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Classical Hindu ThoughtAn Introduction$
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Arvind Sharma

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195658712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.001.0001

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(p.123) Chapter XVII Bhakti-yoga
Classical Hindu Thought

Arvind Sharma

Oxford University Press

Bhakti-yoga is directed towards the realization of saguna Brahman, and this kind of yoga functions within the framework of a somewhat different set of presuppositions. A special mark of monotheistic belief, whether Śaivism or Vaishavism, is the distinction between God, the individual soul, and the world of which he is the author. The soul is usually conceived as eternal, but as entirely dependent upon God; and it therefore becomes the first duty of man to make himself a conscious and willing instrument in the fulfillment of His purpose. The conception of the goal of life according to early Indian theism may be taken as reaching the presence of God, or becoming godlike. The predominant means of achieving this end is, besides good conduct (caryā), is loving devotion (bhakti) to God.

Keywords:   saguna Brahman, yogas, Hinduism, God, bhakti, devotion, good conduct, caryā

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