[Advaita-l] devotion in advaita?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 05:03:57 CDT 2012

On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Just to explain my doubt a bit further ... Since we're already Brahman,
> the only thing needed is the removal of ignorance, namely the idea that
> we're not Brahman. How can bhakti help in this regard when the very notion
> of bhakti entails duality (which is the opposite of Brahman realization)?

We must realize how deep rooted this ignorance is and therefore how
difficult its removal is.  In other words, the notion that we are a body, a
human, a samsari, etc. have been retained and nurtured by us over several
janmas and to simply give up this notion is not that easy.  So the sadhana
involves accepting an Ishwara who is the creator of the world and karma
phala dAtA and developing bhakti for Him by dedicating all our actions to
Him.  This will bring about, over a long period, the required chitta
shuddhi that enables us to seriously pursue the sadhana for the removal of
ignorance.  When this chitta shuddhi born of Ishwara bhakti is present when
the ignorance-removal sadhana is taken up, the fruit of this sadhana is
attained without obstacles.  Only then does the realization 'I am Brahman'
come about.  Without that mind-preparation through bhakti this realization
cannot be had/sustained.

Also, it is to be noted that bhakti is parama prema, Supreme Love.  This
is, as per the Br.Upanishad, even if we do not realize it to be so unless
pointed out by the Upanishad, for our own Self and not for any other object
in the world.  The sadhana commencing from Ishwara prema will gradually
culminate in Atma prema avagatiH or realization of our Self as the most
loved/loveable one.   Ishwara is the one who enables this realization.
Ishwara anugrahAt eva pumsAm advaita vAsanA.  Ishwara bhakti is to earn
this anugraha.  Actually it is Atma anugraha alone, not realized to be so
in the beginning but will become clear at the end.


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