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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 14 Jan 2022

               

Classification of devotion to God

Ms. Laxmi Thrylokya asked:- Basically, how to classify the types of devotion to God?

Swami replied:- There are two types of classifications of devotion and each classification has two types vertically divided and other two types horizontally divided. The vertical classification is the less important left side column of theoretical devotion (knowledge or Jnaana Yoga and devotion or Bhakti Yoga) and the right side-more important column of practical devotion or Karma Yoga consisting of Karma Samnyaasa (sacrifice of service) and karma phala tyaaga (sacrifice of fruit of work). The other type of horizontal classification is the less important selfish devotion in the lower side and more important selfless devotion on the upper side.

Vertical classification

Theoretical devotion

(less important)

Practical devotion

(more important)

Knowledge or Jnaana Yoga of intelligence &

Devotion or Bhakti Yoga of mind

Karma Samnyaasa (sacrifice of service) &

Karma phala tyaaga (sacrifice of fruit of work)

 

Horizontal classification

Selfless devotion (more important)

Knowledge, Devotion & Practice without aspiration for any fruit in return from God.

Selfish devotion (less important)

Knowledge, Devotion & Practice with aspiration for any fruit in return from God.

 

Mixing these two types of classifications, four types of devotions result, which are the following given below in the descending order of value from top to bottom:-

a) Best devotion of selfless and practical sacrifice:- Both karma samnyaasa and karmaphala tyaaga are done without any aspiration for any fruit in return from God.

b) Better devotion of selfless and theoretical phase:- Study and propagation of spiritual knowledge (Jnaana yoga) and devotion (Bhakti Yoga) without aspiration for any fruit in return from God.

c) Good devotion of selfish and practical sacrifice:- Both karma samnyaasa and karmaphala tyaaga are done with aspiration for some fruit from God. This is Vaishya Bhakti or business devotion.

d) Low devotion of selfish and theoretical phase:- Study and propagation of spiritual knowledge and devotion with aspiration for some fruit in return from God. This is Veshyaabhakti or prostitution devotion.

 
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