Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Sutra Bhashya - Part 5 of 5

Let me tell you what it is.

One hamsa bird, as it flies along in the sky, tells another hamsa bird about a JnAni named Raikva in a most complimentary manner: “Whatever every one knows is all subsumed by what he knows”.

This shows that he should be a brahma-JnAni.

A King by name Janashruti, who was relaxing in the balcony of his house heard this statement of the bird and sets out to find this JnAni. And here comes our topic.

He goes to request that JnAni to teach him that Knowledge which he knows. But when he goes there, he does not say: “Please teach me the Knowledge of Wisdom that you know”.

Instead he says: “Please teach me about the Deity that you worship (do upAsanA)”! in other words, it is very clear that what we call Philosophical enquiry, research or contemplation, in Vedanta tradition is to be done with the attitude(bhAva) of a worship of a living mUrti (icon, deity).

This is of great significance, since it is straight from the Upanishads, and our own Acharya has specifically quoted it, in almost what looks as an out-of-context mention.

The Acharya, though he writes elaborately in his commentaries, usually makes all that elaboration only to explain what is there in the original; he never goes about in a roun-about way or take unnecessary digressions.

Even Vinobha has said: “The commentaries that he makes for the sUtras are themselves crisp like the sutras themselves. *vyartha-vistAr kahIm nahIm karte* (he nowhere does unnecessary elaborations)”.

If such is the nature of our Acharya and here he appears to be drawing something out from a total out-of-context source, it only means it is of great significance.

At the same time he is a great supporter of Tradition. So probably he thought it not fit to explicitly mention and elaborate bhakti in his advaita shAstras and create confusion in the minds of unknowing people.

So he might have left it for disciples to learn from their respective gurus at the appropriate time.

However, when it comes to Viveka Chudamani in which he condescends to explain as if this is his final upadesha (teaching), in the manner of *eshha AdeshaH, eshha upadeshaH, etad-anushAsanaM* (This is the commandment, this is the teaching, this is the order), he talks about bhakti and mentions it as the most important of all the accessories to jnAna-yoga.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Sutra Bhashya - Part 4 of 5


DhyAna is the continuous dwelling mentally on the meaning of something which has been repeatedly already analysed (manana) by the mind after hearing it (shravaNa) as taught;

in the same way if a disciple dwells his mind without break on his guru we call it guru-upAsanA;

if a subject does the same thing to his Lord the King, we call it upAsanA of the King;

a chaste wife does the same thing to her husband and we call it ‘pati (husband) upAsanA’ -- thus demonstrates the Acharya.

Thus he delineates the highest bhAvas among all bhakti-bhAvas -- AtmanivedanaM (offering up of one’s self), dAsyaM (servitude), mAdhuryaM (Love) .

Only after doing all this, he comes to the Upanishad matter of knowing and worshipping and says they have been spoken of as the same and also offers two examples in this context (ChandogyaM IV-1-4 and IV-2-2 for the first example; ChandogyaM III – 18-1 and III – 18 – 3 for the second example).

Of the two, the first example is a great support to what we have been talking all along.

Instead of keeping the goal as just an abstraction, it should be figured as a living entity and it should be contemplated on with love and devotion.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Sutra Bhashya - Part 3 of 5

Like ArAdhanA, upAsanA also generally refers to worship of something with attributes. Not just ‘generally’.

In Vedas and Vedanta ShAstras it is so referred. Instead of Karma-Bhakti – JnAna, the Vedic scholars call it Karma- UpAsanA – JnAna.

In Brahma Sutra (IV – 1 – 1) it says, one has to repeatedly recall (mananaM) the teaching that was learnt – in other words, one has to think about it, analyse it and confirm it .

Here in the original sutra there is no mention of upAsanA done with bhakti, or the jnAna-SAdhanA based on the intellect. It is just a general mention of necessity for mental repetition.

But it is clear from the organization of the Sutras that go before and after that the repetition recommended in the context is for a mumukShu who has formally obtained the MahAvakya teaching.

The Acharya has clearly emphasized this point in his commentary.

But when he finishes the commentary on this particular sutra, he himself takes up the matter of the upAsanA path and demonstrates how the Upanishads talk about both the process of upAsanA and the process of knowing as the same without any distinction between them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Sutra Bhashya - Part 2 of 5


In Brahma-sUtra, the means of achieving Brahman-experience is called *samrAdhanaM* . (III -2-24).

The word gives the same meaning as ‘ArAdhanaM’ or ‘samArAdhanaM’. The worship through bhakti is called ‘ArAdhanA’ in general.

Here, worship through jnAna is called ‘samrAdhanaM’. When the Acharya elaborates on the word in his Bhashya, he says
*bhakti-dhyAna-praNidhAnAdi anushhTAnaM*.
*praNidhAnaM* is a word synonymous with ‘samAdhi’ or ‘samAdhAnaM’ ;

it means a complete one-pointed unification.

Whenever we think of jnAna-SAdhanA for the purpose of Brahman-experience, we always think, in line with the Acharya’s teachings, that it is a discipline of meditation by making the antaHkaraNaM totally one-pointed.

But the same Acharya here gives priority to bhakti and then only mentions dhyAna and recommends a praNidhAna (profound meditation) in both cases and by both means.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Sutra Bhashya - Part 1 of 5

It is not only in Vivekachudamani that the Acharya has talked about Bhakti as an ‘antaranga SAdhanA’ of jnAna.

Even in Brahma-Sutra-Bhashya he has said the same thing. Why did I say “Even in”?

Among the various Bhashyas, expository works and stotras in the name of the authorship of Acharya, there are many questions raised about whether it was he who wrote it.

Though people ask such questions of one another, one thing that all of them unanimously agree about is his authorship of Brahma-Sutra Bhashya.

Further, among all his works on advaita shAstra, it stands at the peak.

So whatever is said there has a high value.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Vedas - Part 3 of 3

*shruteH gIH* means “the word of the Veda”.

Is that so? Does the Veda itself say that in the path of jnAna there is also bhakti? Where does it say so?

In Kaivalya Upanishad. It occurs in Krishna Yajur Veda.

The beginning itself of its teaching says


meaning, By shraddhA, bhakti and dhyAna-yoga (reach brahman).

It is these words of Upanishad that formed the basis of the Acharya’s own statements.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Vedas - Part 2 of 3

In Vivekachudamani itself the Acharya has made this explicit in another place.

He doesn’t talk of it as his opinion alone.

He says the commandment of the Veda itself is this: (Shloka 46/48)

*shraddhA-bhakti-dhyAna-yogAn mumukShoH
mukter-hetUn vakti sAkShAt shruter-gIH /*

A basic shraddhA, over and above it a mix of Bhakti yoga and dhyAna-yoga – which means dhyAna yoga in which the Bhakti attitude is imbedded - this is what leads to mukti for a mumukShu.

Thus says the Veda itself.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Periva on Anjaneyar

Today is Hanumath Jayanthi, and most of you must be aware that Periva always had great things to say about Hanuman.

On this auspicious day, am glad to upload the discourse of Sri Maha Periva about Anjaneya Swami.

May Periva continue to bless us all.

Bhakti in Jnana - as per Vedas - Part 1 of 3

Bhakti of the path of JnAna, enunciated by the Veda itself.

In the path of jnAna the direct SAdhanA that finally takes you to the destination is called ‘nidhidhyAsanaM’.

It is also considered as belonging to dhyAna-yoga.

When considered like that, it is thought of as continuous reflection on the tattvaM, without the notions of life, relationship, etc.
But it is not so.

It has to be practised only as dhyAna-yoga in which the bhakti yoga of self-surrender through a relationship with the Universal Life is imbedded.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 20 of 20

Indeed I myself started all this discussion by asking the question: “How come he is talking about Bhakti in JnAna path?” and am going through all this explanation !

The bottom line of all this explanation is: The thinking about the Atman is to take place in the fashion of a relationship of Love.
But the relationship is not supposed to continue for ever.

Instead of that purpose which involves duality, the real bhakti is to desire to get dissolved in that non-dual Ultimate.

I hope you have now understood what it is to have bhakti towards nirguNa.

Also you would have understood why bhakti is the ‘garIyasI sAmagrI’ (the heaviest accessory) for mokSha.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 19 of 20

Whatever it be, The vote of the acharya is not for this.

So why worry about it?

Let us not take just a dry involvement as bhakti, but take it as something which is Love of a Living entity.

All this has been said by the Acharya just to show the second opinion prevalent among advaitins themselves.

In fact, it is this second opinion that has been more popular!

Many devotees of the Acharya and many disciples do subscribe to that opinion!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sri Maha Periva Aradhana

Direct photo of Sri Maha Periva - with the great grand alankaram today at his Aradhana in Kanchi Adishtanam, for your immediate darshan.

Please await more photos / videos of the event shortly.

[Update: Video now available at ]

May Periva continue to bless one and all.

Atman full of life - Part 18 of 20

Their answer comes from a narrow interpretation of bhakti, which they hold to be only a one-pointed involvement in one thing and nothing more.

RupaM is inherent nature.

Tat-tvam is also the same.

In fact it is ‘tat-tvaM’ that directly means ‘inherent nature’.

However, ‘sva-svarUpa-anusandhAnaM’ has an implied sense of internal dissolution of the individual soul in the Universal source, which sense seems to be absent in ‘svAtma-tattva-anusandhAnaM’.

It looks as if some inaccessible principle is being experienced from a distance.


Introducing the new website -

On this Aaradhana day of Sri Maha Periva, the 21st day of December 2011, am glad to introduce this new dedicated website launched to propogate the life and teachings of Sri Periva. -

Please spread the word around and keep all your friends and relatives networked to this new site.

May Periva continue to bless one and all with abudance of peace, joy and prosperity.

P K Hari

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 17 of 20

Right now he is being fair to the other opinion-holders who say it is not ‘sva-svarUpaM’ (one’s own natural Self) but ‘svAtma-tattvaM’ (the principle of one’s Atman).

What is the difference?

All along we have been saying ‘Love’ ‘Life’ and ‘Warmth’ .

In contrast the other opinion-holders contend that, keeping the Atman as an abstract principle, continuous reflection on that principle (tattva) is Bhakti.

They do not hold the Atman, the goal, to be a living entity worthy of being loved, nor do they hold the sAdhaka as a soul who dissolves in that universal Soul; instead they hold that Bhakti is the continuous thinking of that philosophical principle.

One may ask: “When they do not agree with the relationship with something that is living, how can they say that this thinking of a principle is bhakti”.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 16 of 20


But further ahead in shloka 32/33, he quotes a different opinion:

“There are also people who say that Bhakti is the ‘anusandhAnaM’ of the Atman-principle”.

*svAtma-tattvA-nusandhAnaM bhaktir-ity-apare jaguH*

svAtma-tattvA-nusandhAnaM : The continuous reflection on the principle of one’s Atman.
bhaktir-ity-apare jaguH : Others say (it) is bhakti.

The very statement “Others say” shows that this is not the contention of the Acharya.

His own contention has been stated in the earlier shloka as *sva-svarUpAnusandhAnaM* (the continuous reflection on one’s own Natural Self).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 15 of 20

The word ‘Existence’ is still more dry and metaphysical and appears to refer to life itself as inert.

It is the word ‘Life’ that indicates a living that is ticking and the word itself has a poetic element in it.

The word itself has life and so what it represents also broadcasts the JIva-essence.

Similarly with the word ‘svarUpa’.

Mainly to make us understand that Atman is full of life, not a dry principle, the Acharya has prescribed mumukShutA for the *svarUpa-avabodha* (awakening to one’s own natural state) and, after that awakening, bhakti for the relationship of love of that *svarUpa* and the continued mental communion (anusandhAnaM) with it.

Thus in both places the Acharya uses the word *svarUpa*.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 14 of 20

And when the prefix ‘sva’ is added and it becomes ‘svarUpa’, it is generally taken to refer to something substantial that has the JIva-power.

The very word ‘Atma-svarUpaM’ brings to our mind something with life.

The small word ‘sva’ indicates something that is there naturally for oneself.

And the words ‘for oneself’ also connotes in our mind a sense of life for that thing.

We speak of life. Certain words have life! When we say sat-cid-AnandaM’, sat means that which is.

The word ‘is’ means only ‘is with life’. We speak of it as ‘Being’, ‘Existence’ or ‘Life’.

The word ‘Being’ smacks academical and may not have the connotation ‘with life’.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 13 of 20

The derived word ‘nirUpaNaM’ (proof) is derived from the idea that proof is nothing but a demonstration of the true nature.

However when we say ‘rUpaM’, our mind does not take it to be of an inert nature but something which has life.

For instance when we say “the musician brought forth the ‘rUpaM’ of the rAga very well” we actually feel that the rAga itself is a living soul.

In fact we do that to every art form.

Science is never spoken of that way.

Do we ever say “The Professor brought forth very well the form of Physics”? The reason is that Science is not thought of as a living thing like Art.

I am saying all this because whenever we speak of the nature of something in terms of ‘rUpa’, there is always some connection with the concept of life.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 12 of 20

There is a double occurrence of ‘sva’ in ‘sva-svarUpa’.

The first ‘sva’ means “one’s own”. The second ‘sva’ means “natural”.

So ‘sva-svarUpa’ means one’s own natural form (rUpaM).

It is the natural, true, Atman, the form which is unmixed with MAyA, of the JIva that has an artificial form mixed with MAyA.

You may ask: Wherefrom did the Atman get a ‘form’?

Here ‘rUpaM’ does not mean ‘form’ or ‘shape’.

Whatever is one’s nature, that is called ‘rUpaM’.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 11 of 20

The word ‘life’ reminds us that since we are also living, at the base we are also life and so there is an automatic relationship.

And relationship means there is scope for love.

We must make it true love.

It should not be a wrong love that expects something for this little soul from that universal soul.

Instead ‘this’ should go and unite with ‘that’ and ‘that’ should consume ‘this’.

This anguish should become a true love.

In order for that relationship and that life to show itself, the Acharya has used the word ‘svarUpa’ in both places by saying ‘sva-svarUpa avabodhaM’ and ‘sva-svarUpa-anusandhAnaM’.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 10 of 20

Leave it ‘As is’. Yes, it is difficult to leave it like that and be quiet.

But it is not impossible at this advanced stage.

When one keeps on conceiving it in terms of this or that attribute, involuntarily one may come to the stage of thinking: “Why all this build-up? Let us see it as it is”.

When one sees it without any preconceived notion, there is the danger of it appearing as dry and void nothing.

So even though you may not have any other conception (of the Atman) you should not leave off the basic truth that the Atman is not a void, it has life.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 9 of 20

When such an Atman-awakening is imagined, one should not think of it as just an abstraction, but conceive it as a living principle.
And then lay down this little soul to That; having got to this state, thereafter the continuance of that same bhAva is bhakti.

This is the *anusandhAnaM* after the *avabodhaM*.

It is like waking up after sleep; after the awakening, next comes the setting up of a relationship!

Even the relating should go and give place to the relationship which keeps the goal of an identification!

Do not have any notion (of the Atman) this way or that way.

Whatever it is in reality let it show, let it take over.

Keep only a watch. Don’t give attributes to it like sat, cit or infinite.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 8 of 20


A vague sense of the Atman-awakening, it is only an imagined perception, that cannot be described as this or that – such a thought also persists.

In fact it is beyond all description.

But a thought persists about the Atman-Brahman, as a something which is Infinite, something that is perfect and pure, something that is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.

In fact the conception of either the Infiniteness or the sat or the cit may not be precise or well-defined; however there will be an idea of them all.

Until the antaHkaraNaM totally vanishes, some thought or other will continue; and certainly the opinion or bhAvanA about the Atman will also continue to exist.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Periva on Karthigai Deepam

On this auspicious day of Karthigai Deepam, am glad to upload the discourse of Sri Maha Periva on the topic "Karthigai Deepam".

May Periva continue to bless us all.

Atman full of life - Part 7 of 20


Thus mumukShutA is the desire for relief from the bondage of the ego; after the mumukShutA he places bhakti in the logical sequence.

This bhakti emasculates the power of the ego. Among the mind and intellect and the ego (which together make up the antaHkaraNa), the mind is tamed by shama, dama, etc., the intellect by shraddhA and samAdhAna, and then the ego is controlled by mumukShutA and tamed (reduced) by bhakti – so goes the logical sequence.

Actually when the Atman-awakening takes place – the Atman is certainly awake all the time; but since we don’t know it, we name the time when we know it as the time of Atman-awakening – at that time, the individual sAdhaka vanishes!.

But it is not true to say we vanish. “Even the self-luminous Atman appears to sleep for us who are overcome by MAyA; Let us wake up” – if and when this thought is there, then we are there.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 6 of 20


Just a Release is not enough; “That Release is to be obtained for the purpose of awakening to the Real Nature of one’s Self (for *sva-svarUpa avabodha*).

If one pines in anguish ‘for this awakening’ (*avabodhAya*), then one gets that awakening and by that itself (*avabodhena*) one may get his Release – that is how we understood it.

In fact in shloka 27:

*ahaMkArAdi dehAntAn bandhAn-ajnAna-kalpitAN /
sva-svarUpAva-bodhena moktum icchA mumukShutA *//

the word *avabodhena* is to be in the context of the end stage, whereas what begins with *avabodhAya* (for the awakening) ends with the awakening.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 5 of 20


When he talked about *mumukShutA* (in shloka 27) he mentioned *sva-svarUpa avabodhaM*.

Now when he is talking about bhakti, he says *sva-svarUpa anusandhAnaM*. ‘avabodhaM’ means an awakening.

MumukShutA was said to be to desire that one should get Release for the sake of the awakening to the Atman.

In the beginning of the shloka (27) itself his reference is to the ‘ahamkAra’ that I have been talking about all along.

The subtle ahamkAra is the ‘alphA’ of the JIva.

Starting from that and ending with the physical body, everything is a bondage, which is an imagination because of mAyA; it is from this bondage we have to get Release.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 4 of 20


One thing should be said about the para-brahman consuming the JIva-bhAva snd Atman alone remaining.

It is not that the consumption is done in one go. It consumes but then it also regurgitates.

Again it swallows; again it regurgitates.

The state of being in samAdhi, and then coming down from samAdhi – these are both the swallowed and regurgitated states.

Everytime the JIva-bhAva is consumed and later spit out it comes more emasculated and dissolved.

But it still is.

And those are the times when the anusandhAnaM with bhakti has to continue with the hope of further dissolution.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 3 of 20


In the case of the intellect also this is what we did.

It was said that the intellect should be established and rested in shuddha-brahman; but intellect cannot approach anywhere near shuddha-brahman and so we understood it to mean that the intellect should dwell on matters or teachings or the Shastras pertaining to Brahman.

In the same way here also, to say that one should do ‘anusandhAnaM’ on the Nature of the Atman, is only to mean that the ‘anusandhAnaM’ (being in continuous union with the Atman) is of the thoughts about the Atman.

This anusandhanaM begins well before sannyAsa. But it is further strengthened and deepened after sannyAsa and in due course the sAdhaka gives himself up totally, and the Atman alone shines thereafter.

Continuous fusion or merging is certainly the Bhakti out of Love.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 2 of 20


Does unification with the Atman mean that Atman is one thing, and the JivAtman that fuses with it is another?

No. No union or joining with the Atman is possible.

Even this kind of little or minute duality is not permitted there.

The merging, the fusing, the union -- all these are out of place here.

What happens is, having ‘swallowed’ /’consumed’ the JIva that pines to unite, pines with love and anguish – in other words, having swallowed the antaH-karaNa (inner organ), It stands alone.

So it is not a question of ‘anusandhAnaM’ of the Atman which is the Real Nature.

It has to be immersed in the constant memory of the Atman and the filling up of the chittam with that – this is what we should understand by ‘anusandhAnaM’.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Atman full of life - Part 1 of 20

What we saw so far was the first half of the shloka.

In the second half our Acharya gives the definition of Bhakti:
*sva-svarUpAnu-sandhAnaM bhakti-rity-abhidhIyate*

Bhakti is said to be the unbroken union with one’s own natural Self – the Atman.

*bhaktiH iti abhidhIyate* means ‘it has been named bhakti’.

Do ‘anusandhAnaM’ of one’s own natural state, says he.

What is ‘anusandhAnaM’?

*sandhAnaM* means a unification or joining with something. A meeting’!

If that union stays continuously, it is ‘anusandhAnaM’.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 15 of 15

It is not a total surrender.

It is the jnAna-path-finder, who does not use such words, but who has offered his JivAtmA as a camphor in the Fire of the Absolute.
This is the true and complete Atma-nivedanaM, SharaNAgati, Bhakti , Prapatti etc.

Bhakti is thus the most internal accessory for the achievement of advaita. And the Acharya has chosen the words pregnant with this meaning, when he says: *mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAm bhaktireva garIyasI*.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 14 of 15


However, deep within himself, there is the ego which is the taproot for the existence of the JIva; he has not willed to extinguish that.

For doing bhakti, for enjoying that experience of the blessed qualities of the Divine, for the bliss of tasting that relationship, he thinks he has to have that individuality of his JIva-ego.

Earlier we distinguished between ahamkAra and aham-bhAva. Of these only the latter has been sacrificed by him, but not the former.

Therefore, though it is in the bhakti literature that surrender has been emphasized, the bhakti pathfinder, instead of making a total self-effacing surrender, he surrenders only part of his self and has kept the remaining ego of the JivAtmA for the purpose of  experiencing the paramAtmA.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 13 of 15

Thus the bhakti-bhAva shines explicitly even when one is only having a dualistic relationship with the saguNa brahman and this is the reason for this being called a bhakti path and the one doing this being called a bhakta.

Accordingly the two are distinguished from a JnAni and the jnAna path.

However when it comes to a self-effacing offering to the Absolute it is the jnAna-pathfinder that soars higher than the bhakta of the bhakti path.!

The bhakti path-finder certainly has extinguished for himself the ego as far as the worldly matters are concerned.

Even within himself his own mental inclinations have mellowed his ego.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 12 of 15

Sometimes He makes them cry in despair, He scolds them to the extreme and among all this crying and faulting, He showers His nectar of Love through His divine play!

Just to hear stories and songs of such LeelAs of His towards these devotees – that itself gives a great bliss, to all others, of companionship with Him.

Even to all of them He keeps pouring His Grace, rather subtly, but certainly in a way that imprints itself in their minds and reminds them of His proximity to them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 11 of 15


On the other hand with a saguNa-mUrti it is possible to direct our bhakti through a relationship with Him in several ways as the Lord, as a Son, as a Mother, as a Friend, as a Husband.

And that attitude shows up in multifarious actions like dancing, singing, bhajans, sankirtana, pilgrimage, festivities, discourses etc.

The lifeline of this path is to do bhakti and so all this is done very consciously.

As the crowning glory of it all, the recipient of this bhakti, namely, the Lord Himself, does react to it.

Maybe He does not do it to all devotees.

But to those who have reached some peaks of excellence, He gives darshan, He performs varied miracles and reciprocates with a Relationship of divine love towards them that is million times richer than their own bhakti towards Him.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 10 of 15

It is a bhakti which imparts to him an extreme renunciation, and is itself a renunciate!

On the other hand what about saguNa-bhakti?

There is a tremendous scope in it for branching off into new and newer types of tastes and methods of exhibitions according to the attitudes that spring up towards the saguNa-mUrti who keeps performing ever-new miracles and leelAs.

Over and above all, it is here that the relationship of love shows its exhuberance.

A relationship of Love of the JIva with the nirguNa brahman is like setting up a rapport with one who is in the samAdhi-nishhTA, who is unaware of even the strike of lightning on him!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 9 of 15

The saguNa Ishvara who administers the activities of the entire universe is the one who admires his bhakti and causes him to mature to higher and higher levels of perfection.

The Lord’s intention however is not to direct him to a saguNa (worship) and so He does whatever He does, only implicitly.

Thus the bhakti is taking place in a one-sided way, even without that ‘one side’ knowing it!.

This is the true bhakti that dissolves the ego.

Even then it does not show up!

In addition to its function of dissolving the JIva, this bhakti dissolves itself without itself being visible to external perception!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 8 of 15


Whatever new is done is the action of the mind.

But this individual is set towards the goal of the extinction of the mind. He has already disciplined it by shama and dama.

As far as he is concerned, to know about it (activity of the mind) is an undesirable matter that comes under ‘ego consciousness’.
Therefore he himself would not recognise the bhakti aspect in all its brightness.

Why talk of outsiders? They will have no idea of his bhakti!

The thing towards which bhakti is being directed -- does it at least do anything to cause an explicit showing up of the bhakti?

No! Not at all! How can the nirguNa-brahman react?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 7 of 15


The swaras ‘sa’ and ‘ri’ alone however much they are emphasized, will not be palatable to the ears, until all the seven svaras show up.

Barring the silent samAdhi that takes place after the mind fully rests, the various dispositions of even little little activities of the mind will not show up unless they take new and newer forms.

‘Not showing up’ does not mean they are not visible to outsiders; even to the individual himself they will not be felt in his consciousness.

Bhakti in the NirguNa implies an anguish of the individual soul to dissolve in the Universal Soul. That one-pointed anguish is like extending a single svara.

There is no scope for new and newer colours in it.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 6 of 15

It is with these thoughts, perhaps, the Acharya decided to explicitly proclaim loudly : *mokSha-kAraNa-sAmagryAM bhaktireva garIyasI*

(Among the instruments of moksha, bhakti is the most important).

I said bhakti is the union with the universal Source by the dissolution of the ego through Love.

Generally it is understood that to do exactly that with the saguNa form of that Universal Source is bhakti and that such bhakti is different from the bhakti path of the jnAna-finder.

Whence came this understanding?

An attitude or a disposition does not show up in all its brightness so long as it remains the same way only as an attitude, like a nail pinned to the wall.

Only when that disposition shoots forth new and newer branches and manifests in action through the JIva, does it brighten up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 5 of 15

Instead of any of these, his is a positive thinking, whereby the longing is to unite with the living fullness of sat-cid-AnandaM.

This is how any sAdhaka who has cared to learn the advaita-vidyA would do his SAdhanA. ‘This life has to be dissolved in That which lives’ – this very concept is Love; even if he does not recognise it as such, Love sprouts by itself.

“Such a good thing as Love – why should it be done without recognising it to be so?

Just because of the ignorance of this fact, one thinks of Brahman purely by a philosophical intellect and allows himself to be drawn away by the intellect.

It may open up the heart to show Love and by that very act close up the only route to cut asunder the root of ego that has anchored itself there”.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 4 of 15

So what we have learnt now is that bhakti is that which dissolves by Love the ego at the base and unifies it with the Source.

But the destination being nirguNa, there is no scope for our melting in the varied rasas (quintessences, dispositions) of quality of  Bhagavan, it turns out that the melting is in the unfragmented infinite Consciousness that transcends all qualities.

Infinite Consciousness means a living entity that is not circumscribed by definitions.

The taproot for the JIva-bhAva is the concept of I-hood. This feeling has to be dissolved in the Infinite Consciousness.

This goal of dissolution is the only thing in the mind of the seeker on the jnAna path. In fact he thinks so without recognising that that very thought is the true bhakti.

In his thinking, it is not a union with something of which we do not know a thing, nor is it a union with the void, nor is it a path towards annihilation because there is nothing to be united with.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 3 of 15


The devotee might say “Let me keep on continuously doing this bhakti”.

But Bhagavan (saguNa brahman) says: “It cannot be so. I am done with this charade. How can I carry on this charade for ever? At some point or other I have to be what I am.

And that point of time has come. I am tired of this play. For whatever time I have carried on this drama, that much time it is going to be only rest hereafter” and terminates the show by throwing off His MAyA and remains nirguNa.

Without MAyA and Ishvara where is the question of a JIva? So he also has to go for advaita mokSha along with Him!

That is the only permanent mokSha. For a whole period of time equal to BrahmA’s lifetime the paramAtman rests, that is, stays alone in its nirguNa status, and then again Creation begins; but now the one who had reached advaita mukti earlier would not now be born again in this new creation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 2 of 15

Here the word ‘unification’ itself is a misnomer. There is no unification here.

It is only a kind of unison that experiences the union by being separate.

For crores of years in a kalpa one may enjoy it, still it does not become a permanent (*shAshvata*) mokSha – though the originators of that path may claim it to be so.

One day when the saguNa brahman itself is taken into the nirguNa (attributeless) brahman, this whole thing ends and thus this bhakti  is useful only to obtain an impermanent mokSha”.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bhakti in Jnana Marga - Part 1 of 15

We started with the question: “Is there something like bhakti even in the path of jnAna?”. We pursued the inquiry and finally we have arrived at the understanding:

“It is this (jnAna-mArga) bhakti that helps to obtain even the most permanent advaita-mokSha (non-dual Release) right in this very birth.

It helps the JIva to identify and become one with the Brahman, the basic Truth.

On the other hand, the bhakti talked about by the path of Bhakti, comes to an end with the unification of the JIva with what turns out  to be just a charade adopted by the substratum of Truth together with MAyA.

However much the qualities of saguNa-brahman (brahman with attributes) are extolled superlatively, it is only a charade or disguise.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 15 of 15


The fact that the Acharya who uses the name mUrdha-nADi in the BrihadAranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads and in the Brahma-sUtra – in all three of which the topic is elaborated – left the name of sushhumnA uncorrected in the first three places where he used that name, probably has the following explanation.

He might have left it like that in order to bring home to everybody the fact that it is the heart-nADi of Vedanta that had the original name SushhumnA.

But really what has happened is the reverse. Scholars of later times have concluded that just because in those three places it has been called sushhumnA, in the other places also it is the sushhumnA of the mUlAdhAra that has been mentioned!

[This completes the discourse about sushumnaa naadi]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 14 of 15


Of these nADis, the nADi through which the Sun’s sushhumnA ray runs is the one which goes from the heart to the head.

Therefore it is that one which was originally called the sushhumnA nADi.

The Yoga-shAstra people used that name for the central nADi which is most important for their yoga.

Though the source of sushhumnA goes to the Sun, they gave that name to the agni-nADi because of its centrality, in their shAstra, instead of giving that name to the sUrya-nADi.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 13 of 15


Where he says why Bhishma was waiting for a death in Uttarayana, in the Bhashya of Brahmasutra IV-2-20, we see the noble mind of our Acharya. *AcAra-paripAlanArthaM*, says he – that is, for the purpose of conforming to worldly practice.

Another interesting point to note. The name ‘sushhumnA’ itself was there originlly only for the mUrdha-nADi, spoken of in Vedanta!

The sushhumnA is the first ray among the most import seven of the Sun. Appayya Dikshidar has mentioned it in his stotra of the Sun. (‘Aditya stotra ratnam’: Shloka 4).

It is the Sun’s rays that run through the nADis (that Vedanta speaks) that run from the heart and spread through all the parts of the body and produce the semi-physical juices which are the source for blood, bile and flegm.

Chandogya Upanishad (VIII – 6) has this matter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 12 of 15


Obviously he does not give importance to insignificant controversies! Only I am making a big issue of this!

But then why did he take up the matter of UttarAyana-dakshhiNAyana and emphasize the right thing, that was contrary to general opinion?

Of course even the knowledge of that matter does not also profit you spiritually in any way.

However, by knowing it wrongly one wrongly concludes that some non-entity who dies in the uttarAyaNa period as a great soul; but even this thinking is excusable.

It is the other opinion, namely, thinking of a mahAtmA who had his final exit from the body in dakShiNAyana, as an ordinary person destined to be born again – this is certainly unwholesome and that is what made the Acharya emphasize the right thing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 11 of 15


VedAanta-nADis are like an elevator.

It lifts you up by itself. You don’t have to do anything.

You don’t have to know how the lift works.

Even if you have a wrong understanding of it, it does not fail to do its job.

That is why when the Acharya wrote the Bhashyas, in the beginning days, whatever general opinion was there about the nADis he also wrote the same way and used the ‘sushhumnA’ accordingly.

He did not elaborate on it, but he did write briefly about it. Later when the matter came up more deeply in BrihadAranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads and also in the Brahma-sUtra, instead of using the word ‘sushhumnA’ he just said ‘the nADi that goes to the head’ and stopped there.

Even then he did not say explicitly that ‘it is not the sushhumnA’.

Also he did not do any correction to his own usage of ‘sushhumnA’ in the previous Upanishads.