Tarka #1: On Bhakti

In this issue of Tarka, On Bhakti, we explore the concepts of devotion, especially from a Vaiṣṇava Hindu perspective, including an in depth look at the teachings of the poet-saint Śri Caitanya, the Tamil Āḷvārs, the yogas of the Bhagavad Gītā, Kṛṣṇa devotion, and the Nārada Bhakti Sūtras.

Tarka Issue #1

On Bhakti

  • Historical, Polemical, and Experimental Essays
  • Introductory Articles on Key Topics
  • Interviews with Shambhavi Sarasvati, Miles Neale and Kavitha Chinnaiyan
  • Three Book Reviews
  • Articles on Practice and Translation

Articles from this Issue

Bhakti Yoga (Book Review)

Bryant’s Bhakti Yoga opens up an area of study often overlooked by students of modern yoga in a way that makes it accessible and relevant.

The Lost City of Sri Krishna (Book Review)

If one of the marks of an effective spiritual text is its ability to challenge our assumptions, then The Lost City meets this demand.

Wise-Love (Book Review)

In her book, Pranada Comtois, devoted practitioner and teacher of the bhakti yoga tradition, takes her reader on an educational and self-reflective journey through the subtleties of bhakti yoga philosophy and practice.

Tamil Kṛṣṇa Bhakti

Tamil Kṛṣṇa bhakti is not a path of disembodied spiritual union; it is an imaginative, holistic, and embodied bhakti.

The Power of Pilgrimage: Sacred Rite & Paradigm Therapy

Pilgrimage condenses the journey for spiritual liberation that can take an entire human lifetime or more into a few short weeks on the road.

Cultivating Bhakti Through Pūjā

There’s a certain kind of magic in deity yoga, where we develop an intimate relationship with the deity, the object of our adoration. Pūjā is the procedure of developing this deep and sweet intimacy.

Mūrti: The Living Form of God

A mūrti is not an idol. It’s a living “vessel” of manifestation, incarnation, and personification. It follows the same logic that if you want to drink water, you require a glass.

What is Smaraṇa?

Smaraṇa directly translates as “remembrance.” For many schools of bhakti, especially those informed by literature like Bhagavad-Gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, (or the “Bhāgavat School”) remembering the Godhead at the time of death is the ultimate fruit of a successful human life.

From the Introduction

Bhakti is love or devotion to a supreme deity. It is a form of religious practice, a state of mind, and the goal of practice. Through visualization, narrative, chanting, and pūjā, bhakti taps into raw emotion and desire. It engages with images of Kṛṣṇa, for example, as an infant to be nurtured and adored, as a handsome young lover, and as a loyal friend and teacher. Thus, the image of god connects to the deeply personal, rooted in a heartfelt connection. Yet, bhakti is more than devout human action; it is a discipline directed at cultivating a pure and absolute love for the supreme, both as a personal form of god and as that essence that surpasses the imagination.

Stephanie Corigliano, TARKA Journal Managing Editor

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On Death

In this issue of Tarka, On Death, we explore the topic of death from the perspective of contemplative traditions – including various ways of understanding and relating to the dying process, consecrating grief and loss, and practices designed to alleviate the suffering generally associated with death.
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