Bhakti and advaita

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun Jan 26 13:03:21 CST 1997

On Sun, 26 Jan 1997, Giri wrote:

> If bhakti (attachment to Saguna brahman) is only slightly better than
> attachment to booze, naturally, Shankara must be a grand fool to have
> composed so many hymns in praise of Shiva, Vishnu and further saying that
> several pages in the brahma suutra bhashya on the attainment of Brahmaloka
> and thus, krama-mukti.

>         Further, what about Madhusudana sarasvati ? Does everyone on this
> list consider him to be an advaita vedantin ? If so, would Madhusudana
> Sarasvati just say that attachment to Saguna Brahman is only slightly
> better than attachment to senses ? Maybe knowledgable readers (who have
> posted previously on Madhusudana sarasvati) like Anand, Vidya and others
> can clarify.

Actually if you go back and read what I said, bhakti is _much_better_ than
attachment to booze.  Precisely because in its purest form it can lead to
krama mukti.  And krama mukti means rebirth in brahmaloka where the jiva
can achieve jnana which is what I said.   I challenge you to find one
place in Shankaracharyas writings where he even entertains the idea that
there can be moksha without jnana.  You won't find any such theory in
Swami Madhusudan Saraswatis writings either.

>         Though it may be irrelevant to the few members of this list who
> don't consider Ramana Maharshi as an advaita vedantin (despite a head of
> the shankara math acknowledging him as such),

I don't know Ramana, I don't know which Jagadguru endorsed or didn't
endorse his views.  All I have to go by is the quality of his
self-professed disciples which is in general rather low.

> I wish to point out that
> Ramana Maharshi also mentions that *complete unconditional surrender to
> Ishvara* is a valid path and such Bhakti is not diffferent from jnana.
> So, if Cameron and Egodust are erring, they are in good company.

Well if you redefine bhakti as jnana than the whole problem vanishes.
However the conventional definition of bhakti, what the average man in the
street would understand by the term is loving service to a God who is
seperate from the worshipper.  That is a kind of attachment which is an
obstacle to moksha and can only lead to the krama mukti mentioned above.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list