The Emergence of Shri Bhaktamal

The Bhaktamal gives the earliest reliable account of many bhaktas, and hence is considered an important source for literary and devotional history of northern India.

2024.06.01 (Vrindavan Today News): The glories of the Lord is infinie, so do the glories of His beloved devotees. Here is a story on how Shri Naba Das ji got inspired to write the nectar of Bhaktamal, which describes the lives of different devotees of the contemporary times.

Once upon a time, Shri Agradas Ji Maharaj was engaged in the mental service of Shri Sitaram Ji, and Shri Nabha Ji was fanning him.

At that time, one of Shri Agradas Ji Maharaj’s disciples was traveling by sea. His ship got caught in a storm.

He remembered his Gurudev with humility. As a result of this remembrance, Shri Agradas Ji’s mind drifted away from the mental service of the Lord and towards his disciple.

Now, Shri Nabha Ji’s duty was to ensure that there was no interruption in his Gurudev’s mental service. Shri Nabha Ji became aware of the whole situation even though it was a matter of Gurudev’s mind.

Shri Nabha Ji immediately used the fan in his hand in such a way that the disciple’s ship escaped the storm and reached the shore.

Shri Nabha Ji told his Gurudev, “By your grace, that disciple has crossed the danger, now you may resume your meditation on Shri Sitaram Ji.”

Upon hearing this, Shri Agradas Ji opened his eyes and asked, “Who said that?”


Shri Nabha Ji replied beautifully, “It was spoken by the one whom you have raised by feeding with Seeth Prasad.”

Indeed, Seeth Prasad had granted such a power that “the disciple had entered into the mind of his Guru,” and this is the greatest thing that a disciple can reach the mind of his Guru.

Not only did he know the mind’s matter, but he also helped a distant disciple while sitting right there. Hearing this, Shri Agradas Ji was very pleased.

He said to Shri Nabha Ji, “You have received the grace of the saints, now you sing their virtues.” Hearing this, Shri Nabha Ji said, “It is easy to sing the virtues of Lord Shri Ram-Krishna, but how can I sing the character of the devotees?”

Gurudev, with a smile, said, “You need not worry. The same saints who showed you the boat in the ocean will come into your heart and narrate their character.”

Thus, with the command of Shri Agradas Ji, Shri Nabha Ji wrote this extremely benevolent scripture ‘Shri Bhaktamal’.

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