[Advaita-l] Definition of Bhakti in Advaita

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Jul 24 05:27:00 CDT 2011

On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 3:50 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> RV: I think it is possible to establish through logic in line with the
> sruti
> that a. jnanam is supreme b. supreme love is for the Self and c. supreme
> love culminates in realization of the Self or in other words charaterized
> by
> jnanam. Is there a way to establish only from sruti (without recourse smrti
> or nyaya) that parabhakti is non-different from advaya jnanam? The
> importance arises from the meaning of the term bhakti.
> _______________________________________________

There are references in the Book 'SrIdakshinamurtistotram' in two volumes
authored by a Jivanmukta Acharya Sri.D.S.Subbaramaiya and published by the
Sringeri Mutt, in English.  In the author's preface itself there is a very
nice account of the fundamental meaning of Bhakti and enlightenment.  Also
the author has written an article 'Sukha and its attainment', a copy of
which I can make available to you through some means.

The following from the Panchadashi too could be studied:



Part 4 - pa~nchadashI Series*

Having shown that one's reality, Awareness, is of the nature of Existence
and Consciounsess, the author procceds to the *AnandA* (bliss) aspect...

*इयमात्मा परानन्दः परप्रेमास्पदं यतः*

*मा न भूवं हि भूयासं इति प्रेमात्मनीक्ष्यते ।८।*

*iyamAtmA parAnandaH parapremAspadaM yataH
mA na bhUvaM hi bhUyAsaM iti premAtmanIkShyate |8|*

This Self is the highest happiness (bliss) since it is the object of the
highest love. This love for the Self is seen as *‘*I must not cease to be, I
must ever be.*’

* *
Why do everyone, without exception, want to live forever? Now, would one's
own existence be dear if it were intrinsically painful?  No one is heard to
say, ‘I have been happy for long enough. Let me experience sorrow now.’ No
one wants even the slightest of sorrow in their lives. All objects of love
are sources of happiness. Everything from material objects to relations are
sources of happiness. Now the Atman, the Self, is also stated to be a source
of happiness. What is the difference between the Self and other sources of
happiness? The revered author calls *iyaM Atma* this Self (refered to by the
word *saMvit* in the previous verse) *parAnandaH* the highest source of joy.
Why? *yataH* because *para premAspadam* it is object of the highest love. It
is prefered to even the greatest object in the universe.

Everyone spends their entire life in either acquiring happiness or keeping
sadness at bay. We all love various objects because of the belief in them to
produce happiness or to remove sorrow. The objects are an end by themselves.
The means employed to acquire these objects are not as dear as the objects
themselves. In other words, the coveted end, the object, scores higher than
the means employed. However, if a choice is given between one's own life and
the greatest of all the objects in the entire universe, everyone without
hesitation will choose one's own life. The object, no mattter how great,
will be forsaken. For one's own life is dearer than everything else. So
one's own existence is greater than even the ends which are sought after
through various means.

And how is this love of the Self experienced? This *prema* love *Atmani* in
the Self *hi* is indeed *iti* in this way *IkShyate* is seen - ‘*mA na
bhUvaM* may I never cease to exist *bhUyAsaM* may I always continue to


Just to comment on the last sentence:  Vedanta teaches Brahman/Atman as
Sat.  This Existence is never lost, being never produced.  The BG.2.16 says
नाभावो विद्यते सतः -  Sat will never go out of existence.  Brahman/Atman is
Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam according to the Taittiriya Upanishad.  From this
itself we are able to see that Supreme Love for the Atman is nothing but
supreme love to BE always.  This BE-ing is none other than Jnanam which is
Anantam, Infinite.  This is the reasoning to establish that Bhakti, Supreme
Love to BE, is Jnanam. The Taittiriya also teaches: असन्नेव स भवति
असद्ब्रह्मेति वेद चेत् । अस्ति ब्रह्मेति चेद्वेद सन्तमेनं ततो विदुरिति ।  He
who concludes/knows Brahman to be non-existent, himself becomes
non-existent.  On the other hand, he who realizes Brahman as 'Existent' is
regarded as a Knower by other Knowers, Jnanis.  And how does such a Jnani
know / realize the Existence of Brahman?  It is by the Scripture-based
teaching of the Acharya that his very Atman which can never be negated as
'nAsti' and that his innate desire is to 'BE for ever and never become
non-existent' that Brahman that is Sat is non-different from his/himself.
>From this also we can conclude that such a desire/love/bhakti is
non-different from the Sat-Jnanam Brahman.



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