[Advaita-l] (Advaita) Bhakti vs. Jnana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Aug 10 21:10:17 CDT 2011


The questions raised by Shyam ji are no doubt pertinent.

We have a verse that puts the Advaita Bhakti in perspective:

This verse is very useful in understanding the a-viShyatva nature of

शिव इत्यहमित्युभौ न भिन्नौ शिव एवाहं अहं शिवः स एव ।
यदि नैवं अनात्मता शिवस्य प्रसरेत् अशिवत्वमात्मनोऽपि ॥
[The two, Shiva and I, are not different. 'Shiva' is 'I' alone and 'I' is/am
'Shiva' indeed.  If such were not the case then 'Shiva' will end up as
'anAtmA' (since anything other than the Atman, aham, is anAtma. And
therefore jaDa, anitya.) And not just that, Atman will become a-shiva,
amangala. This is because if aham, atman, is not admitted to be Shiva, it is
only 'ashiva', amangala, inauspicious. Surely, none would like the prospect
of being inauspicious.]

It may be remembered here 'Shiva' is not the saguNa Ishwara, but the Supreme
Brahman.  And 'aham' is not the paricchinna jIva but the shodhita tvam

Also, in the famous 'nava vidha bhakti' of the Bhagavatam enumerated by

श्रवणं कीर्तनं विष्णोः स्मरणं पादसेवनम्
अर्चनं वन्दनं दास्यं सख्यमात्मनिवेदनम्।
इति पुंसार्पिता विष्णौ भक्तिश्चेन् नवलक्षणा
क्रियते भगवत्यद्धा तन् मन्येऽधीतमुत्तमं॥
— श्रीमद्भागवतम् ७-५-२३
śrī prahlāda uvāca—
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pādasevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyamātmanivedanam|
iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiścen navalakṣaṇā
kriyate bhagavatyaddhā tan manye'dhītamuttamaṁ||
— śrīmadbhāgavatam 7-5-23

Here, the pinnacle of bhakti, Atma nivedanam, is the complete erasing of the
ego.  When the ego is known to be 'anAtmaa' and one has known to
disassociate from /disidentify with the ego that is called Advaita jnAnam.
Sri Krishna too in the Gita says that the Jnani is verily (His) the Atman.

As an aside, the famous song '"brahmani manasa sanchara re" is said to be a
composition of Sri Sadashiva Brahmendra.  Of course Dikshitar has several
compositions on Advaita bhakti.  For example in the song: कमलाम्बां भजरे
मानस कल्पितमायाकार्यं त्यजरे in KalyaNi, he addresses the mind: O mind,
worship Mother KamalAmbA, give up/renounce the entire projection of mAyA.


On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Pranams Sri Ramesh
> I do not necessarily disagree with you, but want to raise a couple of
> points just to ponder over....
> Instead of asking whence is bhakti directed towards - atma or anatma, why
> dont we turn the question around and ask whence is its souce? is bhakti's
> locus in the atma or the anatma - aka Ego. In other words is it the Ahamkara
> where the tender sapling of ananya Vasudeva bhakti first germinates? Is
> fondness for a ishtadevata in the form of ananya bhakti a differential
> construct from say a fondness for ras malai? Is the fulfilment sought by a
> exalted bhakta like Prahlada an attempt to seek .."fulfilment from anatma"?
> No doubt Dikshitar's "brahmani manasa sanchara re" sets sights on the lofty
> peaks of Atman, but does Tyagaraja's yearn "Ela Ni Dayaradhu" directed
> towards the Anatman?
> Hari OM
> Shri Gurubhyo namah
> Shyam

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list