Bhakti Books

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Books on Bhakti

Bhakti is an abandon of faith in God. It has always dominated Indian religious life and also Indian literature. This was faith in some aspect of the Divinity – either Shiva, or the Great Mother Goddess Shakti in her manifestations as Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kali and Durga, or Vishnu (especially in his incarnations of Rama and Krishna), or in some of the other gods like Ganesha, Surya, and Karttikeya. Bhakti also permeated Buddhism and Jainism.

The philosophical foundations of Bhakti are laid down in the Narad Bhakti Sutras and Sandilya Bhakti Sutras. The nectar of bhakti hinted at by these texts finds it delightful blossoming in the Srimad Bhagavata Purana.

Among the prominent bhaktas who have inspired generations we may mention: Jnanesvara, The Alwars, Namadeva, Narsi Mehta, Guru Nanak, Mirabai, and Sankara Deva. Great stimulus was given by the bhakti movement to Brajabhasa, a Western Hindi dialect, and also to Awadhi or Kosali, an Eastern Hindi speech. The followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, through their writings, greatly influenced the development of Bengali.

Sacred cities like Varanasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, Vrndavana, Navadvipa, and Amritsar became centres of bhakti literature.

Tulasidasa’s Rama-carita-manasa, an early Awadhi (Eastern Hindi) version of the Ramayana, became a classic in its own right and, for the greater part of northern India, provided the gospel of righteous living in a language of perfect beauty. Suradasa and Mirabai wrote their lyrics on Krishna in Braja-bhasa and Rajasthani.

Here is a collection of bhakti books, suitable for all - whether just entering bhakti, or those who have already made it a way of life.