is a simple form of the Hindu faith and practice, very easy
to follow for the ordinary individual with limited understanding.
It is also considered as the superior and the ultimate goal as a
total surrender to the Divine creator for all protection and liberation.
In the Bhakthi schools, there are separate groups who worship Siva,
others worship Sakthi only or both, while others worship
Vishnu in His many forms. Vaishnavites consider that
God in not formless but only beyond attributes and comprehension.
this form of Narayana as "Savisesha Brahmam". Understanding
this form by total surrender and devotion leads to ultimate release
of individual soul to reach and reside in the Gods abode, Swarga.
Smarthas, who follow the Smrithis, Adhvaitha and rituals
to Vedic Deities, also worship all these Deities as manifestations
of Supreme God as one of His many forms, known as "Paramatma"
[the Supreme Soul] as in Vedas.
stage of devotional path is the lower form, "Apara Bhakthi".
The devotee prays for some worldly request, prosperity and help,
for consolation in sorrow or for comfort in adversity, as a personalized
worship. Then the devotee is fully consumed in his devotion and
love to his personal God, Ishta-Devata. He sees Him everywhere and
totally surrenders to Him and dances with joy with the ecstasy of
his divine love. He asks for nothing in return as a favor.
many forms in this Bhakthi. The devotee may see God as his father,
as his mother, as a personal friend, as a master, as a beloved,
as a husband, as a king or as a Guru. Each devotee can worship in
his own way. They see God in every thing and every thing in God.
The highest stage is the "Para Bhakthi". Various areas of
India and various communities had their own preferences. Some amount
of group fighting occurred in the medieval times along these lines
due to ignorance.