Author Topic: Jnana Vs. Bhakti  (Read 1483 times)


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Jnana Vs. Bhakti
« on: November 06, 2009, 12:55:21 PM »
As long as we are still in stuck in this dualistic world, if
we can ask our frined to help us to lift a heavy box or to lend
a cup of sugar, then can we not ask God for His blessings and
support when we need it?  We have to have the right perspective
on what it means to say that God and the world are illusory.
He is not more illusory than our neighbour.  A primary difference
between bhakti and jnana is this:  In devotion we approach
the Lord carrying our burdens, our minds, our bodies and the
world along with us, but in Self Enquiry we attempt to shed all
these things and realize our true nature as pure Awareness
without adjuncts.  While practising Self Enquiry we must relinquish
all thoughts including the thoughts of God and concentrate on
pure Awareness of 'I'.  In this our goal is to vanquish the menacing
mind, the trouble maker.


Intellectuals who have been dissatisfied with tradiional religions
because they just can't accept what they have been taught.
And who have perhaps adopted a somewhat atheistic outlook
often find the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana, very appealing
as they search for a higher meaning of live.  But I would claim
that the devotee of God has a HEAD START on the path to
Self realization.


Any thoughts that Jnana overrides Bhakti and that Bhakti is
an inferior path, should be dispelled even when confronted
with the statement that Jnana is the highest path.  God is Love,
the Self is Love; devotion is pure Love.  Bhagavan Ramana
loved devotion and He encouraged it.  How could it be otherwise
since He is so adorable, so fit to be worshipped?  He was
totally devoted to Arunachala and he declared it directly and
through His poems of devotion.  We should never be misled
into believing that He discouraged devotion. An idea that I have
come across only recently through several recent articles in
Mountain Path, is that devotion and love soften the Heart
and this sofftening is a pre-requisite to Self Realization,
according to Bhagavan Ramana.*

(*Practical Sadhana, Mountain Path, Advent, 2004 by Sri
Swami Sadasivananada)


It may therefore be concluded that Bhakti is a building block or
stepping stone to Jnana.  I am convinced that Bhakti never
disappears in the Jnani, and the Bhakta attains the same
indescribable non dual transcendence in the state of union
with his beloved Lord.


According to Sri Ramakrishna, Hanuman said:  "O Rama, sometimes I think that you are the Whole and I am a part.  And sometimes, that you are the Master and I am your servant. But when I have the knowledge of Reality, I see that You are I and I am You."   

(Extract from an article by Niall Anglin, Toronto, Canada, in
Mountain Path, July- Sep. 2009.)

Arunachala Siva.