[Advaita-l] Advaita and Bhakti

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 00:13:43 CDT 2011

What is the dating of SSS and guru parampara?How does he define bhakti
and jnana? Does he consider that bhakti produces jnana through
Isvaranugraha or bhakti produces citta suddhi that qualifies the
aspirant for manana and nidhidhyasana?

On 08/07/2011, 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
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

Sent from my mobile device

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list