Bhakti and advaita

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Jan 27 14:29:19 CST 1997

The thread "Bhakti and advaita" is quite an interesting and a very useful
one.  The following is my understanding and is not in response to any one
particular posting.

Is there a Brahmaloka or is there a swarga ?

I submit: No, there isn't.

The concept of Ishwara is created by the great acaryas as an intermediate
step so that our path to SELF-recognition is continuous and smooth, and
there is a definite target to our mind.

Bhakti is useful for the surrender of the ego. Such surrender becomes easy
if there is Ishwara or Saguna Brahman. There is every danger with this
intermediate step that we can consider this intermediate step to be the
final destination, if we follow the Saguna Brahman route. Also, without
jnana, we imagine powers to Ishwara. Once we fall into that trap, we may
loose sight of our final destination.

That does not mean, however, that we do not do sandhya-vandanam or pray on
our personal God (or Goddess). These steps are very necessary (as one List
member pointed out earlier in another thread) for chitta suddhi, for
purification and cleansing of our mind and for the surrender of the ego.

My view is: Bhakti is useful for the surrender of the ego, a very, very
important first step in our recognition of the SELF. Jnana marga alone
leads us out of delusion due to maaya.

Gummuluru Murthy
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
                                GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
 end is as good as non-existent even in the present.

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