[Advaita-l] Advaita and Bhakti

SIVAKUMAR RAMAKRISHNAN sivanr8010 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 19:46:23 CDT 2011

Sadara pranAmam,
Please let e know from where can have copies of
Sanskrit commentary on  Bhakti Chandrika and.
On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 5:45 PM, subhanu saxena <subhanu at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Srikanta Narayanaswami wrote:
> “By his books we can only gather that the swamiji gave more
> importance to the "Jnana"marga than Bhakthi or karma,though they may
> be impotant for the seeker initially”
> The above view is a common misunderstanding amongst the many
> misunderstandings of SSS’ teachings (another, for example, is the wrongly
> attributed view to him that he believes that through viveka alone a direct
> experience of Atman can accrue. For more details on his  correct position
> on this point please see
> kleshApahAriNi)
> Sri Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati of Revered Memory has written
> extensively of the integral role of bhakti in achieving the highest
> knowledge
> declared in the advaita tradition of Shankara. Not only has he written a
> short
> English translation and commentary on Narada Bhakti Sutras, but also he has
> written an extensive Sanskrit commentary on this text entitled Bhakti
> Chandrika. He also discusses this issue in his Sanskrit work
> Geetashastrartha-vivekah. In chapter 18 of this work, entitled
> bhakti-jnAna-sambandha-vivekaH,
> or an enquiry into the connection between bhakti and jnana, he makes this
> pertinent comment while discussing the Bhashyam on Gita XVIII 54-55:
> “brahmabhUto jnAnaniSTho bhavati, jnAnaniSTha eva parabhakto
> nAma. Sa cha eva bhagavantam tattvato jnAtavAn tam praviSTashcheti.”
> “One who has become Brahman is steadfast in knowledge, and
> steadfastness in knowledge is alone the name for a supreme bhakta. Only
> such a
> person has known the truth of the Supreme and merged with it.
> [Geetashastrartha
> viveka, p126]”
> In his introduction to Bhakti Chandrika, Sri Swamiji states
> that in his view the content of the Narada Bhakti Sutras is no different to
> the
> supreme teachings of the Upanishads, Gita, and Brahma Sutram as well as
> works
> such as Vishnu Puranam. He states as follows:
> “yA bhagavadgItAsUpadiSTA parA bhaktiH athavA jnAnaniSTHA
> saiva nAradabhakti sUtrANAm paramam lakshyam ityeSa mama abhiprAyaH.”
> “That which is declared in the Gita as supreme bhakti and
> steadfastness in knowledge is also declared in the Naradha Bhakti Sutras in
> my
> view”
> When discussing Narada’s definition of Bhakti in sutra 21 “
> nAradastu tarpitAkhilAchAratA tadvismaraNe paramavyAkuleti”, “ But Narada
> says
> it is the offering of all acts to Him and feeling the highest pang of
> separation
> of losing remembrance of Him “ , Sri Swamiji quotes the traditional verse
> attributed to Hanuman describing his relationship with Rama:
> dehabuddhyA tu dAso’smi, jeevabuddhyA tvadamshakaH
> AtmabuddhyA tvamevAham, iti me nishchitA matiH
> “From the view point of the body, I am your servant
> From the viewpoint of my life, I am a part of you
> From the viewpoint of the Supreme Atman I am you and you are
> me, this is my firm conviction”
> In his Sanskrit explanation of this verse Sri Swamiji writes
> “vastuto vichAryamANe nistarangaAnandAmbudhau bhagavati kva vA dvaitAdvaita
> vArtA”, or “ when in reality one, having deeply reflected, is absorbed in
> the limitless
> ocean of bliss that is the Supreme, then what use is the talk of dvaita and
> advaita?”
> He then quotes avadhuta gita:
> Advaitam kechidichhanti dvaitam icchanti  chApare
> Param tattvam na jAnanti dvaitAdvaitavivarjitam
> “Some seek advaita, others seek dvaita
> They have not known the supreme truth which is devoid of such
> labels as dvaita and advaita”
> When commenting on Sutra 29 Sri Swamiji again states: “parajnAnam
> parabhaktishcha abhinnam pratyetavyam iti” or “Supreme Knowledge and
> Supreme
> Devotion must not be seen as separate”.
> When commenting on sutra 54 where bhakti is described as
> anubhavarupam, or our innermost experience, Sri Swamiji’s commentary
>  clarifies that this experience through love
> is no different to the experience through knowledge at the highest level.
>  “bhagavat-prema tu sadA sarvAntaram sat
> paramAtmarUpamevA’stItyataH asyA’nubhavarUpasya premNaH utpattinAshAveva na
> staH”
> In Gitashastrarthaviveka Ch 18, the secondary notions of
> bhakti and jnana as separate disciplines are described as from the
> vyavahara
> standpoint only
> In Bhaktichandrika’s  conclusion Sri Swamiji states that  Love alone is the
> nature of the supreme  which yields knowledge of the supreme  and merging
> with the supreme, and that this is
> the teaching of bhakti shastra: “bhagavati paramam prema kevalam yathArthA
> bhaktiH. Tatprema tu bhagavatsvarUpam eva. tasmin premarUpe bhagavati
> sAyujyam
> prApya tanmayatAvApteH anyA na parAgatir astIti bhaktishAstrasya paramaH
> siddhAntaH”
> In summary, the path of enquiry requires complete surrender by
> dedicating all we do to the Supreme. This allows us to live a path of
> service,
> compassion, and selfless devotion so that our whole life can become a
> yajna, a
> sacred offering. We can then live a life of giving not taking which makes
> life
> fulfilled. It is only when this unconditional love is infused through our
> whole being, by selflessly
> following our duty full of compassion,  can the conditions
> for knowledge arise, which can only accrue to such a qualified aspirant
> through
> the sruti vakya such as tat tvam asi. It is therefore incorrect to state
> that
> the path to knowledge as laid out by Shankara’s advaita tradition is devoid
> of
> Bhakti.
> I hope the above clarifications are helpful.
> Regards
> Subhanu
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