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The word bhakti means passionate devotion for God and implies a sense of intimate relationship with other people. Etymologically, it is derived from a Sanskrit root bhaj, meaning to “share,” and it refers to emotional “participation” with one's deity and human beings as a core value. Indeed, bhakti is a mode of religious faith, and its expression is characterized by affective service of, participation in, or bonding with the transcendent (or God), understood as personal and as personally related to oneself. In Indian literature, we encounter a bipolar character of bhakti: On the one hand, it refers to an “emotionally restrained elite bhakti,” expressed in Sanskrit literature such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Svetasvatara Upanishad, and on the other, it points to an “emotionally ...

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