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Nine Stages of Bhakti Yoga

The nine stages of Bhakti-yoga are described in the Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhva-lila, by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as follows:
"In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is inititated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes finally fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krsna consciousness."
1. sraddha: faith2. sadhu-sanga: association with devotees3. bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service4. anartha nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments5. nistha: steadiness6. ruci: taste7. asakti: attachment8. bhava: love9. prema: pure love for Krsna
In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu the science of devotional sevice is explained as follows:
In the beginning stage there must be a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will lead one to the platform of desiring to associate with spiritually advanced persons. The next step is to become initiated by an authorized spiritual master and to perform devotional service under his guidance. Through the execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one will become free from all material attachments, achieves steadiness in self realization and finds taste in hearing about Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This taste leads one to further attachment in Krsna consciousness which is called bhava or the preliminary stage of pure love of Godhead. Pure love to the Lord is called prema or the supreme perfectional stage in life.

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