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.

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