[Advaita-l] Examples of bhakti rasa realization by Advaitins

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 29 03:52:37 CDT 2011


The akSharamAnamAlai says - "O Arunachala! Embrace me closely so that
the I-Thou distinction ceases, and grant me the state of eternal joy."
Such and other verses are clearly indicative of mAdhurya bhakti but
laden with advaitic import as well. The interesting part is that Sri
Ramana Maharshi composed them *after* attaining brahmabhAva,
indicating that such and other bhAva towards Arunachala, for Bhagavan
was an end in itself. He clearly says that "I did not think while I
was composing it; I wrote it as it came." (i.e., the underlying
emotion was genuine and spontaneous.) although the composition was
borne of the devotees' importunate request.

Sri Ramana Maharshi's responses of "feeling choked with emotion" when
hearing Manickavachakar (whose compositions have plenty of
madhura-bhakti) is also well-known. It would seem that the natural
brahmabhAva of the jn~AnI expressed through the residual mind takes
the various bhAva-s like shAnta, dAsya, mAdhurya etc. The same bhAva-s
may be cultivated deliberately during the sadhana-phase; they become
spontaneous expressions for the jn~AnI.

As for madhurya-bhAva being the unique contribution of gaudIya
vaishnavism and its absence in other traditions - I am unable to
recollect the exact reference - but bhAskararAya in one commentary
(either LSN or saundarya laharI) says that the overflowing bhakti for
Devi, the Divine Feminine principle, includes all bhAva-s from sAnta
to mAdhurya; and it cannot be limited to or strait-jacketed in to the
"Divine Mother" idea alone.  In other words, at least the tantra
traditions which are allied to vedanta, would lay claim to possess the
full spectrum of bhAva-s.



On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 7:39 AM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> See this:
> http://arunachala-ramana.blogspot.com/2007/09/composing-of-aksharamanamalai.html
> // All the pain of longing and all the bliss of fulfilment are mirrored in
> its glowing symbolism. The perfection of Knowledge is combined with the
> ecstasy of devotion. And yet this most heartfelt of poems was composed from
> the standpoint of the devotee, of one who is still seeking.//
> http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/nevada/1061/Gopikas.htm
> //Only Brahmacharis of the most ardent nature and ascetic people like Suka
> Maharshi, who described it to Parikshit and in the recent years Ramakrishna
> Paramahamsa can appreciate that relationship and pronounce upon its
> uniqueness. //
> http://www.indianetzone.com/37/vaishnava_bhakti_ramakrishna.htm
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Is there any response to the following? Let me explain the context of this
>> question. According to Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Jainism teach
>> people to reject this material world which is full of sorrow as the limited
>> happiness is also temporary. But they take the follower only to state of
>> emptiness. Advaitam gives the follower a experience of being the
>> experiencer
>> (*kaivalya* *and santa rasa*) but ultimately denies the experience of
>> Ishwara. All the monotheistic world religions such as Christianity, Islam,
>> Judaism, Shaivam, Saktam, Sauram etc. allow one to experience an aspect of
>> Ishwara in *dasya bhava. *Even vaishanava sects such as that of Ramanuja,
>> Madhwa, Vallabha and Nimbharka give *dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and to a
>> limited extent madhurya bhavas*. They limit madhurya bhava to within the
>> confines of marriage or *svakiya madhurya bhava*. The speciality of gaudiya
>> vaishnavam is that it gives all others from *santa to madhurya bhava *but
>> most importantly gives the experience of *parakiya madhurya bhava, *which
>> is
>> possible only in the worship of Lord Krishna in the mood of Gopis of
>> Vrindavana. Their condemnation of other schools of thought is on the basis
>> that the followers are denied the experience of *parakiya madhurya
>> bhava, *which is the purpose of brahman or pure consciousness. I would like
>> to know if there are any references to advaitins experiencing madhurya rasa.
>> Madhusudana is said to have experienced dasya and vatsalya rasas. And Bhakta
>> Meera is said to have
>> experienced Madhurya Rasa. But both of them can be said to be influenced by
>> Gaudiya Vaishnavam. As Hari Vamsa and Bhagavatam were both well known to
>> many advaita acharyas, I would be surprised if they did not experience
>> these
>> rasas. However, I have not seen evidence thereof. Can someone please point
>> to one?
>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 6:21 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
>> rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > If we see the legends of vaishnavas, shaivas and saktas, we see that they
>> > experience direct relationship with the Lord in different bhakti rasas
>> such
>> > as madhurya, vatsalya, sakhya, dasya etc. Does advaita tradition record
>> > anything similar more than bhagavat sakshatkaram?
> Any 'bhAva' is only induced.  BrahmabhAva is alone natural to a being.  All
> such induced bhAva-s only aim at some or the other level in the
> recognition/realization of one's natural BrahmabhAva.  And it is only the
> latter that obtains for ever.  Advaita does not recognize or postulate any
> 'loka' after the death for the Jnani where one or several of these
> cultivated bhAva-s persist.  For all non-advaitic schools the survival of
> duality compels the postulation of loka-s like Vaikuntha, Goloka, etc.
> Advaita has no such compulsion.  Brahmavid Brahmaiva bhavati.  The knower of
> Brahman remains as Brahman.
> Regards,
> subrahmanian.v
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