[Advaita-l] On Bhakti Yoga

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 11 23:03:13 CST 2008


Depending on the level of spiritual progress each one
is in one of the following four stages:

1. dvaita: This is ajnAna dominated stage. There are
boundaries between one jiva and other, between jiva
and various devas, between one deva and other, and
there may or may not be a place for one supreme God.

2. advaita: This is when jnAna starts illuminating 
the buddhi. Thoughts like : All is one, I am all, etc 
typically dominate this stage.

3a. advaita-advaita: One may decide to follow the 
path of nivRtti: strive to overcome everything in
the realm of mAyA. Here one would work towards 
complete annihilation of karma and possibly ahaMkAra.

3b. advaita-dvaita: Even after realizing that world
is unreal, Self alone is real, one may still not want
to pursue path 3a. One may want to continue to live
in this illusion, WITHOUT giving up advaita.

The view of bhakti where one understands:
"Ishwara is sitting in a distant Heaven or Vaikuntha 
and hearing his praise or stutis" 
"Rewarding those who praise him"
etc., is bhakti as understood in stage 1.

Shri Sadanandaji's definition of bhakti is more 
appropriate for stages 2, and 3a.

However, the bhakti that Gita or Bhagavatam talk 
about is different from these two. It is bhakti 
as would be understood in stage 3b. Please note 
Bhagavatam talks about bhaktas who have refused 
moksha (i.e refused path 3a) and chosen to serve

(This is my understanding, no claims of authority 
are being made).


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