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Bhakti and Well-being: A Psychologist's Perspective


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1 Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India
     

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The paper examines Bhakti in light of the classical Indian depiction of emotions, viz. - the Rasa Theory. Bhakti is viewed as a movement in the emotional life of the aspirant, from minor devotional states (survival/pleasure/ego orientation), to major devotional states (love orientation). Drawing from Sri Aurobindo, a connection is then made between Bhakti and Psychic unfoldment. Devotional love provides the bedrock for a life lived in and from the Psychic. Further, years of observation, introspection, and reflection have lead me to conclude that one of the most essential pre-requisites for making an effective counselor/therapist is a groundedness in love, which ought to forever radiate from the being of the helping person. Traditionally in India, individuals turned to their gurus in times of crisis and suffering, and upon encountering the guru, the healing process began immediately because of the unconditional love and acceptance on the part of the guru, for the distressed individual. This paper thus focuses on the nature of (S)self work which takes one in the direction of becoming love (or more loving), and in this process better able to help others, and thereby also facilitate one's own evolution.

Keywords

Bhakti, Well-Being
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  • Bhakti and Well-being: A Psychologist's Perspective

Abstract Views: 200  |  PDF Views: 1

Authors

Suneet Verma
Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India

Abstract


The paper examines Bhakti in light of the classical Indian depiction of emotions, viz. - the Rasa Theory. Bhakti is viewed as a movement in the emotional life of the aspirant, from minor devotional states (survival/pleasure/ego orientation), to major devotional states (love orientation). Drawing from Sri Aurobindo, a connection is then made between Bhakti and Psychic unfoldment. Devotional love provides the bedrock for a life lived in and from the Psychic. Further, years of observation, introspection, and reflection have lead me to conclude that one of the most essential pre-requisites for making an effective counselor/therapist is a groundedness in love, which ought to forever radiate from the being of the helping person. Traditionally in India, individuals turned to their gurus in times of crisis and suffering, and upon encountering the guru, the healing process began immediately because of the unconditional love and acceptance on the part of the guru, for the distressed individual. This paper thus focuses on the nature of (S)self work which takes one in the direction of becoming love (or more loving), and in this process better able to help others, and thereby also facilitate one's own evolution.

Keywords


Bhakti, Well-Being



DOI: https://doi.org/10.15614/ijpp%2F2010%2Fv1i1-2%2F49714