Doubt: Regarding 81 categories of Devotional service

Hare Krishna,

SB 3.29.10 Purport: 

Devotional service in the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness can be divided into eighty-one categories. There are different devotional activities, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, offering prayer, rendering service and surrendering everything, and each of them can be divided into three qualitative categories. There is hearing in the mode of passion, in the mode of ignorance and in the mode of goodness. Similarly, there is chanting in the mode of ignorance, passion and goodness, etc. Three multiplied by nine equals twenty-seven, and when again multiplied by three it becomes eighty-one. One has to transcend all such mixed materialistic devotional service in order to reach the standard of pure devotional service, as explained in the next verses.

What is the last multiplication by 3 mean (underlined one) ? Does this further categorised in another 3 groups ? If yes, what are these ? The devotees who are chanting to control mind (so that it can be directed in the service of Lotus feet of Krishna) will fall in which category ?

-- Haribol !!

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  • Those 3 sub category are sub-gunas of each gunas(sattva, raja & tama) or the type of devotee wherein he/she begins his/her Hari bhakti journey. 


    1. Three types of tamasa bhaktas: those worshiping with himsa-, those worshiping with dambha- and those worshiping with matsaryah- motives respectively.
    2. Three types of rajasa bhaktas: those worshiping with visayah-, those worshiping with yasas- and those worshiping with aisvaryah- motives respectively.
    3. Three types of sattvika bhaktas: those worshiping with a motive to destroy their sins, those worshiping with a motive to please the Lord, and those worshiping with the motive to fulfill their duties.

    Either each of these three multiplies to get the 81 types.

    (Courtesy of Sridhara Swami)

    • Thank you Prabhuji for clarifying the doubt. Thanks for those beautiful examples.

      Also, I got the point that the 3 sub category refers to the type of devotee wherein he/she begins his/her Hari bhakti journey. Thanks a lot.

      - Haribol !!

      • You're welcome!

        Hare Krishna!

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