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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Jul 30 12:46:28 CDT 2011

Sri V Subrahmanian : Bhagavan and Bhagavatpada would never approve a
> situation where a person
> knowingly shuns the desire for moksha.
RV: I agree that the desire for liberation is shunned in favour of material
sense enjoyment. As you pointed out, a karma yogi performs enjoined duties
dedicating results to the lord without even desiring liberation as he is
selflessly following vedic injunctions out of faith and his actions dont
bind him. The result of such an action is citta suddhi and eventual
realization of mahavalkyas such as tat tvam asi. Similarly in the case of a
bhakta, there is no desire for liberation because of love for god but he may
not have the qualification for karma yoga also. This is what Bhagavatam says
but it also confirms that a bhakta nevertheless attains advaita siddhi
(state of vishnu) by the grace of the Lord.  Apotheosis or final
beautication in the form of atma jnana is not attained only through sravana,
manana and nidhidhyasana is my understanding. Pl. correct me if I am wrong.

Sri Ramesh Krishnamurthy: All I will say is that such dedication of
karmaphala need not involve bhajana or even devotion to any particular
devatA, although such bhajana/devotion can be useful too.

RV: I agree that naishkamya karma yoga is not essential pre-condition for
jnana though it is helpful to attain citta suddhi. But bhakti is essential
at least as per the texts and what little I know of the tradition. If you
see 18.67, the lord categorically gives a prohibitory injunction that one
should not be instructed if he is not a bhakta and renders service to Guru
and God. Here bhakti is taken to mean devotional action not jnanam. That
bhakti to guru and vasudeva is critical is the position of sveteshvatara
upanishad also. I would like to know how the traditional acharyas view

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