Jnana and Bhakti

Laura Weygandt mantralaura at TWAVE.NET
Thu Apr 23 13:31:47 CDT 1998

sarvebhyo namaH,
  Please excuse this intrusion again, but the definition of "saadhana"
is "a means of accomplishing anything". In this discussion "j~naana"
and "karma" are the means of accomplishing "mokSha" which gives
the seeker eternal bliss. "bhakti" means "faith, reverence, belonging to".
Whether you follow the path of karma or j~naana, you already have
bhakti, otherwise you wouldn't even be bothering to enter the search.


> Ravi, in Advaitam the Atman and Brahman are identical. The Atman is
> inside you. So your path to liberation is only through meditation on the
> Atman inside you. Shankara in Vivekachoodamani explicitly states that
> liberation cannot be attained by rituals or works (even if it's
> dedicated to Ishvara), but only by divine contemplation. (And there's no
> doubt what Shankara means by divine - the Atman).
> >how you define "physical
> For a serious sadhaka, probably the Mother Theresa way. Social Service
> without expecting the results of the works - karma yoga.
> >Doing the duty with the sense of dedication to Ishvara is also bhakti.
> The lines of distinction between bhakti and karma begin to blur :-)
> >by doing the duties with sense of dedication to IshvAra, without
> longing for fruits is far superior.
> Superior to what? Meditating on the Self? I'm not sure that's the
> Advaitic view.
> >One who obeys the commands of the Master
> True. But in Advaitam the 'One' and the Master are but the same.

> >bhakti is a God given gift and it will come only from within.
> God? Within? So the God is within. Exactly. Meditate on the God within -
> the Atman. This alone will lead to liberation.
> >bhakti  through chitta shuddhi leads to this jnAnam which is liberation
> by itself
> True. But this level of bhakti thru chitta suddhi will not be meditating
> on an external Brahman (Ishta Deivam), but the Brahman within.
> Meditating on an external Brahman can lead to chitta suddhi, but from
> then on one should evolve towards meditating on the Self, which alone
> will lead to liberation.
> >But this jnAnam is distinctly different from "intellectual reasoning"
> where the triad "known" "knower" >and knowledge" is inherent.
> I think crux of our argument lies here. While (I think) you believe that
> an external 'God' will remove the illusion of the triad, I believe that
> only by 'intellectual reasoning' and meditating on the Self can this
> illusion be removed. So for me Bhakti is to meditate on the Self within.
> But if bhakti towards an external 'God' or ishta deivam can remove this
> illusion, why Advaitam at all? Why bother about Maya or Creation
> Theories or Non-Dualism etc When Advaitam means Non-Dualism how can your
> argument be justified from the standpoint of Advaitam. And reading
> standard texts of Advaitam leaves one with little doubt that from the
> standpoint of Advaita Vedanta the other two paths, bhakti and karma, as
> they're commonly interpreted, are lesser forms of sadhana.
>         Because e-mail can be altered electronically,
>         the integrity of this communication cannot be guaranteed.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list