[Advaita-l] bhagavadbhaktirasAyana - Verse 1
murali_m_k at msn.com
Sun Sep 9 15:51:42 CDT 2007
Dear List Members,
Here is my first post on the bhagavadbhaktirasAyana. Many of the issues he
introduces here, he studies in greater detail in later chapters. We will
cover that detail when we get there.
-----------------------------bhagavadbhaktirasAyana - verse 1
navarasamilitam va kevalam va pumartham.
paramamiha mukunde bhaktiyoga vadanti |
nirupama sukhasam.vid rUpamasprSTadu:kham.
tamahamakhilatuSTyai shAstradrSTyA vyanajmi ||
Bhaktiyoga whose object is mukunda conceived either as constituted of
the nine rasAs or as an independent rasA by itself, is a parama purushArtha
. Its nature is one of incomparable happiness, one that does not even
admit any sorrow. For everyones satisfaction, I will set forth the
traditional perspective on this bhaktiyogA.
MS begins his work with the customary mangaLAcaranam, by invoking the name
of mukunda, and then stating subject of the work, his intent and the
audience. His TIkA to this verse is elaborate; he starts by first
considering the three yogAs karma, jnAna and bhakti and delineates the
scope of each. karmayogA defined by sAmAnya dharmAs and ones svadharmA
helps one achieve anta:karaNa shuddi. It is enjoined on one until, and only
until they either develop intense vairAgyA for this samsAra or develop
intense shraddhA in bhagavadkathA.
For one who does not have cittAdrutI, the path to pursue as a
pre-requisite to this intense vairAgyA is that of tatvajnAna; for one who
does have this cittAdrutI the path to intense shraddhA in bhagavadharmA
such as bhagavadkathAshravaNa etc - is bhakti. To achieve anta:karaNa
shuddhi, the manas needs to be steadied to achieve ekAgratA. In the path of
tatvajnAna, ashTAngayogA etc are included as the means by which one achieves
this; and for the path of bhakti, bhaktiyogA is the means.
karmayogA leads to anta:karaNa shuddhi, jnAnayogA (tatvavivecana and
ashTAngayogA etc) prepares ones mind for uninterrupted ekAgratA on
bhagavAkAra. The duration of this jnAnayogA is until ones mind is completely
prepared for such ekAgratA, when bhaktiyogA starts. When out of this bhakti,
where due to uninterrupted thought of bhagavAn, one firmly establishes
IshvarA in ones mind; Ishvara destroys all the viSaya samskArAs.
For such fortunate and exalted few, for whom bhakti as a sAdhana has made
all natural affinity to material attractions directed and submitted to
bhagavAn, who have turned away from all such material attractions; for whom,
the manovrttis have softened due to such bhagavadkathAsravaNa and the means
of sAdhanA have become the fruit ; who have in-formed their manas by
completely apprehending the form of bhagavAn and established this form
firmly within them; for such bhaktAs, the rasAs express themselves as
rapture, a sthAyibhAva (permanent mood), and is as such a manifest
expression of paramAnanda. It is thus that rasajnAs say that bhaktiyoga is
paramam, niratishayam (superlatively incomparable), and it is thus that it
is a paramapurushArthA.
Happiness, completely untaintable by sorrow, is paramapurushArthA. While it
is popular to say that dharma, artha, and kAma are purushArthAs, these are
the means to the purushArthA they facilitate happiness; just as when one
says that the hoe is my life, one really means that the hoe is the means
to ones life. moksha, also being paramAnandarUpa, is an established
While bhagavadbhakti and moksha are both paramapurushArthAs, bhagavadbhakti
is not synonymous with brahmavidyA. Their forms, means and results are
different. Each of them has their particular characteristics. When one has
attained cittadruti, then the savikalpa vrtti that the citta attains of
bhagavadAkAra is bhakti; wheras independent of cittadruti, when one has
nirvikalpa manovrtti of brahman, that is brahmavidyA. 
Their means are different. For bhakti, bhagavadkathAshravaNa is the means;
for brahmavidya it is cogitation on the mahAvAkhyAs like tatvamasi etc.
Their fruits are different. The fruits of bhagavadbhakti is bhagavadbhakti.
The fruit of brahmavidya is the complete elimination of ajnAna which is the
ultimate cause of all sorrow.
The adhikArIs people who are competent, who are equipped with the
pre-requisites are different. It is adequate to be a prANI (animal) to
pursue bhakti, wheras one needs to be equipped with sAdhanA-catuSTaya and
needs to be a paramahamsa-parivrAjaka. 
If one admits such a distinction, does it make it impossible for a bhaktA to
attain moksha? This is because, to be a mumukshu one needs vairagya, and a
bhakta will not have vairagya from bhaktisukhA. [MSs answer here is] So be
it! For one who is in the rapture of bhaktisukhA, such vairagya or moksha is
irrelevant, their actions are not driven by any desire, their doubts have
all been resolved, the nature of bhagavduNAs are such that they do not turn
away from such rapture.
AtmArAmAshca munayo nirgranthA apyurukrame|
kurvatyahaitukIm. bhaktimitthambhUtaguNo hari: || Bhagavata, 1.7.20 ||
(While munIs are engrossed in the bliss of AtmA, and their doubts have all
been resolved, they continue in desireless bhakti of bhagavAn because such
is the nature of haris guNAs.)
Thus it is that even jIvanmuktAs are bhagavadbhaktAs.
(To be continued
 There are four purushArthAs dharma, arthA, kAmA and moksha. MS says
that bhaktiyogA is itself primarily and superlatively a purushArtha.
Primarily in the sense that it partakes in each of the purushArthAs, and
superlatively or ultimately in the sense that its essential nature is that
of paramAnanda (beatitude), and therefore is a purushArthA by itself.
 cittadrutI: The softening of the cittA. cittA is considered hard by
nature, inherently ossified by our experiences. The analogy that MS uses
later on is that of lac, just like proximate or intense heat can soften it
to different degrees; so does sadhanA.
 sakrtsevayA nityasevAphalam tvam prayacca prayacca prbhovenkatesha
 All cognition, except brahmasAkshAtkAra, requires two things:
in-formation of the mind, i.e the citta assumes the form of the thing
cognized, and cidAbhAsa, the enlightening reflection of cit; in the case of
savikalpa manovrtti, these two continue to exist, the thing cognized being
Ishvara; in the case of brahmavidya, all that is required is the vrtti of
the thing cognized - brahman; and as such becomes that.
 MS goes through extensive discussion here about the distinctions, and
considers the issue from several perspectives such as nyAyA, issues such as
ativyApti doshA, whether the result of bhakti is transient like svarga,
considerations from a mImamsa perspective etc.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list