Bhakti and advaita

Swami Vishvarupananda omkar at GIASDL01.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Jan 28 11:29:22 CST 1997

> 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.

        If that is so, why does Shankara say that one attains Brahmaloka
by following Saguna Brahman and is freed from the cycle of rebirths ? Why
does Madhusudana Sarasvati say that one can attain mukti by following
Saguna Brahman ? 

The thing is, that Saguna Brahman is not like the jiva unconscious of its true nature (as also mentioned by Anand). Saguna Brahman is Nirguna Brahman taking on a role in the cosmos. Therefore, as Giri mentioned in another posting,

when the minds are brought under control by the meditation on Saguna, Nirguna directly manifests Itself.

Saguna Brahman is an actor who puts on a role, but never for a moment identifies with it. We are actors who, though consisting of the same Brahman identify ourselves with our roles most, if not all the time. Therefore the Saguna Brahman reacts to the devotee and will doubtlessly lead him or her into the centre of its true being, which is Nirguna Brahman. I believe that even the staunchest dvaitist will through his devotion be led by that form of Saguna Brahman (s)he worships into that final oneness. 
Moreover, is not the innermost longing of even human love oneness with its object? Though a human being may not believe in the possibility of merging with his/her beloved, (s)he keeps longing for just that. How much more is this the case with bhakti!

Swami Vishvarupananda  
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