[Advaita-l] ’upAsana' and 'bhakti'
Venkata sriram P
venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Mar 7 08:25:55 CST 2012
Namaste Dear Anandji,
I have the following questions and points to make.
1. What is a crisp definiton of upAsana, if there is one? The one given by
Shankara is "making similar ideas flow continuously".
The Devi Gita explains 4 types of bhakti. They are 1) tAmasika bhakti 2) rAjasika bhakti 3) sAtvika bhakti 4) para bhakti.
tAmasika bhakti involves daMbhAchAra. rAjasika bhakti involves svArtha.
While describing sAtvika bhakti, Devi describes as:
paramEshwarArpaNaM karma pApasaMkSALanAyacha
vEdOkta……….iti nischita buddhistu *bhEda buddhiM upAshritaH*
karOti prItayE karma bhaktiHsAnaga ! sAtvikI
The satvika bhakti implies performance of nitya / naimittika
Karma as per shruti and offering the fruits to Ishwara. However,
the sAdhaka performs this karma with *bhEda buddhi* ie.,
he still perceives that he is different from Devi (here in the
conversation the Devi points to Herself saying that
sAtvika bhaktA perceives himself to be separate from Herself).
However, he is endowed with *nischita buddhi*.
Now, Devi mentions about the 4th bhakti ie., para bhakti and
Defines it as :
pUrvaMprOktEhyubhEda bhakti na para prApikE
chEtasOvartanaM chaiva *taila dhArA samaM tadA*
svAbhEdEnaivamAMnityaM jAnAti navibhEdataH
Devi while describing the features of para-bhakti says
That the bhaktA who constantly remembers Me (ie.,
Devi) and meditates on Me (the meditation should
Be like an uninterrupted flow of oil) (I have highlighted
taila dhAra vat above) without even caring for mOkSa,
such a bhakti is called para bhakti. Such a bhaktA
never feels separated from Me who is always in his
Devi says that since She shines in all the jivas, the
para-bhaktA perceives Her in all the Jivas and also
in himself. Thus, he loves Himself which is
called *Atma rati*. For such a bhakta, this
entire universe is like:
*Atmanastu kAmAya sarvaM priyaM bhavati*.
madrUpatvEna jIvAnAM chintanaM kurutE tu yaH
yathA svasyAtmani prItistathaiva cha parAtmani
As the para-bhaktA sees Devi in himself, he only loves his own self and only Himself.
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