[Advaita-l] 'Bhakti' in SrIvidyopAsanA

Ramakrishna Upadrasta uramakrishna at gmail.com
Sun Mar 4 13:50:33 CST 2012


One initial difference of opinion in these threads, apparently as it
turned out, seems to be whether upAsana is
-- an art (in the sense of emotion driven and hence more similar to
conventional understood form of bhakti)
-- or whether it is a science (in the sense of having a concretized
"standard form" using the shaastra relevant to it so that it can be
practiced in a uniform way and transmitted from guru to a shiShya).

The opposition of advaitins to both of these, as far as I understand
is that "it does not matter whether it is an art or a science, it
still comes under the broad category of puruSha-tantra" and hence is
insufficient to reach the unmanifest, with the triumvirate
sharavaNa-manana-nidhidhyAsana being the only means of doing so.

As others mentioned previously in these threads, the words bhakti can
mean different things in the vedantic context: from the intense love
for Ishvara, to shraddha on the daily laukika routines and mantra
prayoga, and many more things like respect to the words of guru and
even to the process of Atma-vichaara.

With the above context, conventional bhakti becomes a very important
aspect of the sAdhaka's drive even in what is conventionally
understood to be upAsana as well unless the sAdhaka is a
machine/robot(!). So, it seems that merely equating bhakti to one of
these varieties, primarily the emotional variety exemplified by some
dvaitin schools, and thereby negating/belittling that aspect may not
be productive to the discussion, when the fluidity of the differences
of meanings has generally been understood and agreed upon.

Here is an example from a similar context: advaita as a framework
shows the limitations of any work, whether laukika or vaidka in
reaching the infinite. In this broad context, the jaiminIya system
which emphasizes on yaGYa as a formalized process, and which has the
stated goal of reaching infinite has been criticized by the advaitins
as well. Now, a jaiminIya-mImAMsaka can criticize the limitations of
works done in the laukika-context, while at the same time showing how
they should done (like preparing the rice) so that it is acceptable to
him, but still loses the argument before the advaitin because of the
particular classification "karma as a means of infinite" the advaitin
puts him in. The mImAMsaka himself cannot deny that what he is doing
is a karma of some category as well, because that is his driving force
and means to his immortality!

Similarly, it does not seem to me that the upaasaka can deny that the
intense love part, gets carried over to the next levels eventually
leading to the fructification of his upaasana.


2012/3/4 Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>:
>>He seems to advocate the thought that bhakti, intense love for
>>Ishwara, Brahman, is the means to Immortality/liberation.
> This is merely praise of bhakti and an exaggeration of that. If intense love for Ishvara did the trick and if bhAskararAya believed it completely, he would not have bothered himself with mastering the hundreds of mantra-s and spend lot of time and effort mastering the various mantra prayoga-s. Give it some thought

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