Jnana and Bhakti

Ravi Mayavaram msr at REDDY20.TAMU.EDU
Wed Apr 22 22:39:52 CDT 1998

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:
>Man is made up of three charecteristics : emotional, physical and
>intellectual. Generally in a man, one of these is dominant over the
>other two. So the appeal of one of the three paths is with respect to
>one's charecteristics. Forcing a rational person along the lines of
>bhakthi (faith and belief) will only serve to increase disillusionment
>resulting in him dropping out of the pursuit altogether!

This is based on common sense arguments. Will not hold water always. I
do not know how you define "physical".

It is more meaningful to look at a man from guNas ( sattva, rajas and
tamas) point of view. bhakti need not be emotional at all. Doing the
duty with the sense of dedication to Ishvara is also bhakti. Often by
bhakti, the love the devotee has towards his/her iShTa deivam is
depicted. From "dialogues with guru", I learnt that the devotion that
is depicted by doing the duties with sense of dedication to IshvAra,
without longing for fruits is far superior.  One who obeys the
commands of the Master is more devoted to him than one wishes to stay
close with HIM but violating HIS commands.

Besides this no one can force a so-called "rational" man into bhakti.
Even under a military command, he will choose to act. bhakti is a God
given gift and it will come only from within.

More than jnAna being a mArga, the mArgam should be to jnAnam. This
jnAnam is of special kind, where the triad "knower", "known" and
"knowledge" does not arise. It is description of the state of brahman
like "satyam" "jnAnam" and anantam and so on.  bhakti  through chitta
shuddhi leads to this jnAnam which is liberation by itself as
brahmavit brahmaiva bhavati.  But this jnAnam is distinctly different
from "intellectual reasoning" where the triad "known" "knower" and
knowledge" is inherent.


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