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

Sumitha Ramachandran sumitha.rama at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 1 05:18:50 CDT 2011

            In Vivekachoodamani  (VC) Sri. Shankara says:
mokshakaaranasamagryaam Baktireva gareeyasi
svasvaroopanusandhaanam bhaktirityabhidheeyate   (32)
     Among the material aids for achieving moksha, bhakti is the greatest. Continuous contemplation of one's essential nature (svarupa ) is said to be bhakti.
While commenting on the above sloka Sri. Chandrashekara Bharati Swamigal says, 
By svasvaroopanusandhaana contemplation on one's essential nature, nidhidhyaasana (profound repeated meditation ) is meant.That alone can serve as the immediate means to direct realisation. The continuous contemplation of the shruti text and the upadesa of the Guru: sa Atmaa tattvamasi " Thy essential nature is Brahman; thou art That only", is the indispensable means (asaadhaarana Kaarana) of such realisation. This contemplation (anusandhaana) is of the form of the exclusion of contrary ideas and is marked by a continuous flow of accordant ideas.Sama etc., are the cause of jnana mediated by vichara and nididhyasana. But nidhidhyasana is the immediate cause for it. Because it produces direct realisation, it is said to be the greatest among the sadhanas that make for jnana which is revelatory of one's true nature which is synonymous with moksha. Among the means for nididhyasana, bhakti is the greatest, because it is direct and internal means. The samagri
 (resources) referred to here is of those begining with viveka and ending with nididhyasana.
Sri Shankara continues to say next in VC , 
svatmatattvaanusandhaanam bhaktirityapare jaguh: (32 1/2)
       Others say that the continuous contemplation of the truth of one's atman is bhakti.
Sri. Chandrashekara Bharati Swamigal comments:
svatmanaha means , of one's own jivatman. The troth about its nature means the Paramatman indicated by the word 'That'. Its anusandhaana means though really there is difference ( between the jiva and Paramatman ) for the nonce, contemplation of the 'That' as oneself in the manner of ahagrahopasana or meditation on the jiva as non different from the Paramatman. Others say, that is bhakti. Sri. Bhagavatpada implies by the words apare jaguhu ' others say', that this is not MUKHYABHAKTI, as it is preceded by a sense of difference and is a delusion.
So what Lord Krishna (Gitacharya) would have meant by bhajana must be of the kind of svaroopa anusandhaana of the first kind as mentioned by Sri. Shankara in VC 32 sloka. {Bhajana need not mean singing with jaalra.}
And this for the noble ones.
"Others" meditate on one brahman etc , what Lord Krishna (Gitacharya) would have meant must be  of the kind of svaatmatattva anusandhaana as mentioned by Sri Shankara in the following sloka of VC as explained above .
Another point is , we all in this group agree that Sri Shankara (Advaitin) is a noble one. He would have chosen the best path (Advaita) for Himself. So treading His path will be a wise decision to make.
Kindly correct me if wrong,
Pranams again,
Smt. Sumitha
ps. I am still to look into the commentary of Sri. Shankara for BG sloka referred here.

From: Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] (Advaita) Bhakti vs. Jnana

Well ... Lord Krishna says in 9.13 that bhajana is for the noble ones.
"Others" meditate on one brahman etc. There is no question about
supremacy of bhakti over karma and homologousness of bhakti and jnana.
The question is if bhakti marga is superior to jnana marga. That seems
to be the opinion of Lord Krishna. If anyone disagrees without a basis
- tough luck.

On 01/07/2011, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
> It  should be bhakti marga (bhajana) vs. jnana marga (manana on aham
> brahmasmi etc.)? The Lord clearly says that the best is bhagavat bhajana.
> Is it it not?
> praNAms Sri Rajaram prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> bhajana, upAsana, dhyAna are all auxiliary sAdhana-s prepares the mind to
> do 'direct' sAdhana-s like shravaNa, manana & nidhidhyAsana.  As per
> advaita, there is no substitute for vedAnta vAkya shravaNa, manana &
> nidhidhyAsana.  sAkshAdeva cha kAraNatvAt shravaNa manana nidhidhyAsanAnAM
> clarifies shankara in taitireeya bhAshya.  And shruti also says AtmA vA
> are drashtavyaH shrOtavyO maNtavyO nidhidhyAsitavyaH...As far as I know,
> there is no compromise on this stand among advaita vedAntins.  Sri
> chandrashekhara bhArati mahAswaminaH has talked about bhajana & nAma
> smaraNa etc. at the cost of 'svadharmAcharaNa' in the work, 'dialogues
> with jagadguru'.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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