THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT IS FROM #"SURDAS" BY USHA NILSSON#:
"Bhakti, according to VallabhAcharya, was the chief means of salvation.
But the final goal of a bhakta was not moksha, but total immersion in Krishna (sayujya) and full participation in his Leela in celestial Vrindavan.
To Vallabhacharya and his followers, the Grace of God was very important, it was through God’s Pushti (strengthening or nurturing) that a devotee could hope to attain him.
He had to make himself the right kind of vessel or be rightly eligible to be favored by God’s Pushti, and he could do it, by having a steadfast and the highest form of love possible for God and by remembering Him constantly, never allowing himself to forget the knowledge of His Greatness and Splendor.
The devotee had to prove himself worthy of this Grace by continuous and constant effort. This special way, of being favored by God, came to be known as PushtiMarg - the way of Pushti (strengthening or nurturing).
VallabhAcharya stressed 4 kinds of feelings that can exist between a devotee and his God: parental love (vatsalya), servitude (dasya), friendliness (sakhya) and love (madhurya).
These relationships established the dominant mood or emotion (bhava) of a person’s bhakti. A devotee could experience and express all the four moods and they were not mutually exclusive.
However, VallabhAcharya considered love (madhurya) as the highest form of bhakti. The ultimate bliss of the union with one’s lover (in this case Krishna) and the sorrow at being separated from Him, both became conducive to a finer and higher form of devotion.
In deep obsessive love the devotee (personified by the gopis, young women of Braj) mind became fixed on Krishna, causing constant remembrance, an essential part of ninefold devotion [#9-fold devotion#].
This love went through 3 stages, it started as sneh (affection) and changed to asakti (attachment) and culminated in vyasan (addiction)".
"SURDAS" #by Usha Nilsson#
[Sahitya Academy] ~1997~