Bhakti yoga

Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 11 21:14:01 CDT 2002

>The whole tradition of Advaita Vedanta is very clear about the view that
>Jnana ALONE can confer mukti. The point of Bhakti Yoga being another direct
>means to mukti is not acceptable to the tradition. As Shankara makes this
>very clear in most of his works. But many make a big mistake in considering
>Bhakti Yoga as another valid means to moksha. This is definitely not

That is correct, but a lot is dependent on one's definitions of the terms
bhakti-yoga and jnAna-yoga. From one perspective within Advaita, the two are
synonymous. And that is why, the following statement,

>as an indirect means to moksha just like Karma Yoga (in fact Bhakti Yoga is
>indeed Karma Yoga) for the sole sake of chitta shuddhi. The verse quoted

is debatable. As Shankara sees it in the Gitabhashya, or at least as I get
his sense, karma-yoga has to lead to jnAna-yoga at some juncture, and this
transition seems almost impossible without bringing in elements of
bhakti-yoga and of yoga (or what tends to be called rAja-yoga) in general.

>from the sutra bhashya refers to this alone as we all know that Karma, even
>if it may be meditation on the Lord, cannot bestow us the paramapurushartha
>i.e. Moksha.

There are two kinds of mukti described in the sUtrabhAshya. One is
sadyomukti, or the immediate, here-at-once kind of liberation of the perfect
jnAnin. The other is what is called krama-mukti, or liberation in stages.
Now, within the latter process, one can distinguish between earlier stages
and later stages, and that is what Shankara also does. Meditation on the
Lord is one of the later stages and is acknowledged to be "closer" to the
goal of the parama-purushArtha.

Best regards,

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