devotion vs. knowledge
gmadras at ENGR.UCDAVIS.EDU
Tue Jun 4 15:34:13 CDT 1996
Michael Cohen wrote :
> If I may, a general question addressed to the forum:
> When seeking to locate authority concerning the precepts of advaita, to whom
> should appeal ultimately be directed? If we seek to understand the
> relationship between jnana and bhakti, it seems scriptural sources are the
> resort of choice. If we seek interpretation of the scriptures relating to
> advaita, is not Samkara the voice accepted as most authoritative by virtue of
> sampradaya or the succession of teaching lineage?
No. There are other lineages other than Shankara. For example, the
lineage of Nisargadatta Maharaj, which is the Nath Sampradaya. Ramana is
recognized by the Shankara maths and other lineages to be a self-realized
person. There are a few disciples of Ramana who teach actively in India (I
have met one of them). Ramakrishna also had an advaitic teacher in
Further, the lineages of Kashmir shaivism is very advaitic,
though it may not be recognized by the shankara maths. Further, certain
tantric sects do teach nondualistic philosophy. Shankara may be the most
authoritative, but he was not the first teacher either.
This sampradaya and the authencity issue is often raised by
vaishnavities, only because they fail to understand that Grace is from the
unmanifested itself. Even morals, and the way of life is unimportant if
one's karma is such that the Truth be revealed. Nisargadatta sold cigars
and lived in the slums of Bombay, Arunagiri had a sexually transmitted
disease etc. I am not saying that morals are not important in one's life,
but Grace is much more important than just leading a moralistic life
without any basis.
baalyaadishhvapi jaagradaadishhu tathaa sarvaasvavasthaasvapi
vyaavR^ittaasvanuvartamaanamahamityantaH sphurantaM sadaa .
svaatmaanaM prakaTiikaroti bhajataaM yo mudrayaa bhadrayaa
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 7..
He, whose existence is changeless throughout the various
states of the body (like old, young etc) and mind (waking, dreaming etc),
and who reveals the greatest knowledge of Atman by GYaana-mudra (the
joining of the thumb and the forefinger of a raised right hand) - to that
Dakshinamurthi, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my
-- Dakshinamurthi stotra.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list