[Advaita-l] Stages of Devotion

Anbu sivam2 anbesivam2 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 11 17:55:02 CST 2010

Nice quotation.  Vishnu Sahasranaamam says:

Sthavya sthavapriya sthOthra sthuthi sthOthaa.

Yagnyo yagnyapathir yajwa yagnyaangO yagnyavaahana:

Bhaghavaan Ramana said: If you think of something, it is there.  If you
don't think of it, it will cease to exist for you.  A devotee remarked: I
might ignore something but it may not ignore me.   Bhagavan replied:  It
depends on what was destined.  You have no control over it by not ignoring
or otherwise.

He wrote on the sand of the same thing to his mother prompted by a devotee
who could not stand the tears of his mother in her effort to take the 'boy
Ramana' home.  He wrote:  What is destined to happen will happen and what is
not destined will not happen.  When such is the fact it is better to keep


On Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 12:28 PM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> Stages of Devotion
> Madhusudana Saraswathi, the famous author of Advaita
> Siddhi, was a great devotee of Krishna. His being an Advaitin
> par excellence did not in any way stand in his way of composing
> soul-stirring verses on Krishna.
> He has spoken of three stages of devotion. The first stage
> is the one where the devotee feels “I am Yours” with regard to
> God. In other words, the devotee dedicates himself to God. A
> special characteristic of a true servant of God is that he longs for
> nothing from God in return for his devotion and service.
> Here the following instance comes to mind. To prove
> Prahlada’s view that God is present everywhere and also in a
> pillar pointed at by Hiranyakasipu, the Lord emerged from the
> pillar in the form of Narasimha. Lord Narasimha slew
> Hiranyakasipu but continued to be very fierce. The Devas were
> afraid of approaching Him and so was Goddess Lakshmi. Hence,
> Prahlada, who was but a young boy, was asked to pacify the
> Lord. Prahlada consented and fearlessly walking up to the Lord,
> who was full of fury, prostrated before Him. Immediately, the
> Lord calmed down and moved by compassion, He rose from
> the throne He was occupying and placed His hand on the boy’s
> head. Being pleased with His devotee, the Lord asked Prahlada
> to seek a boon. Promptly, Prahlada replied that he desired
> nothing from the Lord.
> There is a scintillating verse in the Bhagavatam wherein
> we have Prahlada telling the Lord, “He who desires anything
> from God is a trader and not a servant of God”. The story
> brings out two aspects. One is that a true servant of God knows
> no refuge other than God. This is why Prahlada felt no fear in
> approaching Lord Narasimha. The second aspect is that the true
> servant of God desires nothing from God. In fact, he does not
> even pray for Moksha.
> In a verse in the Sivanandalahari, Sankara tells the Lord:
> “Tell me why You are not redeeming me from this wretched
> worldly state. If the answer be that it pleases You that I should
> wallow thus then I have achieved all that has to be achieved.’’
> When God is pleased what else is there to long for?
> The second stage of devotion spoken of is the feeling “He
> is mine” with regard to God. Here the devotee is positively
> concerned about ensuring God’s welfare. It is not as though
> God is in need of the devotee’s care. In spite of this, He allows
> Himself to be even controlled by the devotee on account of the
> devotee’s love.
> The Bhagavatham contains the explicit declaration of
> Bhagavan, “I am subservient to My devotee like one under the
> control of another”. Yashoda’s love for Krishna is an illustration
> of devotion of the form, “He is mine”. To her Krishna was her
> darling child and not the Lord. Krishna seems to have relished
> her motherly love so much that He deliberately withdrew from
> her the awareness that He was none other than the Supreme.
> Though omnipotent, He even allowed Himself to be tied to a
> mortar by Yashoda.
> The third stage of devotion is the feeling “I am He” with
> regard to God. In other words, Advaitic realization is the highest
> stage of devotion. A reason is that while others are willing to
> brook at least some minute separation from God, a devotee of
> this class cannot bear even that. When can separation be totally
> obliterated? Obviously when one realizes that one is not different
> from the Supreme. In the Gita, Krishna Himself indicates
> that the knower of the Truth is not different from Him.
> [ Reproduced from the Book: 'Enlightening Expositions' of HH Sri Abhinava
> Vidyatirtha SwaminaH, 35th Jagadguru of Sringeri Sharada Peetham.]
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list