NBS 2: Defining Bhakti

Chapter 2

NBS 15 Now the characteristics of devotional service will be described according to various authoritative opinions.
NBS 16 Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the son of Parāśara Muni, says that bhakti is fond attachment for worshiping the Lord in various ways.
NBS 17 Garga Muni says that bhakti is fondness for narrations about the Lord, by the Lord, and so on.
NBS 18 Śāṇḍilya says that bhakti results from one's removing all obstructions to taking pleasure in the Supreme Self.
NBS 19 Nārada, however, says that bhakti consists of offering one's every act to the Supreme Lord and feeling extreme distress in forgetting Him.
NBS 20 Bhakti is, in fact, correctly described in each of these ways.
NBS 21 The cowherd women of Vraja are an example of pure bhakti.
NBS 22 Even in the case of the gopīs, one cannot criticize them for forgetting the Lord's greatness.
NBS 23 On the other hand, displays of devotion without knowledge of God's greatness are no better than the affairs of illicit lovers.
NBS 24 In such false devotion one does not find pleasure exclusively in the Lord's pleasure.
NBS 25 Pure devotional service, on the other hand, is far superior to fruitive work, philosophical speculation, and mystic meditation.
NBS 26 After all, bhakti is the fruit of all endeavor.
NBS 27 Furthermore, the Lord dislikes the proud but is pleased with the humble.
NBS 28 Some say that knowledge is the means for developing devotion.
NBS 29 Others consider bhakti and knowledge interdependent.
NBS 30 But the son of Brahmā says that bhakti is its own fruit.
NBS 31-32 This is illustrated by the examples of a royal palace, a meal, and so on. A king is not really satisfied just by seeing a palace, nor can someone placate his hunger just by looking at a meal.
NBS 33 Therefore seekers of liberation should take to devotional service alone.