[Advaita-l] Talks on Advaita Bhakti by Prof. VK

Sujal Upadhyay sujal.u at gmail.com
Sat Nov 2 06:20:52 CDT 2013

In earlier mail, i had written

Again, any definition, which is other than mithYa is not considered as the
original teaching of Adi Shankara

Correct statement is

Again, any definition of mithyA, which is other than illusion is not
considered as the original teaching of Adi Shankara,

Sorry for the typos




Sujal Upadhyay

"To disconnect from the self and to become Aware of anything else is
nothing but unhappiness" - Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi

He who has faith has all
He who lacks faith, lacks all
It is the faith int he name of lord that works wonders

On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM, Sujal Upadhyay <sujal.u at gmail.com> wrote:

> Pranams Sadananda ji
> Thank you for explaining the concept of Advaita, mithya and bhakti. It is
> said that the truth is one, again which cannot be described or perceived
> (separately). If we do not wish to violate the statements of shruti, I feel
> Advaita is the only religio-philosophical system that fully complies
> shruti. It has place for bheda and ghaTaka shruti. Dvait and VA all have a
> place and our acharya Adi Shankara Bhagavapada agrees with them and other
> systems like Nyaya, Mimamasa, etc up to a point and then contradicts them
> to rise above them.
> Bhakti in Advaita may be to stabilize our mind so that it can be fixed on
> NirguNa Brahman. But even a Jnani, who is  'samadarSina' and abides in
> AtmabhAva, when in front of his Guru has to be in dvaita bhAva as a
> servant. Here, the bhakti is in total surrender to Guru. Guru is different
> from acharya, as an acharya may be a man of lofty character and may be
> proficient in his sampradaya, while a Guru has to be 'weighty' in his
> experience i.e. abiding in Self. Guru gives diksha by sparsha,
> drishTi-diksha or sankalp diksha. Updesha is any effort by a Guru that is
> intended to uproot ignorance. Hence a disciple has to be ready to follow
> what Guru says. Hearing means to follow. In this way Disciple is a
> guru-bhakta. Hence the surrender is not only to Guru, but the the words of
> the Guru and living by them. Apart from traditional bhakti, which we have
> know, I think this is also an important aspect that needs to be shared. I
> have extracted Guru-Bhakti from " Voice of Guru: The Guru Tradition" ,
> which are collection of saying of Kanchi Paramcharya.
> Coming back to Mithya, anything that can only be explained in relative
> terms is not eternal and hence not real. This world looks real, hence it is
> no asat, it is also not sat, as it ends in Jnana. Hence it is not eternal.
> Even Ishvara has attributes - 6 upAdhi-s. So mithyA can also means which
> appears to be true in one state (waking or dream) but is not real from
> pArmArthika POV. Brahman cannot be described whatsoever, but to reach this
> state, one has to pass from dvaita by doing bhakti with a-anya bhAva.
> The problem is, the critiques reject anything other than prasthAntrayi and
> stick to Brahma satyam ... . Again, any definition, which is other than
> mithYa is not considered as the original teaching of Adi Shankara, but a
> neo-advaita or neo-vedanta. Some even blame Swami Vivekananda and his
> organization as 'Neo'. To add to this, Vaishnavas claim that Adi Shankara
> only preached Vaishnava bhakti. I feel they have a tunneled vision. As a
> smArta and an advaitin, we cannot neglect any pramANa from shruti. Hence we
> whole heartedly accept Vishnu as supreme Godhead, but we do accept Shiva /
> Rudra as supreme Godhead.
> Hari OM
> Sujal
> OM
> Sujal Upadhyay
> "To disconnect from the self and to become Aware of anything else is
> nothing but unhappiness" - Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi
> He who has faith has all
> He who lacks faith, lacks all
> It is the faith int he name of lord that works wonders
> On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM, kuntimaddi sadananda <
> kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> PraNAms to all.
>> Just now, after talking to Prof. VK on phone, I listened to the first of
>> the three talks on Advaita Bhakti by Prof. VK. One can access the talks at
>> http://advaita-academy.org/Live/advaita-bhakti.ashx. Professor who is
>> author, commentator and prolific writer on Advaita Vedanta and who has
>> written extensively explaining the works of his own father on Advaita,
>> talks about advaita Bhakti in these series.  There is always a
>> misunderstanding that advaita has no place for Bhakti since it emphasizes
>> non-duality as the absolute truth where the duality of devotee and deity
>> gets dissolved. In the Vaitatya prakarana, Goudapadas declares that one who
>> is involved in Upaasana as means of solvation for moksha will be eternally
>> bound to duality since in the very saadhana the reality to the duality
>> forms the very basis. These statements that involves the advaitic truth –
>> Brahman satyam, jagat mithyaa, jeevo brahmaiva na aparaH – the Brahman is
>> the absolute truth, the
>>  world is mithyaa and jeeva is none other than Brahman is either
>> misunderstood or misinterpreted that the world is an illusion and no
>> reality whatsoever. Mithyaa, Prof. VK points out is mistranslated as
>> illusion and therefore causes much confusion for many who have no patience
>> to study the scriptures in detail or get carried away with the false
>> interpretation of advaita by dvaitins or vishiShTaadvaitins.
>> Mithyaa is not illusions but it is defined as sat asat vilakshaNam – that
>> is which is neither sat nor asat.  As per dvaita or even vishiShTaadvaita,
>> if something is sat it can only be asat and if something is not asat, it
>> can only be sat. There is nothing like sat-asat vilakshaNam that which is
>> not sat and not asat.  We need to understand the scriptural statements and
>> advaitic analysis based on that. The scriptures again and again declare –
>> sat or pure existence alone was there before creation and it is one without
>> a second. That existence is of the nature of pure consciousness. Hence what
>> was there before creation is pure sat-chit which is limitless and limitless
>> is ananda swaruupam since any limitations cause unhappiness. Scriptures
>> saying there is nothing other than sat-chit-ananda before creation, it
>> negates any reality to creation since real is defined that which is present
>> all the time, and in fact present even before space-time itself
>>  originated. Hence what was there which is real is that which is
>> infinite, Brahman of the nature of sat-chit-ananda. That alone, by
>> definition, is real.
>> That which is infinite cannot undergo modification, since it is infinite.
>> Hence there cannot be any real creation from Brahman or starting from
>> Brahman. However Scriptures declare that That Brahman decided to become
>> many. Hence the creation is nothing but Brahman itself appearing as many
>> since the transformation into many is transformation-less transformation,
>> like gold appearing as many. These statements are from the scriptures only.
>> Hence creation, scriptures declare is vaachaarambhanam vikaarao naamadheyam
>> – it is – namkevaste creation and not real creation.  Hence it is Brahman
>> as adhiShTaanam or substratum on which the whole creation appears and
>> disappears.
>> Prof. VK rightly points out the dream example and says the perhaps the
>> Lord has provided an example that everyone experiences dream and still know
>> that it is not real. Hence as Goudapaada points out using the same dream
>> example that reality of an object is not established not by its
>> perceptibility, its experienceability or its utility. The absolute reality
>> is that which is eternal and unchanging. Jagat or the world is continuously
>> changing; hence it cannot be absolutely real or sat. It cannot be unreal as
>> in the case of son of a barren woman, since everybody experiences the world
>> of plurality. Hence we cannot say the world is real or unreal – hence we
>> can only say it is sat-asat vilakshaNam. Prof. VK provides an interesting
>> example in his talk. He says after videotaping the lectures, and one
>> listens to his own talk on the yu-tube, now we have two Prof. Vks – one
>> talking on the yu-tube and the one who is listening to the talk. Now which
>> of the two is
>>  real? From the relative point, we say the one who is listening to the
>> talk is more real than the one who is talking on the screen, since the one
>> who is listening to the talk can always close the yu-tube thus the prof VK
>> on the tube while the listener Prof. VK can satisfactorily declare that the
>> talk went fine. From the Vedanta point all are unreal from the absolute
>> point since anything that changes will not be real. If something is
>> changing there has to be changeless entity supporting that changes.  If
>> jagat is changing, then Prof. VK says there has to be an adhiShTaanam or
>> substratum that is changeless which Brahman is. To recognize that
>> changeless in the changing requires an advaitin vision, says Prof. VK and
>> quoting the Avadhuta Geeta says – to have that advaitic vision one needs
>> grace of god – Iswaraanugraat eva pumsaam advaita vaasanaas. To acquire
>> that advaita vaasanaas only or to have that grace of God one needs Bhakti.
>> Hence Prof. VK
>>  declares Shankara who is the very proponent of Advaita has written many
>> many bhakti slokas on every conceivable god form that we are familiar.
>> Prof. VK declares with that vision an advaitin should see – antarbahischa
>> tat sarvam vyaapya narayaanaH sthitaH- One should see the Lord Narayana
>> inside and outside everywhere – which Krishna also says – yo  mam pasyati
>> sarvatra sarvancha mayi pasyati – tasyaaham na praNasyaami sa cha me na
>> praNasyati. One who sees Me everywhere and everything in Me, he is never
>> away from Me and I am never away from Him. That deity and devotee have
>> become one. That is the supreme bhakti and that is supreme jnaanam and such
>> a bhakta is the most supreme of all bhaktas – declare Krishna. Prof. VK
>> says these aspects of Bhakti are discussed further in the other talks.
>> Hari Om!
>> Sadananda
>> _______________________________________________
>> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
>> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
>> To unsubscribe or change your options:
>> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
>> For assistance, contact:
>> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list