The Science of Bhakti

17th September 2016 • Illuminations on Bhakti

HH Candramauli Swami, SB lecture, 3.4.25, May 19th, 2014, NVD, Hungary

Srila Prabhupada described science as applying certain principals and getting a determined result. If you apply different principals, you get a different result. So Bhakti is the science of loving Krishna, taught by the spiritual master, according to time, place and candidate, following Vaisnava scripture. Krishna said something really interesting to Brahma at the end of the Brahma-samhita. He speaks directly to Lord Brahma: “The science of Bhakti is successful by three principles:

  1. Scriptural direction.
  2. Vaisnava behavior.
  3. Perseverance in practice.

These are the three: Scripture is the basis, guru teaches on the basis of scripture, the behavior of the Vaisnavas makes the execution of the philosophy successful, and one should be determined. These three together. So if you apply determination according to the instruction of the spiritual master, coming from the sastras, and you develop behavior that is conducive to the practice of devotional service, that is the science.

And if you change that around, you do something different, it becomes unscientific. That’s why there are so many types of Bhakti. But genuine Bhakti is pure. Mixed Bhakti doesn’t give satisfaction to the self. All the elements of Bhakti are described in different aspects of the practice of Bhakti according to the level of practice. But when we talk about Bhakti in the real sense, we are talking about Suddha
Bhakti – pure Bhakti.

Bhakti is executed in a particular way, but pure Bhakti is the complete science of Bhakti. Basically these are the elements that make up pure Bhakti. Srila Rupa Goswami is the acarya who teaches the science of pure Bhakti, which is described in The Nectar of Devotion: the whole science of Bhakti is there. Srila Prabhupada said about The Nectar of Devotion: “Read it once, read it twice, read it thrice. Everything you want to know about the science of pure Bhakti is in The Nectar of Devotion.” Study this book, and you will know the complete science of Bhakti.