[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-65)
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Mon Sep 18 09:54:51 CDT 2006
For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see
SECTION 49: BHAKTI OF THE PATH OF JNANA SUPERIOR TO
BHAKTI OF THE PATH OF BHAKTI (Continued)
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-123.htm
On the other hand what about saguNa-bhakti? There is a tremendous scope
in it for branching off into new and newer types of tastes and methods of
exhibitions according to the attitudes that spring up towards the
saguNa-mUrti who keeps performing ever-new miracles and leelAs.
Over and above all, it is here that the relationship of love shows its
exhuberance. A relationship of Love of the Jiva with the nirguNa brahman is
like setting up a rapport with one who is in the samAdhi-nishhTA, who is
unaware of even the strike of lightning on him! On the other hand with a
saguNa-mUrti it is possible to direct our bhakti through a relationship with
Him in several ways as the Lord, as a Son, as a Mother, as a Friend, as a
Husband. And that attitude shows up in multifarious actions like dancing,
singing, bhajans, sankirtana, pilgrimage, festivities, discourses etc. The
lifeline of this path is to do bhakti and so all this is done very
As the crowning glory of it all, the recipient of this bhakti, namely, the
Lord Himself, does react to it. Maybe He does not do it to all devotees.
But to those who have reached some peaks of excellence, He gives darshan, He
performs varied miracles and reciprocates with a Relationship of divine
love towards them that is million times richer than their own bhakti
towards Him. Sometimes He makes them cry in despair, He scolds them to the
extreme and among all this crying and faulting, He showers His nectar of
Love through His divine play! Just to hear stories and songs of such LeelAs
of His towards these devotees - that itself gives a great bliss, to all
others, of companionship with Him. Even to all of them He keeps pouring His
Grace, rather subtly, but certainly in a way that imprints itself in their
minds and reminds them of His proximity to them.
Thus the bhakti-bhAva shines explicitly even when one is only having a
dualistic relationship with the saguNa brahman and this is the reason for
this being called a bhakti path and the one doing this being called a
bhakta.Accordingly the two are distinguished from a jnAni and the jnAna
However when it comes to a self-effacing offering to the Absolute it is the
jnAna-pathfinder that soars higher than the bhakta of the bhakti path.! The
bhakti path-finder certainly has extinguished for himself the ego as far as
the worldly matters are concerned. Even within himself his own mental
inclinations have mellowed his ego. However, deep within himself, there is
the ego which is the taproot for the existence of the Jiva; he has not
willed to extinguish that. For doing bhakti, for enjoying that experience of
the blessed qualities of the Divine, for the bliss of tasting that
relationship, he thinks he has to have that individuality of his Jiva-ego.
Earlier we distinguished between ahamkAra and aham-bhAva. Of these only the
latter has been sacrificed by him, but not the former.
Therefore, though it is in the bhakti literature that surrender has been
emphasized, the bhakti pathfinder, instead of making a total self-effacing
surrender, he surrenders only part of his self and has kept the remaining
ego of the JivAtmA for the purpose of experiencing the paramAtmA. It is not
a total surrender. It is the jnAna-path-finder, who does not use such words,
but who has offered his JivAtmA as a camphor in the Fire of the Absolute.
This is the true and complete Atma-nivedanaM, SharaNAgati, Bhakti , Prapatti
Bhakti is thus the most internal accessory for the achievement of advaita.
And the Acharya has chosen the words pregnant with this meaning, when he
says: *mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAm bhaktireva garIyasI*.
(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.
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