[Advaita-l] bhagavadbhaktirasAyana - Verse 2 - 6

Murali Karamchedu murali_m_k at msn.com
Mon Dec 31 17:25:44 CST 2007

Dear List Members,

In september, I started a series on the bhagavadbhaktirasAyana of 
Madhusudana Saraswati.


I have since taken a little longer that I expected to get on with my attempt 
:) - I chalk up the blame under 'work'.

This post - verses 2 - 6 - is on the nature of cittadruti.

-------------------------bhagavadbhaktirasAyana - Verse 2 - 6 

               sam.sArarogeNa balIyasA ciram.
	              nipIditaistatprashame’tiSikSitam |
               idam. bhavadbhirbahudhA vyayAtigam.
	              nipIyatAm bhaktirasAyanam. budhA: || 2 ||
               drutasya bhagavaddharmAddhArAvAhikatAm. gatA |
               sarveSe manaso vrttirbhaktirityabhidhIyate || 3 ||

“Stricken by this sustained and strong malady of sam.sAra, you knowledgeable 
ones have
an enduring and efficient cure in the repeated study of this bhaktirasAyana” 
|| 2 || [1]

“Bhakti is defined as the uninterrupted, flowing manovrtti – directed 
towards sarveSvara
- of a person who has attained cittadrutI due to bhagavaddharma ( 
SravaNa etc)” || 3||

The utility of this study lies in it being the cure for sam.sAraroga.

bhagavaddharma here only denotes  the act of listening to bhagavadguNa, 
regardless of
the motivation of such acts being means or pre-requisites to dharmA or 
bhakti. Thus
SiSupAlA etc are not excluded in the characterization of bhagavaddharma [2]. 
In such
characterization, even such uninterrupted manovrtti towards sarveSvara, 
softened by
kAmA, krodha etc. is considered as bhakti.

In this work vrtti denotes the assumption of the form of bhagavAn, i.e the 
of the manas to the form of bhagavAn. It is thus that knowledgeable ones 
speak of bhakti,
where like the continuous flow of Ganga towards the ocean, just by listening 
bhagavadguNAs, the vrttis of the manas are in a continuous flow directed 
bhagavAn – the sarvAntaryAmi. Such bhakti is known as nirguna bhaktiyoga 
[3]. In this
analogy, avicchinnata – uninterruptedness, is shown by the continuous flow 
and Ganga
exemplifies the dravAvasthA – the completely softened manas.

Even when there is such manovrtti which is continuous and directed towards 
when one does not have cittadruti, such bhakti is incomplete. Without 
cittadruti, the
softening of the manas is transient, and upon the passing of such a softened 
state, the
manovrtti will also cease. Also, even when there is cittadruti and 
avicchinata there is no
bhakti if it is not directed toward sarveSvara. So, bhakti requires all 
three to be complete
– cittadruti, avicchinata and sarveSaviSayatva.

			cittadravyam. hi jatuvat svabhAvAt kaTinAtmakam|
			tApakairvishayairyoge dravatvam. pratipadhyate ||4||

“citta is naturally hard like lac, it softens when in contact with things 
that heat

It is only direct and intense heat or fire that completely removes the 
hardness of lac,
moderate or proximate heat only softens the lac, but does not truly melt it; 
without direct contact with particular tApakAs(things that heat)  like kAma, 
krodha etc –
to be considered later, the citta does not loose its hardness, mere contact 
with material
stimulants only soften it for a while.

			kAma-krodha-bhaya-sneha-harsha-Soka-dayAdaya: |
			tApakAScittajatunastacchAntau kaTinantu tat ||5||
kAma (desire), krodha (anger), bhaya(fear), sneha(love), harsha(joy), 
dayA(compassion) etc. are the tApakAs for the citta. When these cool down, 
the citta
becomes hard once again.

The characteristics and differences of each of these tApakAs will be 
considered later.
citta will attain dravibhAva ( a molten state) in the subject (such as kAmA 
etc) that
causes it to be excited or stimulated. Subsequently, upon the quenching of 
the excitement
due to kAma, and the cooling off of the stimulus, the citta will revert back 
to its hardened

			drute citte vinikSaptasbAkAro yastu vastunA |
			sam.skAra vAsanA bhAva bhAvanA SabdabhAgasau || 6 ||

“The form of the object that is impressed on the softened citta by 
stimulants is what is
denoted by sam.skAra, vAsanA, bhAva or bhAvanA”

This is the consequence of cittadruti, which is known as sam.skArA vAsanA 
etc. It is not
what tArkikAs and others consider sam.skAra etc. to be – for example as a 
of the AtmA, born of perishable knowledge. [4]


[1] Alternately, ‘repeatedly consume this enduring and efficient cure of 

This notion of bhakti being a cure is an often repeated advice for sadhana; 
Kulashekaralzwar’s Mukundamala has a verse which represents a very similar 

he lokASSr.Nuta prasUti maraNavyAdhE: cikitsAmimAm.
       yogajna: samudAharanti munayo yAm. yajnavalkyadaya: |
antarjyoti: ameyam. ekam amrtam. krshNAkhyam apIyatAm
       tatpItam. paramoushadham. vitanute nirvANam. Atyantikam ||

[2] In shastras, when characteristics (lakSanAs) are studied, one of the 
considerations is
whether it is adequate - neither overreaching nor restrictive. The theory of 
vyAptI or
pervasion, is an inferential technique where one examines the pervasion of 
in a field or domain of operation. Briefly, if the defined characteristics 
are such that
multiple candidates could match the criteria, then it is ativyApti – 
overreaching; if it is
such that it eliminates the match of legitimate candidates, then it is 
avyApti – restrictive.
So, here if it is said that there needs to be a motivation of dharma or 
bhakti to
bhagavadguNaSravaNA, then, because people like Shishupala did not have such 
motivation, there are eliminated; whereas they are legitimate bhaktas as 
well, and such a
definition of bhakti would be restrictive.

There is extensive treatment of this in nyAyA and navya-nyAyA literature. 
introductory book is Daniel Ingalls’ ‘Materials For The Study of Navya-Nyaya 

[3] 	madguNaSrutimAtreNa mayi sarvaguhASaye |
	manogatiravicchinnA yathA gangAmbhaso’budhou |
	lakSaNam. bhaktiyogasya  nirguNasyahyudAhrtam || Bhagavata 3.29.11-12 ||

[4] In bhakti, the form of bhagavAn impressed in the softened citta is 
considered as
enduring; due to this enduring characteristic, MS rejects other definitions 
of sam.skAra,
vAsanA etc.

naiyAyikAs and tArkikAs consider sam.skAra to be an AtmaguNa, born of 
knowledge of
things. However such knowledge is itself transient, because it is born at a 
point in time, it
exists for a while, and perishes eventually; and therefore sam.skAra born of 
perishable knowledge is itself perishable. Hence such a definition of 
sam.skAra is not
appropriate because in bhakti the sam.skAras due to cittadruti, born of 
SravaNa is enduring.

Similarly for bauddhas, antecedent knowledge of things propagates itself as 
vAsanAs to
inform subsequent knowledge of things. Again, such a definition of vAsanA is
inappropriate because of its transient nature.

For mImAm.sakas, vidhivAkyAs that impel one to action are what is considered 
bhAvanA. They are considered a form of activity, and because activity is not 
this definition of bhAvanA is rejected.

Murali Manohar.

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