bhakti yoga

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jun 14 05:39:29 CDT 2002

  But I
> used jnana as "understanding of Reality."
> Any comments?  And thanks for the reference.
> Thanks
> Stephanie

Stephanie - you are right.  It is an understanding as
a fact not understanding as a thought.

In B.G. KrinshNa acutally outlines as only two paths -

lokesmin dwividhaa nishhTaa puraa proktaa maya
jnaana yogena sankhyaanaam karma yogena yoginaam||

Two paths have been ordained by me in the very
beginning (of creation). One is the path of Jnaana and
the other path  of karma.  Notice there is no
reference to Bhakti as a separate yoga.  The reason is
simple.  Devotion to any path - is the essence of
mumukhutvam and is needed for any path.  Bhakti with
karam becomes karmayoga - since karma yoga cannot be
without bringing Iswara into picture - yoga involves
yoking the mind to the higher and that cannot be done
without self-surrendering bhakti. Hence the statement
of the Lord - offer everything to me - yat karoti yat
ashnaati etc in the 9th ch. ... essentially whatever
you do offer it to Me.

Bhakti with j~naana becomes j~naana yoga - it is the
devotion towards the goal - hence Shankara defines in
the said VevekachuuDaamani slokas

moksha kaaraNa saamaagryaam bhatireva gariiyasi|
swaswaaruupaanu sandhaanaam bhatirityabhijiiyate||

Of all the paths for moksha, Bhakti is the supreme.
That Bhakti is contemplation on ones ownself|

this along with the previous sloka in the text -

no yogena na sankhyena karamaNaa no na vidyayaa|
brahmaatmaikatva bodhena mokshaH siddhyati na
anyathaa||... essentailly the liberation cannot be
gained without the understanding of the identity of
oneself with the totality or limitlessness.

Your teacher is following the Ramanuja doctrine.  But
even in Ramanuja's doctrine - what is recognized is
that j~naana which he calls as 'bhakti ruupaka
j~naana' - in otherwords the jnaana that arises as a
result of bhakti.  but what is that j~naana, he
difines it differently from the identity of the brahma
with atman that advaita emphasizes.

Hari OM!

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