[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-69)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 23 05:45:07 CDT 2006


For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see 


More than the idea that bhakti is an important accessory for jnAna, Lord
Krishna has shown that jnAna itself is Bhakti. He mentions four categories
of devotees and in naming them he lists 'ArtI, jijnAsu, arthArthI and jnAnI'
(B.G. VII - 16: Arto jijnAsur-arthArthI jnAnI ca bharatarshabha). 'Arta'
means the distressed sufferer. 'jijnAsu' means the one desirous of
knowledge, that is, the one who wants to know the Truth and makes effort to
know. 'ArthArthI' means one who desires wealth, money, possessions,
property, power etc. The fourth is jnAni himself. The formal order among
these should be ArtaH, arthArthI, JijnAsu and jnAnI. For the purpose of
metre requirements, the order has been changed in the Gita verse. Our
business here is the mention, namely, the jnAnI as the topmost devotee.  Why
can't we take him as a dvaita (dualistic) jnAni? - may be a quixotic
question here.  But this has been met with already by the Lord's statement
in the next verse : He has one-pointed devotion (*eka-bhaktiH*). The Lord
caps this by the further statement *jnAni-tvAtmaiva me mataM* (JnAni and
Myself are One - that is my final opinion). Later when he dwells on
'bhakti-yoga' itself and teaches the upAsanA (dualistic saguNa upAsanA) he
only uses the words *atIva priyaH* (XII - 14 - 20) (most dear to Me), he
never says "he is Myself"; from this it is clear (when he talks about this
jnAni here) he refers only to the advaita-jnAni. In the teaching of
bhakti-yoga he says: "The nirguNa-sAdhanA gives difficulties (klesha) and
dukha (unhappiness) for those who are conscious of their body" and then goes
on to teach the saguNa-upAsanA. In other words, for those who are too
conscious of their body, the jnAna path is not easy to attain  and that is
why he teaches the saguNa upAsanA to them; not with the idea that the saguNa
upAsanA is superior to the jnAna path. Let that be. Later when he starts
talking about the qualities of the  Bhakti upAsaka from  the shloka
*adveshhTA sarva-bhUtAnAM .* (The one who has no hate towards any being
,,,,) through seven or eight shlokas and winds up the chapter with "Such
people are dearest to me",  it will be clear to any neutral observer that
whatever qualities he has described here apply only to a jnAni. Nowhere has
he said in Bhakti yoga, about revelling in the multifarious qualities of
Bhagavan, weeping, laughing, dancing, singing, going into unconscious
trance, establishing relationship with God through various moods like,
servitude, filial affection, etc. or enjoying the ritual bathing (abhisheka)
or decoreating the deity, etc. The qualities that He enunciates, viz., love
and  affection to all beings, getting rid of the feelings of 'I' and mine,
equanimity with respect to happiness and misery, fear and delusion,
contentment with whatever one gets and being independent of possession and
property - all these qualities are only those of the jnAni! There is also
one shloka which describes devotees:

Mac-cittA madgata-prANAH bodhayantaH parasparaM /
Kathayantashca mAM nityaM tushhyanti ca ramanti ca // B.G. X - 9

Those who have turned all their mind toward Me, who have reposed their very
lives in Me, who are constantly enlightening each other and talking about Me
and for whom that is the satisfaction and that is the delight!  But note
that this statement does not come in Bhakti Yoga or about those generally
termed to be bhaktas.  It comes under ' VibhUti Yoga' where the Lord's Glory
and Power is declared to be manifested in the whole universe. In short He
says those who see such Godly Power and Glory in everything repose their
mind and life in the Lord and revel in thinking and talking about Him.
However they are not dry philosophers, but 'bhAva-samanvitAH', that is,
knowledgeable people (budhas) who are involved in God with Love. In other
words they are like jnAnis as described by the Acharya. Further on when the
Lord continues, He does not propose to give them Bhakti Yoga. He
specifically promises to Grace them  with the path of JnAna, that is,
buddhi yoga;  and burn any remnants of darkness of ignorance in them by the
Lamp of Wisdom (jnAna deepena).

In the final chapter also He says "bhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti" - by bhakti one
knows Me right;  and thus emphasizes the jnAna angle. The root 'jnA' gives
rise to both the words 'jnAnaM' as well as 'jAnAti'.  'Through Bhakti one
knows Me as I am, thereby enters Me and by My Grace obtains the eternal
Immortal position'  -- so ends His message in the advaita fashion. In
pursuance of the same, while giving it to Arjuna, He says 'Adopt Buddhi
Yoga' - not Bhakti Yoga!

Thus there is no ringing of bells, no offering of flowers, no relationship
in several moods. However it is the mood of Love with which one gives
Himself up to the Universal Life-Source and this  apex bhakti is what plays
an important role in the path of jnAna.  


Once we have passed the SadhanA-set-of-four, we come to the third stage, the
final stage.  No one here  (in this audience) is likely to go to that stage.
Because it is a stage to be performed after one has renounced all wealth,
possession,  property and kinship. So possibly it may not have to be
explained here. But still, since I have said so much about advaita-sAdhanA,
let me just touch upon it for the sake of completion.

Three things come there. Listening to the teaching; confirming what one
hears by repetitively thinking about it; and keeping the antaHkaraNa in that
thing and meditating on it.  These three are always to be practised right
from the basic stage all through the sAdhanA, according to the necessity and
capability of the sAdhaka.  Therefore I should not leave out telling you
about it.  


To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.

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