Bhakti yoga

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Jun 17 19:35:28 CDT 2002

On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, hbdave wrote:

> kuntimaddi sadananda wrote:
> > --- hbdave <hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN> wrote:
> > > Stephanie Stean wrote:
> > >> Can anyone give me some
> > > references of where this idea is
> > > > covered more thoroughly?
> > > >
> > > > Thanks
> > > > Stephanie
> > >
> > > I do not think any one can give you a reference to
> > > show that Jnana and Bhakti
> > > are the same.
> >

I can :-)

This quote is from "The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi":

Question: "What is the relation between jnana and bhakti?"

Sri Ramana: "The eternal, unbroken, natural state of abiding in the Self is
jnana. To abide in the Self you must love the Self. Since God is verily the
Self, love of the Self is love of God; and that is Bhakti. Jnana and Bhakti are
thus one and the same."

Of course, RM is referring to the highest state as "bhakti", which he
very often did. You can also read the extract from "Talks" on 22nd March,
1939, Talk #650:

D.: Will bhakti lead to mukti?

M.: Bhakti is not different from mukti. Bhakti is being as the Self (Swarupa).
One is always that. He realises it by the means he adopts. What is bhakti? To
think of God. That means: only one thought prevails to the exclusion of all
other thoughts. That thought is of God which is the Self or it is the Self
surrendered into God. When He has taken you up nothing will assail you. The
absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti.

The jnana method is said to be vichara (enquiry). That is nothing but 'supreme
devotion' (parabhakti). The difference is in words only.

Or perhaps the instruction on 27th Dec 1936, Talk #307:
307. Mr. Shamanna from Mysore asked Sri Bhagavan: Kindly explain Aham Sphurana
(the light of 'I' - 'I').

M.: 'I' is not known in sleep. On waking 'I' is perceived associated with the
body, the world and the non-self in general. Such associated 'I' is aham
vritti. When Aham represents the Self only it is Aham Sphurana. This is natural
to the jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or bhakti by bhaktas.


> These can not, in my humble opinion, be taken as valid
> refernces for equivalence of, say, Jnana and Bhakti, that
> the original questioner was asking about.

Bhakti is a process only for those who don't know the real Bhakti. If you
continue reading "Talks" on the references above, RM's views are clear:

"You think that bhakti is meditation on the Supreme Being. So long as there is
vibhakti, bhakti is sought. The process will lead to the ultimate goal as is
said in Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

arto jignasush artharthi jnani cha Bharatarshabha
tesham jnani nityayukta ekabhaktir visishyate
* Ch. VII (16,17)

Any kind of meditation is good. But if the sense of separateness is lost and
the object of meditation or the subject who meditates is alone left behind
without anything else to know, it is jnana. Jnana is said to be ekabhakti
(single-minded devotion). The jnani is the finality because he has become the
Self and there is nothing wrong to do. He is also perfect and so fearless,
dwitiyat val bhayam bhavati - only the existence of a second gives rise to
fear. That is mukti. It is also bhakti.

> Best wishes.
> -- Himanshu



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