[Advaita-l] ’upAsana' and 'bhakti'

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 7 23:22:45 CST 2012

On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>
> namaste,
> I have the following questions and points to make.
>>1. What is a crisp definiton of upAsana, if there is one? The one given by
>>Shankara is "making similar ideas flow continuously".

> In common usage, it means a person who has proper upadesha of the
sharabha mantra, does japa, homa, tarpana, mArjana, brAhmaNa bhojana to
attain siddhi of the same.. and as part of the same one who possibly
mastered the great art of constructing a sharabha yantra , perform pUja to
it as also one who has the capacity to effect nigraha and anugraha of
beings around them as it deems fit. Even if the later part of
nigrahAnugraha dakShata is not acheived, they are still referred to as

> However, we should also consider this: Let us take the example of the
devatA tvaritA or ApaduddharaNa.
> here tvaritA simply means one who gives results quick, and ApaduddharaNa
means one who saves from dire straits.
> Remember in some texts it is  "ApaduddharaNo devatA" instead of "vaTuka
bhairavo devata".
> Now having bhakti to these two devata-s would mean, being devoted to
"quick result giving" or being devoted to "thing which saves from dire
straits". I am sure you see this as being vastly different from the kind of
attitude where one loves the supreme lord, thinks if the ananta kalyANa
guNa-s etc etc.
> Question: Why did you bring this up? Above exaplanation on tvarita etc
seems unrelated to the point/observation raised above. Answer: I am aware
that it will look un-related. However I intentionally leave it to those who
can grasp why this seemingly unrelated example is being given here.
I am not sure if I exactly get the point here. Are you saying one can be
just be devoted to some "force" (for lack of a better word) such as "giving
results quickly", "saving one when in trouble" and not conceive an actual
devatA with those characteristics? So one can practice the japa, homa,
tarpaNa, and brAhmaNa bhojana to "harness" the force.

This may be an approach for beginners and those who have no interest in
vedAnta, but such a view  does not find support in the gItA where it is
clearly stressed that all results of worship of deities, whether one
conceives them as forces of nature or not, comes from Ishvara alone. Please
see 7.20-7.2 -  starting with "kAmaistaistairhRtajnAnAH prapadyante
anyadevatAH" , "yo yo yAM yAm tanuM bhaktaH shraddhayA arcitumicchati", and
"... labhate ca tataH kAmAn mayaiva vihitAn hiitAn".

Also, the IshAvAsya upaniShad says, "IshAvAsyamidaM sarvam...", everything
is covered by Ishvara. There is nothing here that is not pervaded by

>From the gItA, it is clear that whatever deity one worships, it is Ishvara
who really gives the results. The next verse "antavattu phalaM teShAM.."
makes it clear that we should not be focused on the results, since the
results themselves are short-lived. So what should be the focus? It is
should be Ishvara Himself.

So what I am trying to say is that whether one likes it or not, whether one
knows it or not, whether one cares to know it or not, results of all
upAsana come from the same Ishvara.

> Additionally one important point to note is that, there is no need for
the belief of an Ishvara when it comes to practice of mantra-s. A belief or
the lack of the same in an Ishvara does not have any effect on the results
that mantra-a give.
> This is the reason why a bauddha or a jaina or a shaiva or a vaiShNava
mantrin achieves same or similar results with the same mantra.

Please see what I wrote above.
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2012-March/031000.html
> Some generic note on above post:  This is quite a long post and one has
to scroll all the way to be bottom to completely understand its spirit.
Somethings are better appreciated when they are thought out by oneself as
opposed to someone logically explaining each and every detail. This is the
reason I had questions.. asking "What does this imply?" "Why did I bring
this scenario?". Additionally, it will save me some time, so that I do not
have to type too much.

>>4. Mantra Prayoga is also a ritual and whatever is said about Karma in
>>general applies here too. This means Mantras have to be practiced with a
>>sense of dedication of its results to Ishvara.
> Same comment as for 2. The practice of mantra-s and the ability to get
mantra-s to work does not require any belief in an Ishvara. But if one
subscribes to a particular darshana then there comes an interpretation or
one goes though thought process as to who gives the phala of mantra-s. Is
it Ishvara or is it something else etc etc. This mImAmsa and the conlcusion
coming from such an enquiry does not effect how or when a mantra gives

Please see what I wrote above.

> Or somebody raises a stupid question constantly which goes like "If this
is not in scriptures, it is all useless". It is good to ask for a
scriptural reference on these matters. It is unfortunate to be able to not
recognize when and for what things to ask for a quote from scriptures and
when to infer something indirectly from scriptures.

There is no problem if a conclusion can be shown to be inferred from
s to be practiced with a "niShkAma
> For all of them, the mantra is the devata. What is nature of the devata?
For this we may refer to the exalted work called mahArtha manjari of
shrIman maheshvarAnanda - which says devatA lakShaNa is
"Ipsita-prasAdaktvaM & anIpsita-niShedhakatvaM" "giving those things which
the mantrin desires and avoiding those which the mantrin does noot like is
the nature of the devata".

Again we have to take this in the light of what the gItA says, as I said
above. These "effects" are really coming from Ishvara ultimately.

I will probably take up other points in a separate message.


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