[Advaita-l] Naam sankirtan

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 13 11:25:53 CST 2012

Satish Arigela wrote:

>>MadhusUdana is saying that the VedAnta vAkyas become revealed to the
upAsaka, who has reached the
>>pinnacle of saguNopAsana, in Brahmaloka, not while living here.

>Where is this brahmaloka? Or what exactly is meant by a brahmaloka?

>Some real place? Or some thing metaphorical and not real?

MadhusUdana has referred to "brahmaloka" in his commentary on Gita 12.6 and
"hiraNyagarbhaloka" in his commentary on 8.5. He says the worshiper of
saguNa brahman reaches this loka through "devayAnamArga", the path of Gods.
This is perhaps in accordance with Brahma sutras 4.2.18-19 and 4.3.10.

The brahmaloka can be thought of the highest place in the vyAvahArika
realm. The characteristics of the soul in Brahmaloka are described in
Brahma sutras 4.4.8-22, for example as achieving its desires by merely
willing them, "sankalpAdeva tu tacchruteH".

>As for upAsaka-s some of them even though they have reached the
>pinnacle of saguNopAsana, they might or might not subscribe to the
>view that vedAnta vAkya-s would do something to them. Of- course these
>would be upAsaka-s who do not actually subscribe to advaita or for
>that matter any vedAnta.

Here, MadhusUdana is careful enough to point out that the saguNopAsana has
to be of type "ye mAM sarvayogeshvarANAM IshvaraM sarvajnaM
samastakalyANaguNanilayaM sAkAraM nityayuktAH satatodyuktAH shraddayA
parayA sAttvikyopetAH santa upAsate sadA cintayanti te yuktatamAH " (12.2
comm.), i.e those who constantly worship Him with sAttvika shraddhA.
Elsewhere, (18.66) he outlines the three stages of bhakti. It is in the
third stage that the bhakta feels "sa evAham", "I am He". We can call this
the culmination or pinnacle of bhakti or upAsana, where total
non-difference from God is experienced.

If there are other upAsakas who worship God in some way other than
non-difference, they must be considered to be in lower stages of Bhakti, as
per MadhusUdana. What MadhusUdana is saying in the 12th chapter is that
knowledge of vedAnta is not essential to *ultimately* attain the nirguna
brahman of the upaniShads. saguNopAsana will carry, so to speak, the
upAsaka to that stage.

>So the other question then: 1) Who happens to upAsaka-s who don't
>subscribe to advaita vedAnta? 2) A related question then is, for
>people performing upAsana while not subscribing to any vedAntic
>school: They cannot the reach the pinnacle of saguNopAsana?

Even if they do not subscribe to any vedAntic school, by doing saguNopAsana
in the proper way, they will *ultimately* reach the same goal.

>What does it mean by "reaching the pinnacle of saguNopAsana"? We sure
>have seen upAsaka-s who can converse with their deities... this is
>meant? Or there are upAsaka-s who have become the very devata, are
>these type meant? Surely there exists these kind of upAsaka-s in India
>and elsewhere, who might or might not care about vedAnta.

Please see my comments above.


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