The limbs of bhakti

The limbs of bhakti help us relate with Kṛṣṇa

Rupa Goswami lists 64 limbs of bhakti in the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu. We will examine these limbs one by one. This preamble examines the significance of the limbs of bhakti.

Where the Bhagavad Gita deals with psychology of the material mind, the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu deals with the psychology of Kṛṣṇa and his devotees. The goal of the devotee is prema for Kṛṣṇa, which involves entering a relation with him as a person would with another person. Then one has to know how Kṛṣṇa thinks, and what his requirements are of people who want to enter into a relationship with him, because one cannot get prema for Kṛṣṇa without His assent. There is no ‘forgotten prema’ in the jiva that is dormant in the heart and just needs to be remembered. Instead, Kṛṣṇa becomes persuaded to give it to the jiva when he or she acquires the adhikāra for it.

The 64 limbs of bhakti are provided by Rupa Goswami to help the jiva understand and make the decision to conform to Kṛṣṇa’s nature. These limbs of bhakti therefore have to be studied and understood first, and then followed seriously, if one wishes to get the result of bhakti.

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