Mishra Bhakti

What is Mishra Bhakti?

People mostly practice Mishra bhakti or mixed devotion, for example, Sakama-karma-mishra-bhakti is bhakti mixed with a trace of sakama-karma, a desire for some material goal.

There are three types of sakama-karma-mishra-bhaktas (Gita 7.16): those who are suffering, those who are inquisitive, and those who desire wealth.

Because of the transcendental nature of bhakti, the result of even Mishra bhakti is that such devotees, after attaining their desires (relief from suffering, gain of material benefits, or attainment of scriptural knowledge), achieve pure bhakti and enter the transcendental Vaikuntha planets (salokya-mukti, Gita 18.56), predominated by the mood of aishvarya (opulence) and sukha (real happiness, beyond the neutrality of Brahman realization).

When bhakti is predominant but is mixed with nishkama-karma and jnana it is called karma-jnana-mishra-bhakti.

An example could be cooking and offering preparations to Krishna.

Cooking food for Krishna without a desire for the result (to taste the food) is analogous to the activities of nishkama-karma-yoga.

But in nishkama-karma-yoga, only the results of scriptural duties (e.g., nitya- and naimittika-karma, or varnashrama duties) are offered to Krishna, while in bhakti all activities are offered to Krishna.

Also, the practitioner has knowledge of atma and Paramatma, like a jnani, but is superior to a jnani owing to the knowledge of Krishna as Bhagavan.

Therefore this is not nishkama-karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, or uttama-bhakti, but rather karma-jnana-mishra-bhakti. Such a bhakta attains direct service to the Lord (Gita 9.28).

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