Bhakti yoga

K Kathirasan NCS kkathir at NCS.COM.SG
Wed Jun 12 07:26:55 CDT 2002

Namaste Vidyasankarji

I agree with you on certain points. To start with there is no bhakti yoga,
as in a another specific sadhana in Advaita Vedanta. In any sadhana where
there is a notion of doership is indeed Karma Yoga. That is why even Raja
Yoga (or Ashtanga/Hatha Yoga) can also be seen as Karma Yoga if the
attitude of Ishwara arpana buddhi and prasada buddhi are there in the
sadhaka. But in Jnana Yoga is different from any of these. In Jnana Yoga
there is no doership or karma involved. Therefore, I don't know how Bhakti
Yoga can be synonymous with Jnana Yoga. Shankara is very clear in his
teachings that jnana alone confers mukti and nothing else. The thrust of
this point can be seen in the initial verses of Vivekachudamani and Atma Bodha.

I am in no way attempting to shoot down the sadhana involved in Bhakti
Yoga. It is highly meritorious to be involved in such actions BUT in NO
way are they the direct cause of moksha. That is what I am trying to say.
If someone says that Bhakti Yoga is the same as Jnana Yoga, I think we are
doing a great disservice to the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Even in the
invocatory verses of the Bhagavad Gita, only Yoga shastra and Brahma vidya
are mentioned. And in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna mentions only two
lifestyles: the life of Karma Yoga & the life of Sannyasa Yoga (or Jnana
Yoga), both having the vision of Moksha in mind but different results(BG 3:3).

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