabhicharini, which means “one who is unfaithful” and “characterless.” It refers deviating from one’s promise. Bhakti translates as “devotional service” and “faithfulness.”

The opposite of vyabhicharini is avyabhicharini bhakti, in which the yogi gives his whole heart, mind and soul in loving devotion to his deity.


Yogapedia Explains Vyabhicharini Bhakti

Vyabhicharini bhakti is sometimes described as unstable devotion because it is inconsistent. It is better than no devotion, because the yogi has spiritual longing and demonstrates his love for the Lord, but his devotion waivers between that spiritual longing and worldly desires.

Bhakti is divided into many categories, depending on the tradition. Some other types include:

  • Apara (lower) bhakti, which involves rituals and ceremonies, and its opposite, para bhakti, which is higher devotion that transcends the world and is unlimited by rituals.
  • Vaidhi bhakti is devotion based on rituals and customs as outlined in the scriptures.
  • Ragatmika bhakti is is not limited by customs and rituals and is, therefore, free to be spontaneous.
  • Sattvic bhakti is characterized by purity of devotion that seeks to please the deity.
  • Rajasic bhakti involves passion. This devotion to God is the desire for wealth and abundance.
  • Tamasic bhakti is based on negative qualities such as jealousy and malice. With this bhakti, God is worshiped for the purpose of seeking revenge against an enemy or success through devious means.

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