Bhakti yoga

reachhemant reachhemant at SIFY.COM
Sat Jun 22 02:43:56 CDT 2002

I have a few remarks to make on Jaldhar's excellent posting.
The Absolute is not a point of view. It is the Truth. The various points of
view belong to the relative domain. But the relative domain in Sankara is
unreal, mithyA. So while there are no degrees of reality operating, degrees
of unreality do. The prAtibhAsic is more unreal than vyAvahAric. Thus while
there can be experiences on the way which are helpful such as that of the
Isvara as Vidyasankar has correctly pointed out earlier, they cannot be
resting places for the seeker. When the sAdhaka at last experiences the Self
, the Isvara and the world simply sink in it or are otherwise dissolved. The
Isvara abolished, no place for Bhakti would remain except if you redefine
Bhakti itself ideosyncratically as some do. That is the inexorable logic of
Sankara's philosophy which states clearly that liberation can come by Jnana
and Jnana only.
            In this connexion I am reminded of a conversation between Dilip
Kumar Roy and Sri Ramana. Roy asked Sri Ramana  the difference between Jnana
and Bhakti. Sri Ramana replied,  "Bhakti is Jnana-mAtA." What he meant was
that Jnana emerges from the womb of Bhakti. I would add that once emerging
it proceeds to swollow its mother. Be it noted that Sri Ramana himself,
being an exceptional soul was able to realize effortlessly without any need
for the helpful adjunct of Bhakti.

with best regards,

P.S. 'Brahma satyam jaganmithyA' ; this statement itself does it not belong
to jagat rather than Brahman and is therefore a part of mAyA i.e. mithyA. It
is worth pondering. The finale is not Sankara but Gaudapada.
PPSS  The place of Bhakti in non-dualistic philosophies other than advaita
has been a very fruitful exercise for me.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 3:27 PM
Subject: Re: Bhakti yoga

> Stephanie Stean wrote:
> > My teacher does not follow any path or doctrine.  He seems to follow
> > the literal translation of the text.  He is a German Sanskrit Scholar
> > Linguist.
> >
> > He also sees moksha as being like something like the Christian concept
> > heaven, a state "out there" or "up there" as he described it.
> Moksha or mukti both primararily liberation--specifically from samsara
> (the cycle of birth and death.)  So much most of the Indian religions
> agree on.  What happens next is where they differ.  for the Buddhists it
> was simply lights out (Nirvana.)  For Jains, Samkhya, Vaisheshikas etc.
> the liberated soul just kind of floats there.  For the theistic schools of
> Vedanta it is indeed a kind of heaven where the souls are at various
> distances from God.
> > I understand or see Moksha  (of the Gita) as being as described in part
> > where Krishna gives Arjuna divine eyes to see his true form.  To me,
> > was "a fleeting taste" of the pramA or jnana of mukti.
> This illustrates a fundamental difference between the advaita theory of
> moksha and all the other schools.  For Advaita Vedanta, mukti is possible
> even while alive (Jivanamukti)  For us the key to breaking through samsara
> is the full knowledge of the unity of all things.  Arjuna did indeed have
> a glimpse of this knowledge but was mentally unprepared for it and freaked
> out.  But a true jnani is fully established in this knowledge and is
> considered liberated while still alive.
> A problem for the Advaita theory is that in some places in the upanishads
> the idea of Mukti as travel to a place os there.  For instance in
> Brhadaranyakoanishad 6.2.15., "He leads them to the worlds of Brahman; in
> these worlds of Brahman they live for ever and ever."  Shankaracharya
> explains (Bhashya on Brahmasutra 4.3.10) that what was refered to there
> is another type of mukti, krama or stepwise mukti.  Those who tried but
> failed to get liberated in their lifetimes are born in higher worlds where
> they presumably face less obstacles and can continue their quest for
> knowledge.  At the pralaya (dissolution of the universe) these worlds
> along with their rulers (I.e. Gods) are merged into Brahman.  So while
> jnanayoga is the direct route to moksha, this will also get you there
> albeit more slowly.  Interestingly Shankaracharya in that passage refers
> to moksha as "Vishnoh parama padam" (The highest place of Vishnu
> Bhagawan.)
> > I understand Iswara to be a manifestation of Brahman. Is this true?
> Ishwara is saguna (with qualities) Brahman.  TRuly Brahman is nirguna
> (without qualities) so where did those qualities come from?  The answer is
> they are superimpositions projected by the ignorant jiva.
> > Also, that bhakti, before Jnanam, is directed towards a personal god,
> > Iswara is.
> "personal" or abstract doesn't enter into it.  The key feature of the
> lower kind of Bhakti is that the Lord is seperate from ones own self.
> This can be cured by the higher kind of Bhakti.
> > But that jnana yoga, is worship and knowledgeJ of the abstract form
> When one is convinced of the all-pervading nature of Brahman, why make
> distinctions between abstract and concrete?  What is different between the
> liberated and non-liberated person is the attitude not the specific
> actions.  The jnani knows the real nature of what he is worshipping.  The
> ajnani does not.  We have seen that Shankaracharya doesn't mind refering
> to the ultimate as Vishnu.  In fact he acknowledges all the Gods of the
> Vedic pantheon.
> > Also, when one knows the real nature of and between Iswara and the jiva,
> > Knows Brahman, which is not a personal god or God at all.  Any comments?
> There is nothing that Brahman is not.
> > When I read about "the concept of" Brahman and what others have said abo
> > Knowing Brahman, I see not a personal god or a God at all.  I see A
> > different.  Is this not in line with the Advaitin philosophy?  Comments
> > please.
> It's a matter of semantics really isn't it.  What do you expect God to
> be?
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
> It's a girl! See the pictures -

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