The best form of bhakti
Anand V. Hudli
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 28 14:36:11 CDT 1999
The advaita concept of bhakti is based, not surprisingly, on the
text of a well-known passage in the bR^ihadAraNyaka upanishhad.
This occurs in the fourth brAhmaNa of the first adhyAya of the
great upanishhad. (1.4.10)
Shankara has paraphrased the same idea in the advaita-prakaraNa of
tadidaM ya evamAryo veda brahmAhamasmIti |
sa idaM sarvaM cha syAttasya devAshcha neshate .abhUtyai ||
The noble person who knows this (Self) in this manner -
"I am Brahman" (brahmAhamasmIti) - he becomes all this.
His non-becoming cannot be forced even by the Gods.
eshhAm sa bhavatyAtmA - He becomes the Self of these Gods.
yo .anyAmatha devatAmupAste| ahamanyo .asAvanyashchetthaM yo
veda pashuvatsaH ||
He who worships another deity thus (with the understanding) "I
am different. He (God) is different." is like an animal.
(Anyone who worships God thinking "He and I are different" is like
an animal, ie. bound by ignorance.)
The upanishhad remarks here: "yathA ha vai bahavaH pashavo
manushhyaM bhuJNjyuH, evamekaikaH purushho devAn.h bhunakti"
Just as many animals serve a man, every man (who thinks of
himself as different from his deity) serves the Gods.
ityupanishhadAmuktistathA shrutirbhagavaduktishcha |
GYAnI tvAtmaiveyaM matirmametyatra yuktirapi ||
The upanishhads and the Veda too say thus. BhagavAn
Krishna too says (gItA 7.18) : "The jnAnI is My very Self.
This is My judgement." There is also reasoning here (apart
from the testimony of the scriptures.)
R^iju vakraM vA kAshhThaM hutAshadagdhaM sadagnitAM yAti |
tatkiM hastagrAhyaM R^ijuvakrAkArasattve .api ||
Whether a piece of wood is straight or bent, being burnt by
fire, attains the state of fire. Is it to be grasped by hand
even though it has a straight or bent form?
The reasoning is: Regardless of the shape and form of the piece
of wood, once it is burning, it loses its original characteristic
of "being fit to be grasped by hand." Likewise, regardless of
whether a person is handsome or ugly, rich or poor, tall or short,
educated or illiterate, etc., once the person attains jnAna,
he/she loses the capability of being judged on the basis of the
body, mind, and intellect. This person should not be considered
to be an ordinary person anymore. This person should not be
considered to be inferior to God. In fact, there is the (dormant)
fire of divinity in everyone. This fire of divinity is what is to
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
Archives : http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l.html
Help : Email to listmaster at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Options : To leave the list send a mail to
listserv at lists.advaita-vedanta.org with
SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list