Bhakti in VedAntic sAdhanA

Hemant reachhemant at ETH.NET
Sun Mar 17 02:54:16 CST 2002

Dear Ken-ji,
                You will forgive me for not being able to match the speed of your epistolary movement. In one of your posts you have asked me to guide you but it seems to me that you are guiding yourself fairly well. The following quote clarifies to me your own view of the matter.

"To me then this is the fulfilment of the devotion,
faith and meditation. However this devotion is not
that of the dualist prostrated at the feet of an
object of worship, but a singleness of mind, a
one-pointedness, arising out of a moment of
revelation. That moment of revelation, pratibha, is
the impulse of grace."

Perhaps this is what Sri Mayavaram meant when he spoke of Bhakti with abheda-buddhi.
The issue of Tapasya vs Grace is very old in history of sAdhanA and I am not vain enough to believe that that I can deal with it in a conclusive way and in this forum of exchange. Still I am making a few remarks which are intended to be stimulating rather than exhausting.
      There are basically two schools of thought
a) There are two paths surrender and tapasyA and out of the two surrender being easier is better. If somebody insists on tapasyA it is due to his constitutional pathology.
b) tapasyA is the only path. The rest is preparation.
In advaitic theory EkamevAdvitIyam ie One without a second is asserted. But if there is no differentiation / determination in the original saccidAnandA then the world cannot be and  ajAtivAda is the only way out . But who then is making this assertion. GaudapAda would say it is a mere throb, spanda. All this however is  from the point of comprehension. From the point of  apprehension  the world is the immediate and compelling reality. Even great sAdhakas have bouts of vismRti, forgetfulness. To alleviate this forgetfulness there is nothing like Bhakti. This to me is the rationale of Sankara's  hymn to Siva.
          I will try to locate the references and post them. It is bala indeed and not only pravacana by which one cannot obtain the Atma. We recently printed an English/Sanskrit edition of tripurA rahasyam  from Pondicherry. I will try to make available the details in my next post.
               With best regards,
                               Alakha Niranjana
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