[Advaita-l] Eternal Loka

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Aug 17 09:53:02 CDT 2013

> I will not agree with this but will accept it as the concession that
> caters to the ignorant.
RV: As per eka jiva vada you are (I am) in vyavahara, whether you, a
jivabhasa, think you are liberated or bound. All the bound and liberated
entities in your dream are in you, who are in reality the mukhya jIva, who
is the sarvajna Ishwara, non-different from brahman. Madhusudana Saraswati
has rightly combined eka jiva vada, drshti srshti vada and pratibimba vada
as all schools of advaita and for that matter all schools of thought are
special cases of this. (He also uses it to give bhakti the highest
ontological position matched only by gaudiya vaishnavas, if at all).

> So, sticking to the vyvahara of sutra, bhashya, etc. and our studying it
> and understanding it,  the gradations are valid and within that the view of
> Jaimini is of a lower ranking than that of A.
RV: You, as a liberated jiva bhasa, may assume Audulomi's view. I, as a
bound jiva bhasa, may assume Jaimini's view. You may think that your view
is right and superior where as my view is acceptable from my ignorant
perspective. I will think that my view is right and in reality your view is
my view only projected on you by me through my kalpana shakti. The
paramartika view of yours owes its existence to my vyavahara sthithi. It is
a dependent reality and hence mine is superior.

> I looked into that particular invocatory verse because someone drew my
> attention to it.  Beyond that I have not ventured into the AS. I have read
> thru the entire GD, though and realized the bhakti-prAdhAnya there.
RV: I realised the  bhakti-prAdhAnya Gita Bhashya and for that matter
Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Sankara. I was introduced to Madhusudana after I
told someone that Gita Bhashya of Sankara is a Bhakti Sastra.

Let me tell you that recently someone asked in a scholarly assembly: Where
> is the proof for karma yoga of the BG type where ordained duties are to be
> performed in the spirit of devotional offering to Ishwara, in the
> veda/upanishad? And scholars could not come up with a satisfactory reply.
> In the BVP forum someone asked for bhakti specific vAkyams in the veda (not
> the upanishads, since it is held by some that the upanishads are a later
> addition) and nobody could reply.
RV: Then they are not scholars or their intelligence is destroyed by
bhagavat apachara. There are countless verses but let me just quote two
from karma yoga chapter.
*yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra* *loko 'yam karma-bandhanah* *tad-artham karma
kaunteya* *mukta-sangah samacara (3.13)*
*mayi sarvani karmani* *sannyasyadhyatma-cetasa* *nirasir nirmamo
bhutva* *yudhyasva
vigata-jvarah (3.30) *
Veda samhitas are devotional hymns. They are sAkshAt Ishwara.

> And seeing the 'understanding' of bhakti in Advaita that you seem to be
> displaying here, I would better be satisfied with my understanding coming
> from what the traditional Acharyas have taught me.
RV: You have not been taught bhakti in advaita but only jnana or at
best jnana misra bhakti. You find me wrong because you dont understand
suddha bhakti that Sridhara and Madhusudana talk about.

Could you point out at least one  typical instance in the GD to
demonstrate: the 'problem' stated in clear terms by MS and the solution MS
gives for it?

RV: In common understanding, bhakti involves duality and needs the
instrument of body and mind. It is a means to citta suddhi and is not the
ultimate goal. There can be no bhagavat bhakti on the dawn of non-dual
realisation. You are pure existence or objectless consciousness. This may
mean nothing to you who is only trained in jnana yoga but is a serious
problem for a bhakti yogi. He would rather give up videha mukti than give
up Ishwara (i). All schools were opposed to Advaita only because of its
treatment of bhagavad bhakti as a means and not an end in itself. This is
the problem that Madhusudana solve by showing that bhagavad bhakti is at
the same level as brahma jnanam. The problem is not inherent to advaita
tradition but more due to a misunderstanding of Sankara by rigid followers
of jnana marga. I suggest you read Lance Nelson's thesis to understand the
problem and then I will explain how I resolved the problems he found with
Madhsudana's treatment of bhakti. I also confirmed my understanding with
Mani Dravid Sastrigal. I will post separately titled Philiosophy of Bhakti
in Advaita.

>  Recently a dvaitin informed me that for them all that a jIva does
> towards pleasing the Lord (bhagavat preetikara karma) is never lost; its
> fruit continues in mokSha eternally by giving him incessant bhoga-s. I am
> not aware of what MS means by 'eternal' and what mokSha he has in mind and
> who are the adhikArin-s for that proposition.
RV: Madhsudana considers dualists not true vaishnavas. Bhakti is not an
action done to please the Lord. In advaita, Bhakti is the Lord Himself as
Madhusudana rightly points out.

Well, I have been blessed to interact with those whom I believe have had
> saguNa Ishwara sAkShAtkAra.  But they have not taught any mukti other than
> what Shankara sampradaya holds as mukti which I have given expression to in
> these discussions.  And they have studied the GD and have not found
> anything there to warrant a change in their understanding of Advaita
> either. Bhagavan Ramana prayed in a Tamil poem: This coming and going
> business, Oh Arunachala, do not have with me. [He was referring to the
> visions of particular deities devotees have occasionally or often.]
RV: Having temporary visions of Ishwara, albeit a good experience, is not
the same as bhakti rasa as explained by Sridhara and Madhusudana. I believe
some of the advaita acharyas had bhakti rasAnubhava.  Mani Dravid Sastrigal
believes acharyas had bhaktirasAnubhava and said he will look for pramanas
to support the theory. If they did not teach you bhakti rasa, it may
because you were too pre-occupied with moksha and philosophicale  analysis.


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