I am a Bhakt and I am proud of it
Sometimes we have to live with the names others give us. It is what we make of it that matters. The word Hindu for instance was given by outsiders to people living in this region. However, it has become a basis for unification of all of us and Veer Savarkar used the word Hindu in his treatise on Hindutva.
This picture shows Mahadeva, the Lord of the Universe as Nataraja. The story goes that Shiva wanted to teach a lesson to the Brahmins of Darukaranya who believed they had reached the ultimate just by their powers of manifesting. Shiva who came to them as a young yogi who mesmerized all their wives. Thus challenged and angered, they sent a tiger, a demon with the form of a deer, a poisonous snake and huge flames to attack him. Shiva conquered them all and donned the tiger skin, held the fire and the deer in his hand and placed the snake around his waist. What was thrown as an insult has become the glory of Shiva and forever adorns his image and adds to his glory.
The word Bhakt, in my opinion is the greatest compliment one can give to me. Yes, they believe it is an insult, because they think that a Bhakt is someone who believes blindly and without reason. But that is a stupid definition. Bhakti is the ultimate flowering of a person’s consciousness. It the final state of evolution when you logical mind understands the beauty of something beyond logic and surrenders to it. Next time someone calls you Bhakt, smile and say “Thank You!”