[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-64)
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Thu Sep 14 17:10:35 CDT 2006
For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see
SECTION 49: BHAKTI OF THE PATH OF JNANA SUPERIOR TO
BHAKTI OF THE PATH OF BHAKTI
Tamil Original: http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/dk6-123.htm
We started with the question: "Is there something like bhakti even in the
path of jnAna?". We pursued the inquiry and finally we have arrived at the
"It is this (jnAna-mArga) bhakti that helps to obtain even the most
permanent advaita-mokSha (non-dual Release) right in this very birth. It
helps the Jiva to identify and become one with the Brahman, the basic Truth.
On the other hand, the bhakti talked about by the path of Bhakti, comes to
an end with the unification of the Jiva with what turns out to be just a
charade adopted by the substratum of Truth together with mAyA. However much
the qualities of saguNa-brahman (brahman with attributes) are extolled
superlatively, it is only a charade or disguise. Here the word 'unification'
itself is a misnomer. There is no unification here. It is only a kind of
unison that experiences the union by being separate. For crores of years in
a kalpa one may enjoy it, still it does not become a permanent
(*shAshvata*) mokSha - though the originators of that path may claim it to
be so. One day when the saguNa brahman itself is taken into the nirguNa
(attributeless) brahman, this whole thing ends and thus this bhakti is
useful only to obtain an impermanent mokSha".
The devotee might say "Let me keep on continuously doing this bhakti". But
Bhagavan (saguNa brahman) says: "It cannot be so. I am done with this
charade. How can I carry on this charade for ever? At some point or other I
have to be what I am. And that point of time has come. I am tired of this
play. For whatever time I have carried on this drama, that much time it is
going to be only rest hereafter" and terminates the show by throwing off His
mAyA and remains nirguNa. Without mAyA and Ishvara where is the question of
a Jiva? So he also has to go for advaita mokSha along with Him! That is
the only permanent mokSha. For a whole period of time equal to BrahmA's
lifetime the paramAtman rests, that is, stays alone in its nirguNa status,
and then again Creation begins; but now the one who had reached advaita
mukti earlier would not now be born again in this new creation.
So what we have learnt now is that bhakti is that which dissolves by Love
the ego at the base and unifies it with the Source. But the destination
being nirguNa, there is no scope for our melting in the varied rasas
(quintessences, dispositions) of quality of Bhagavan, it turns out that the
melting is in the unfragmented infinite Consciousness that transcends all
qualities. Infinite Consciousness means a living entity that is not
circumscribed by definitions. The taproot for the Jiva-bhAva is the concept
of I-hood. This feeling has to be dissolved in the Infinite Consciousness.
This goal of dissolution is the only thing in the mind of the seeker on the
jnAna path. In fact he thinks so without recognising that that very
thought is the true bhakti. In his thinking, it is not a union with
something of which we do not know a thing, nor is it a union with the void,
nor is it a path towards annihilation because there is nothing to be united
with. Instead of any of these, his is a positive thinking, whereby the
longing is to unite with the living fullness of sat-cid-AnandaM. This is how
any sAdhaka who has cared to learn the advaita-vidyA would do his sAdhanA.
'This life has to be dissolved in That which lives' - this very concept is
Love; even if he does not recognise it as such, Love sprouts by itself.
"Such a good thing as Love - why should it be done without recognising it to
be so? Just because of the ignorance of this fact, one thinks of Brahman
purely by a philosophical intellect and allows himself to be drawn away by
the intellect. It may open up the heart to show Love and by that very act
close up the only route to cut asunder the root of ego that has anchored
itself there". It is with these thoughts, perhaps, the Acharya decided to
explicitly proclaim loudly : *mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAM bhaktireva garIyasI*
(Among the instruments of moksha, bhakti is the most important).
I said bhakti is the union with the universal Source by the dissolution of
the ego through Love. Generally it is understood that to do exactly that
with the saguNa form of that Universal Source is bhakti and that such bhakti
is different from the bhakti path of the jnAna-finder. Whence came this
An attitude or a disposition does not show up in all its brightness so long
as it remains the same way only as an attitude, like a nail pinned to the
wall. Only when that disposition shoots forth new and newer branches and
manifests in action through the Jiva, does it brighten up. The swaras 'sa'
and 'ri' alone however much they are emphasized, will not be palatable to
the ears, until all the seven svaras show up. Barring the silent samAdhi
that takes place after the mind fully rests, the various dispositions of
even little little activities of the mind will not show up unless they take
new and newer forms. 'Not showing up' does not mean they are not visible to
outsiders; even to the individual himself they will not be felt in his
Bhakti in the NirguNa implies an anguish of the indivudal soul to dissolve
in the Universal Soul. That one-pointed anguish is like extending a single
svara. There is no scope for new and newer colours in it. Whatever new is
done is the action of the mind. But this individual is set towards the goal
of the extinction of the mind. He has already disciplined it by shama and
dama. As far as he is concerned, to know about it (activity of the mind) is
an undesirable matter that comes under 'ego consciousness'. Therefore he
himself would not recognise the bhakti aspect in all its brightness. Why
talk of outsiders? They will have no idea of his bhakti!
The thing towards which bhakti is being directed -- does it at least do
anything to cause an explicit showing up of the bhakti? No! Not at all! How
can the nirguNa-brahman react? The saguNa Ishvara who administers the
activities of the entire universe is the one who admires his bhakti and
causes him to mature to higher and higher levels of perfection. The Lord's
intention however is not to direct him to a saguNa (worship) and so He does
whatever He does, only implicitly. Thus the bhakti is taking place in a
one-sided way, even without that 'one side' knowing it!. This is the true
bhakti that dissolves the ego. Even then it does not show up! In addition to
its function of dissolving the Jiva, this bhakti dissolves itself without
itself being visible to external perception! It is a bhakti which imparts to
him an extreme renunciation, and is itself a renunciate!
(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.
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