Bhakti: BHAKTI or devotion is defined as disinterested service to God. So, it is a form of karma. And disinterested action, as we have seen, is not possible without knowledge.
Hence, Bhakti too, like Niskama Karma, can be performed only by a true jnani. Only he can completely resign himself to the Lord. The devotee is confident of the guarantee given by the Lord –‘ Never does My devotee perish’ and ‘ The doer of good never comes to grief’. The Lord says, ‘Even if a very ill-conducted man worships me, not worshipping anyone else, he must certainly be deemed to be good, for he was well resolved. He soon becomes devout of heart and obtains lasting tranquility. O Arjuna, know firmly that My devotee is never ruined. He who does my work, who yields himself upto me, who is devoted to Me, void of attachment, without hatred to anyone, O Arjuna, comes to Me’.
The object of devotion is the personal god, the Purusottama on whose mercy the devote has to throw himself utterly. Absolute dependence and utter faith are very necessary. The Lord says : ‘ Merge thy mind in me, be my devotee, prostrate thyself before me, thou shalt come upto me. I pledge thee my word ; thou art dear to me. Abandoning all dharmas come unto me alone for shelter ; sorrow not, I will liberate thee from all sins’. The lord himself lifts up his devotees from the ocean of birth and death. The love of God is the supreme love and every other form of it is an imperfect manifestation of this supreme love. Out of the four kinds of devotees – the suffering ( arta ), the seeker for truth ( jijnasu ), the self – interested ( artharthi ), and the wise ( jnani ). The last one is the best. He alone knows that the lord pervades the entire universe ( vasudevah sarvam ). He sees the lord in everything and everything in the Lord. He knows that all is stung on God, like pearls on a string, that God is the immanent inner controller of all. ‘When devotion is perfect, then the individual and his God become suffused into one spiritual ecstasy, and reveal themselves as aspects of one life. Absolute monism is therefore the completion of the dualism with which the devotional consciousness starts.’