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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 10 of 15


In the YogashAstras, whatever movement of the prANas that one creates through self-effort, that influences and formulates the life and SAdhanA.

In Vedanta, on the other hand, depending on the life style, routine and SAdhanA, certain things happen, beyond his control, in the nADis etc.

And knowing those ‘certain things’ he does not gain anything; nor does he lose anything by not knowing them.

The matter of the yoga-shAstra-nADis is like a careful climb up a ladder.

Every step there has to be done by self-effort.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 9 of 15


The matter of the heart and the NADis that Vedanta talks about is one such. By knowing about them there is not going to be any gain of spirituality; nor is there any loss by not knowing about them.

There is a great difference between the sushhumnA and other nADis that Yoga ShAstra talks about and this (matter of the heart, etc.).
The Yoga-shAstras say several things about how you have to practise, how you have to generate the activity of prANashakti in the nADis, make it ascend or climb, and you may reap such and such results. Among these there are also included some for the growth of spirituality.

On the other hand, we cannot do anything with the heart or nADis or the central gate, enunciated by our Vedanta shAstras and obtain any result.

It all depends on his life style, upAsanA, self-enquiry and accordingly the JIva-bhAva automatically goes and joins thosenADis or the central seat of the Atman.

That is all.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 8 of 15

When he thus wrote the Bhashyas, he did something which demonstrates his great humility.

Though he was himself an all-knowing person as also one who had the experience, he did not claim to say anything on the basis of his own experience or knowledge.

He always leaned on shAstras, tradition and the regimens of elders’ observance (*shishhTAchAra*) and the things approved by them.

“If I said things on my own authority, what guarantee is there that things will happen to others in the same way it happened to me? Only by declaring theories on one’s personal authority did the Bauddha and Jaina philosophies go wrong and it has been left to us to make the correction” – this was the thought of the Acharya and accordingly he restrained himself and made tradition do the talking.

In matters unrelated to the growth of spirituality, even when the traditional belief was not right, he thought “Let me not touch it. Once I meddle with it, that will leave the precedent for others to do the same and discipline will be lost” and thereby he spoke only in conformity with tradition and its beliefs.
[Incidentally, it is the very same approach our Paramacharya also took]


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 7 of 15


If we go to some JnAni to resolve the perplexity, he is not knowledgeable!

Or perhaps, he knows only to that little extent that the Almighty has opened out for him! Probably he (the JnAni) does not himself want to know anything more!

Nor does the seeker , who just received the information just because the JnAni condescended to tell him something, develop any further interest in it, to seek more knowledge! In this state of affairs, the vague knowledge itself becomes and remains the complete knowledge!

It is in that manner, when everybody was thinking that the mUrdha nADi that goes to the head was itself the sushhumnA of the yoga-shAstra, it was at that time that our Acharya manifested on Earth!

He was all-knowing even at birth. There was nothing which was not known to him. However, having manifested as a human being to show the way to humans, he had to show that he learnt everything only from the Guru.

First he studied several shAstras, as a Brahmachari, staying with a guru (*gurukulavAsaM*) and then from a sannyAsi-guru he took over the Brahma-vidyA. Thereafter he wrote the Bhashyas as per the orders of the Guru.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 6 of 15


Therefore, if we accost an enlightened JnAni and ask him about the heart, the nADis and the Gate that Vedanta talks about, he may not tell us anything!

He does not know about what is happening to himself; wherefrom would he know about the other persons, devotee or layman? How do you expect somebody who does not know how he came here to know what kind of shops or buildings were there on his way?

But then how did the enlightened Rishis mention these things in the Upanishads? After they got their enlightenment, after again they got the siddhi that never slips at all, the paramAtmA Himself, in token of His appreciation, makes the mysteries of His creation and other secrets known to them and also tells them about all the processes related to upAsakas as well as laymen.

Revelling in the sweetness of those leelAs and miracles, they have made it known to others also.

But after all the information reached others, they have also done some blurring.

Doesn’t the touch of MAyA come everywhere? That might be the reason!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 5 of 15

The whole process which thus takes place in relation to the heart and the nADis is not in his knowledge. His attention is not there.

His only attention, and all his thought, is – and should be -- in the Atma-sphuraNaM (Sparking of the Atman) at the seat or locale that he has caught hold of almost as a bhAvanA (attitude).

His concentration is all on the goal of Realisation. If he thinks of anything as a ‘path’ now, it will be a distraction.

Attention to the path will stray you from the goal; and then the path will also disappear!  And you will be left back with the straying mind; back to square one!

Suppose somebody tells us that Ambal (Mother Goddess) has manifested somewhere in your vicinity. What would we do immediately?

Mentally we get a kind of locale for Her and we rush on the road to find it in reality. And as we rush, do we pay attention to the track that we pass through – whether it is a country road or a macadamised road and so forth?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 4 of 15


When the person who treads the path of jnAna, at the apex of his SAdhanA, resorts to bhakti for the extinction of his ego, the mind and intellect come into the semi-physical heart, the seat of the ego; the heart is filled up by love in its subtle form and the ego thins out and then goes and shrinks into the central gate -- all this process takes place (involuntarily) without his knowledge!

The Atman is attributeless, so the mind has no hold on it or has only a vague hold. So as the Guru has told him he holds on to what appears as the root or source of breath and thought and he concentrates at that ‘point’. That is all.

The Guru might have told him and he would have learnt that it is the center of the heart. Still in actuality, his cittam (antaHkaraNaM) will not be drawn into it permanently in its entirety then and there.

To a certain extent he has located something like that and his cittam stations itself there for the moment.
All the vAsanAs have to be exhausted, ego has to be totally extinguished; only thereafter, it stands there for good.

Here ‘stands’ has two connotations: one is, ‘stops, halts’; the other is ‘endures, abides, belongs’.

So here what happens is, the process begins with the first meaning and ends with the second.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 3 of 15


The nADis that, according to the Upanishads, starts from the heart, are related to the process of life as well as end of life, for the  entire humanity.

Among them the most important one is the one that goes to the head. Nowhere in the Upanishads or Brahma-sUtra is it called the sushhumnA. They only say *mUrdha-nADi*, that is the nAdi which is in the head or which ends in the head.

In the Gita also (VIII – 12) *mUrdhny-AdAyAtmanaH prANaM* where the reference is to the leaving of the body by bringing the PrANa to the head, both in the text and in the bhAshya, there is no mention of sushhumnA.

As the Acharya was going on writing the BhAshyas for Upanishad after Upanishad, only in the early bhAshyas, namely, Kathopanishad, Prashnopanishad,and Taittiriyopanishad, has he mentioned sushhumnA.

Also in Taittiriya, he has referred to the heart (hRdayaM) as even the physical heart all of us know.

Let me explain why.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 2 of 15

That sushhumnA of Yoga-shAstra starts from the mUlAdhAra at the base of the spine and goes straight up to the head.

The nADi that we saw and which is spoken of in the Upanishads and Brahma-sUtra, starts from the heart.

The process of the ascent of prANa-shakti on the sushhumnA that starts from the mUlAdhAra, is a matter that pertains to the yogis who perform SAdhanA for that purpose.

They hold on to the *lokAdhAra-shakti* and through that become one with shivaM in the head. That is a particular yoga matter.

Our Vedanta which is based on Upanishads does not touch upon those things. It will not go in a roundabout way dealing with breath, shakti, etc.

Vedanta shows the way only to experience the goal by a proper intellectual enquiry, keeping a straight aim on the target, namely the Real ‘I’ which is what subsists after the discarding of the little ‘I’. 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Sushumnaa Naadi - Part 1 of 15

Another matter. This is about the nADi that goes to the head.

Just as there is an incorrect opinion about uttarAyaNa-death so is the case with this.

Even those scholars who do know rightly about the UttarAyaNa death that it only means passage through the various seats of the devatAs associated with UttarAyaNa, even elder knowledgeable people, who have written commentaries and glosses on the Bhashyas of Acharya in  order to explain them better, -- even they, do not hold the right opinion about the nADi that goes to the head.

They all think that it is the sushhumnA nADi spoken of in the yoga-shAstra.

But this is not that sushhumnA.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two different results of Karma Yoga - Part 3 of 3

We further saw how the (spiritual) heart is the seat of ego and how, if we make it the seat of bhakti, and by that very bhakti if we dissolve the ego gradually and thin it out, then it will go through the gate, the seat of Atman, in the middle of the heart and the JIva-bhAva disappears and stays as the Atman.

It was in that context, the question arose: “If the JnAni goes like this, what happens to the others? They also have their ego in the heart. If it does not go into the seat of the Atman, then where will it go?”

And thus came all the other matters in reply to this. “There are several nADis that emanate from the heart.
Among them are also those which end up in the nine gates of the body.

The mind, intellect and ego of all those whose karma-bondage has not been cut asunder will remain fat, without getting thinned out, till the last breath.
That last breath carries that heavy luggage of the antaHkaraNaM and goes out by one of those nine nADis. Later when another birth occurs, it enters that body.

Besides these nine, there is one nADi which goes to the head. Those who do not go by the jnAna path, but still have the objective of the removal of the bondage of samsAra and do the various upAsanAs, -for them the soul leaves by that head-nADi and reaches Brahma-loka.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two different results of Karma Yoga - Part 2 of 3


If, on the other hand, his interest, taste or inclination not being in the jnAna path, he lives a life of a karma-yogi (and nothing more) only with the thought “Let me be relieved of this samsAra.

Whatever possible, let me do the karmayoga right”, he will obtain only the Brahma-loka as his result. As I said earlier, the Lord does not voluntarily give what was not asked.

Let us analyse how we got into this topic.

We started analysing the question: “Is Bhakti an allowed concept on the jnAna path? How is it a garIyasI sAmagrI (most prominent accessory or instrument)?”.

After one was told how to control the senses, mind and intellect, bhakti was mentioned only for the control and destruction of ahamkAra which is the basis of JIva-bhAva.

It is the sword to cut asunder the very root; that is the ‘garIyasI sAmagrI’. All this we saw.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Two different results of Karma Yoga - Part 1 of 3

I mentioned many times that for one who follows karma yoga well his mind gets purified on account of that and he gets the eligibility to tread the jnAna path; and that, if such a karma-yogi gets that mental purity and starts jnAna-yoga, either in this birth or in one or two more births, he will obtain his advaita mukti in that very life.

How does this reconcile with the present statement that karma-yoga is nothing but one of the many upAsanAs, and that instead of going to the path of jnAnayoga he will go to Brahma-loka and then he will get advaita-mukti only after several crores of years when the Grand Dissolution happens?

Let me explain this.

It all depends on what he has been aiming at, what he has been keeping as his goal.

If he had had the goal as advaita, and if however he started karmayoga-type of life just to get the mental purity and eligibility for jnAna yoga, then that itself would lead him to the path of jnAna, as soon as his mind is purified; and he will also soon reach the destination of advaita mukti .