Author Topic: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?  (Read 4166 times)

ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« on: March 15, 2013, 08:23:10 AM »
Dear Udai

I wanted to ask this.   What is your position with regards to sadhana like atma vichara,  or japa or bhakthi or karma yoga?

Suppose one does not know ABC of any scripures in this world.  That man is actually total illiterate --  but he does only Atma Vichara as taught by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi in who am i.   Assume he went to Ramana Maharishee and got the instructions directly to do Atma Vichara -- Who Am I.

But that is all it was.  After that our sadhaka is not be seen in Sri Ramasramam.  But he is putting into practice whatever he received as instructions from Bhagavan Ramana.


What is your opiniong about such a sadhaka?  Is he deluded ,  does he need to learn to first read & write to get Jnaan? Or everything is going well with this sadhaka? 

Will he attain self realization?  I mean the Self Realization which is the maximum state of Purna per your take.

I am not asking all this with some motive or sarcastically.

I have my own answer for this.  But I am a bit confused on what is really your position in these matters.

Because in every forum ,  with everybody you have your own arguments. 
So I want to know whether you are buying the UG style of negating everything or not.

Or you take Chinmayananda's style of insisting that one should endlessly read scriptures,  do complete investigation on those lines ?   

Please come up with clear and concise answers.     Again ,  this is not to start a debate or provoke or find faults with your approach.    I just want to clearly know your take on all these.

If you feel uneasy on this topic ,  please do let me know. i will delete the same.  Because I dont really mean to hurt you.

atmavichar100

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 09:13:49 AM »
Dear Kskat

Though you have addressed the question to Tushnim/Udai , I feel if you go through this link you will get some clarity to the doubts raised by you .

Given below is an excerpt from the auto biography of Swami Chaitanyananda , a Senior Direct Disciple of Swami Sivananda , who is not known much to the outside world as he maintained lot of seclusion in Uttarkashi ,Himalayas  after spending time at Sivananda Ashram ,Rishikesh and also doing Scriptural Study with Swami Tapovan .He was one of the few people  along with Swami Chinmayananda selected by Swami Sivananda to study the scriptures with Swami Tapovan in the Hiamalays . While Chinmaya came outside and started lot of Institutions to spread Vedanta world wide , Swami Chaitanyananda choose to remain in seclusion in Uttar Kashi and gave spiritual instructions and talks to only those people who came to him .
He was in the Himalayas for nearly 50 years or so and came back to the plains only in 1998 ( except for some spiritual yatra  in between where he travelled to many spiritual spots including Arunacahala etc)  and I was fortunate to meet him , get his blessings and had good personal talk with him during that time ( i.e in 1998-99) when I went for doing the Yoga Teachers Training Course at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Neyyar Dam , Kerala .
So kindly go through this link below and I am sure you will have many of your doubts cleared .
Teachings (Excerpts from Chapter 7 of Swamiji's memoirs)
http://chaitanyadham.tripod.com/teachings.htm
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 09:16:40 AM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

sanjaya_ganesh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 09:21:42 AM »
Excellent article. Thanks, Atmavichar-ji.
Salutations to Bhagawan

ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 09:39:01 AM »
Dear Kskat

Though you have addressed the question to Tushnim/Udai , I feel if you go through this link you will get some clarity to the doubts raised by you .

Given below is an excerpt from the auto biography of Swami Chaitanyananda , a Senior Direct Disciple of Swami Sivananda , who is not known much to the outside world as he maintained lot of seclusion in Uttarkashi ,Himalayas  after spending time at Sivananda Ashram ,Rishikesh and also doing Scriptural Study with Swami Tapovan .He was one of the few people  along with Swami Chinmayananda selected by Swami Sivananda to study the scriptures with Swami Tapovan in the Hiamalays . While Chinmaya came outside and started lot of Institutions to spread Vedanta world wide , Swami Chaitanyananda choose to remain in seclusion in Uttar Kashi and gave spiritual instructions and talks to only those people who came to him .
He was in the Himalayas for nearly 50 years or so and came back to the plains only in 1998 ( except for some spiritual yatra  in between where he travelled to many spiritual spots including Arunacahala etc)  and I was fortunate to meet him , get his blessings and had good personal talk with him during that time ( i.e in 1998-99) when I went for doing the Yoga Teachers Training Course at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Neyyar Dam , Kerala .
So kindly go through this link below and I am sure you will have many of your doubts cleared .
Teachings (Excerpts from Chapter 7 of Swamiji's memoirs)
http://chaitanyadham.tripod.com/teachings.htm


Sir I read it.   Thankyou very much.     

really speaking,  I dont have a doubt in this topic,  though I am famous to get doubts elsewhere.

From your link,  following extract summarizes my point very clearly.

So here my question is,  should I hear from swamiji with full faith,  that one japa-mantra,  that one fasting,  that one service ,  come back home and fully practice it  OR  should I also have to endlessly read scriptures? 

Here I dont feel the need to stop all this and feel outgrown. No,  not that.  But the other way. 



People ask, "What should I do? How should I practice?" although our Swamiji's books are full of answers to these questions."Meditate daily, pray, do Japa, fast on Ekadasi, observe mouna daily for two hours, do charity 1/10th  of your income, etc."

So he has given everything.  But we imagine that these things are commonplace, and we want something new.  We feel it is all commonplace, we have out-grown all that.


ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 11:03:41 AM »
Dear ksksat27,
       :) Thanks for asking. I really appreciate this question.
I will consolidate my position very clearly now:

1. My position is very near to Swami Chinmayananda ji's suggestion: one should study scriptures and do mananam and nidhidhyasanam. There is a slight difference , which I will explain later, if needed.

2. As I see it UG krishnamurthi was a fraud & JK was confused. I know it might hurt many people here. But I do not hesitate to present my views directly.

3. Jnana , as talked about by Shankara, is what one gains through study of scriptures under a proper guru. And Shanakra says that japa, dhyana etc  ... all upasanas are for making the mind ready to receive this knowledge. And these practises by themselves cannot lead to mukthi.

4. Regarding Ramana Maharshi's Atma-Vichara ... chances are negligible that people will be able to do it effectively without proper understanding of scriptures. Ramana's Self enquiry is a nidhidhyasana tool ... it works effectively only when used for nidhidhyasanam. and nidhidhyasanam cannot take place without proper sravana-mananam. However Ramana devotee who sticks primarly to Ramana's teachings will slowly ... pick up enough knowledge from Ramana's teachings itself and if he has certain maturity , he may be able to do nidhidhyasanam. but without sravana-mananana of shastras under good guru ... in general ... self enquiry itself wont be effective.

5. If the teaching of Bhagavad Gita was not required, Krishna could have simply put his hand on Arjuna and "Transmitter" Realization :D

Realization is not a state of "mind"... its independence from all states of mind. One need not "become" Liberated... one has to know one is not bound and thus ever Liberated. This understanding happens only in mind ... and not elsewhere also this understanding negates wrong notions about Self ... that happens when one exposes oneself to vedanta ... there is no other way. That said vedanta need not be in sanskrit alone :D a good teacher who has the vision can convey it ... provided he has vedantic knowledge. This is why Mundaka clearly states that a guru has to be srotriya ... meaning he should be well versed in vedantic knowledge. why do you think that the scripture is saying this if shastras have to be shunned or shastra knowledge is not required ? Upanishad is a pramana ... its a means of knowledge. one cannot dismiss what it says! And that mundaka says that guru has to know vedantic knowledge is not a small thing !! Please ponder .


Dear Udai

You got my question to gun point and very crisply conveyed your position.  I quite appreciate and thank you for the same.   Actually I dont agree with your position .   That does not matter. 


I need your elaboration only on two points.  One of them you have covered.  Another I have put under newly.

one is below:

"4. Regarding Ramana Maharshi's Atma-Vichara ... chances are negligible that people will be able to do it effectively without proper understanding of scriptures. Ramana's Self enquiry is a nidhidhyasana tool ... it works effectively only when used for nidhidhyasanam. and nidhidhyasanam cannot take place without proper sravana-mananam. However Ramana devotee who sticks primarly to Ramana's teachings will slowly ... pick up enough knowledge from Ramana's teachings itself and if he has certain maturity , he may be able to do nidhidhyasanam. but without sravana-mananana of shastras under good guru ... in general ... self enquiry itself wont be effective. "



So Ramana's self enquiry is only a nidhidhyasana tool --  it should be combined with shravanam--mananam of scriptural study.

Please elaborate with regards to my example --  someone who never has least accessibility to any scritpures and someone who heard Ramana's instructions on who am i just for 10 minutes of his lifetime.

he is back to his remote jungle or village --   he only practices this self enquiry day and night,  nothing else.
no scritpures,  no Gita,  no AdhiShankara's literature,  nothing.   

Is that enough or not ?  Please answer in a line and then provide the explanation.


another point which you have not touched:

what happens to buddhist --nagarjuna sadhakas,   savities,  vaishnavas and shaktha upasana sadhaks.  what happens to tibetian vipasana,  ZEN and Kashimir Lingayat sadhaks?  Should they come to read all these vednatic scriptures one day after their chittha suddhi or how is it?


ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 11:42:17 AM »
Dear ksksat27,
       :) Really nice and interesting questions. Let me elaborate further on these

Quote
someone who never has least accessibility to any scritpures and someone who heard Ramana's instructions on who am i just for 10 minutes of his lifetime.
he is back to his remote jungle or village --   he only practices this self enquiry day and night,  nothing else.
no scritpures,  no Gita,  no AdhiShankara's literature,  nothing.   
Is that enough or not ?  Please answer in a line and then provide the explanation.

:) if someone is able to abide thus, continuously ... definitely he has almost reached.
What I am saying is, its extremely unlikely that this itself is possible for anyone without proper sravana-mananam.
Why can someone not remain like this ?
See without ignorance removal this is not possible. Because in sitting like this ... he is working against the pull of mind... and for him to be able to do that, it means he sees that there is no where else to reach!! He sees that "I am fulfilled here now" ... and that means he has reached... so perhaps he has completed the sravana-mananam in previous birth etc. Such a person will not have confusions on basic scriptural concepts. As such I know only 3 saints who have been able to do this: Hastamalaka acharya, Gautama Buddha and Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. :)


Quote
what happens to buddhist --nagarjuna sadhakas,   savities,  vaishnavas and shaktha upasana sadhaks.  what happens to tibetian vipasana,  ZEN and Kashimir Lingayat sadhaks?  Should they come to read all these vednatic scriptures one day after their chittha suddhi or how is it?

Humm ... Nirvana. Buddha was liberated.
Rest , I am not sure.
By purifying the mind, how will they know they are not the mind ?
Please ponder.
Buddha was liberated but not being a srotriya [versed in scriptural knowledge as explained by mundaka upanishad] .. i am not sure he conveyed his understanding properly to people.

You are fulfilled now ... even with the mind's impurities and limitedness ... because you are not the mind ! you are still now ... even when the mind is agitated. How will you know this by making the mind calm.
In any case, if we give them all the benefit of doubt ... its extremely hard without study of proper scripture.
and that said ... the same truth : you are fulfilled ... may be conveyed through a buddhist scripture as well... then that is sufficient... i dont mean to say only sanskrit texts need to be studied. the truth has to be presented and got thats it ... from a proper guru ... whether that truth is presented from buddhist scripture of a hindu one is not my problem.

Point 4 on Ramana Maharishee's Atma Vichara is clearly answered by you by your viewpoint.  So I have no further questions on that.

But the other religion question's answer does not clearly tell your view point.



Let me first clearly put my question:

Buddhism may be close to Vedantic concepts --  even Gaudapada is very close.  Let us set it aside for now.

My point is this -- vaishnavas,  saivites, veera saivas,  shaktha upasakas,  pure service oriented karma yogis,  vaarakari sampradaya of Maharashtra Vitthal,   Chaitanya Maha Prabahu's hare krishna sampradaya and many more --  that those sadhakas are really doing?  They dont read Ashtavakra Gita or Atma Bodha. 

They dont first of all agree Vedantic theories -- but they are also sadhaks.  They are also striving for some truth in some way.  So my question is --   should they get sufficient purity and then take another birth to read vedantic scriptures -- or how it is? 


sidetrack question:    (leave it for now if it is confusing to add question after question in single post)

And what about people who took birht even before Maithreyi Gargi dicussion in upanisahds --  (this is a distracter side track question concerning period --  what can one do if born and brought up before Shankara's period or in a remote island in Brazil   --  Time & Place put sever constraint on scriptural study  . so what they sould do)


atmavichar100

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 12:03:31 PM »
Quote
According to scriptures when they are highly purified they reach a "Brahma Lokha" and having reached there, they learn this truth from Brahman and then find liberation there. This is one view.

According to Swami Paramarthananda ,even if one goes to Brahma Loka ,one  has to get Brahma Vidya from Brahma and the Guru Student relationship has to be maintained and there is no escape from that  there also and hence better to get Brahma Vidya in earth itself  under a proper Guru  :)
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 12:04:29 PM »
Quote
Buddhism may be close to Vedantic concepts --  even Gaudapada is very close.  Let us set it aside for now.

Buddhism has certain similarities... thats true. And so far its good too. Gaudapada Karika is far more deep and revealing. There are disagreements too.

Quote

My point is this -- vaishnavas,  saivites, veera saivas,  shaktha upasakas,  pure service oriented karma yogis,  vaarakari sampradaya of Maharashtra Vitthal,   Chaitanya Maha Prabahu's hare krishna sampradaya and many more --  that those sadhakas are really doing?  They dont read Ashtavakra Gita or Atma Bodha. 


They disagree that Atman is one with Brahman. Which means they have not reached. So various things can happen. According to scriptures when they are highly purified they reach a "Brahma Lokha" and having reached there, they learn this truth from Brahman and then find liberation there. This is one view.

Quote
They dont first of all agree Vedantic theories -- but they are also sadhaks.  They are also striving for some truth in some way.

They are not striving for the truth in the same way. Shankara goes by the Shabda pramana of upanishads and gita. he strictly follows it as it is. Vaishnava sampradaya says TAT TVAM ASI means TAT, ie, God is same as TVAM "You" only in terms of qualities. Like rose is red means redness is a property of rose and not that rose itself is redness. But then, Shankara interprets the same as you are Self. Now ... this said ... if we agree to vaishav interpretation then kaivalya upanishd says Tat Tvameva, Tvameva Tat ... what can they do about this now ? They are lost !!
chaitanya mahaprabhu quotes from Adhyatma ramayana etc at other places. in adhyatma ramayana its clearly said that TAT TVAM ASI should be understood to mean GOD AND ATMA ARE ONE ... so these are wrong views ... totally wrong ... no concession on that.
their methods are all good ... prayers are good, meditations wonderful.
they gain purity of mind and as i said above ... go to a brahma lokha or something like that.

Quote
And what about people who took birht even before Maithreyi Gargi dicussion in upanisahds --  (this is a distracter side track question concerning period --  what can one do if born and brought up before Shankara's period or in a remote island in Brazil   --  Time & Place put sever constraint on scriptural study  . so what they sould do)

:) Vedanta or vedas are apaurasheya ... meaning they were not invented by humans. So this knowledge has always been there... no moment when it was not there... it comes down from God himself ! As even creation is beginningless .. .this knowledge is also beginningless. its there always.

Thanks for all your detailed viewpoints.  This clears your viewpoint and probably some of chinmayananda also.

As I said earlier,  I dont really buy this.  I dont want further debates --  so I dont really want to write on why I dont buy this.

But thanks again Tushnim,  you have this patience and understanding to answer somebody's questions clearly.  All the best.  I close this topic. 

Om Tat Sat.


atmavichar100

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 12:17:20 PM »
Quote
I am not selling my dieas, but would like to know why you do not agree with this.

 :)
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 12:32:10 PM »
Quote
As I said earlier,  I dont really buy this.  I dont want further debates --  so I dont really want to write on why I dont buy this.


I would be glad if you can explain this :) as well.
I am not selling my dieas, but would like to know why you do not agree with this.

Well Tushnim,   I have found solace in Ramana Maharishee's simple teachings.

I dont want to take your points and provide my denial.  I am very sorry.

But one thing comes to mind -- it will be of some interest to you  I hope.

There is a very orthodox class of brahmins --  who stress Vedick Karmas on top of everything else.  They are Meemamsakas for most part,  but they call themsevles Shankara's followers.

They are in a way close to you --  but they will emphasis all vedic rites predominantly.  Even Shankara's works are secondary to them.  No need to tell you about Meemasa.  You would know their position very much.

There is one famous person who comes in Sankara TV who belogns to this category -- his name is Seshadhrinatha Sastrigal. 

My imagination is :  I should invite him and put into a conversation with you --  because both will quote extensively from scriptures and will discusss this pramana--pratyaksha etc.  very deeply.  It will become a sadas



As regards to me,  sorry, I dont feel it worthy to tell my denials and start a discussion.   

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 12:33:57 PM »
Dear Krishnan,

1.   Sri Bhagavan had read only Periya Puranam, Tayumanavar and some Bible lessons of school.   His 'death experience' (Sri
V. Ganesan calls it as 'Selfhood experience') gave Him the Atma Jnanam directly.  All that He read later in Truvannamalai
was only to clarify the doubts of devotees.   

2. One cannot conclude immediately that one can do Self inquriy and attain Jnana bodham,  Sri Bhagavan Himself has said
in one of His conversations:  "Perhaps, I might have completed these preliminaries (mantra, japa, puja) in my previous birth.
So Sri Bhagavan Himself says indirectly that these are necessary for an ordinary sadhaka and the purpose of these things
is only chidda-suddhi, Purity of mind.  Because only a Sattvic mind can do self inquiry and get the results successfully.

3. Sri Bhagavan did not discourage these practices.  He said, after some time, these preliminary types of japa etc., WILL FALL AWAY
ON THEIR OWN ACCORD. And you will do Self Inquiry.  One cannot throw these preliminary practices thinking that he will now
do self inquiry.  No. It will do more harm. The purity of one's mind is known to God and not one's own self.     

4. One can also do japa, mantra, pujas etc., and simultaneously to atma vichara.  No harm.                 


*****

Arunachala Siva.

sanjaya_ganesh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 12:37:44 PM »
Subramanian sir - Fantastically answered debunking some popular myths about Ramana Bhagawan. Thanks !!

Friends - I dont want to debate on this topic, as I am always least interested in the marga, but only keen on lakshya. Marga comes and goes and changes as you travel towards lakshya - guru will appear automatically to guide you on the marga in many forms. Showing you infinite paths to lakshya is yet another game of the all powerful infinite supreme Maya.

However, I want to add an example. Once in a while in news paper you see some news which says a boy of 14 passed M.tech in IIT without any formal learning etc etc news. It would be very foolish of me to see that news and then not educate my son - thinking he will pass the same way. Such rare stars occur once in a blue moon. Assuming myself to be that is one of the biggest foolish acts I can commit. Such flowers and stars come out of their own - not due to their own will and karma. They are avataras. No point in me trying to imitate an avatara - I will fall down to even lower levels of vasanas if I do that mistake.

Sanjay
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 12:45:24 PM by sanjaya_ganesh »
Salutations to Bhagawan

ramana_maharshi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 12:41:58 PM »
Yes sri bhagavan read many books and this was said by one of his devotee Balarama Reddy..

ksksat27

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 12:48:22 PM »
Dear Krishnan,

1.   Sri Bhagavan had read only Periya Puranam, Tayumanavar and some Bible lessons of school.   His 'death experience' (Sri
V. Ganesan calls it as 'Selfhood experience') gave Him the Atma Jnanam directly.  All that He read later in Truvannamalai
was only to clarify the doubts of devotees.   

2. One cannot conclude immediately that one can do Self inquriy and attain Jnana bodham,  Sri Bhagavan Himself has said
in one of His conversations:  "Perhaps, I might have completed these preliminaries (mantra, japa, puja) in my previous birth.
So Sri Bhagavan Himself says indirectly that these are necessary for an ordinary sadhaka and the purpose of these things
is only chidda-suddhi, Purity of mind.  Because only a Sattvic mind can do self inquiry and get the results successfully.

3. Sri Bhagavan did not discourage these practices.  He said, after some time, these preliminary types of japa etc., WILL FALL AWAY
ON THEIR OWN ACCORD. And you will do Self Inquiry.  One cannot throw these preliminary practices thinking that he will now
do self inquiry.  No. It will do more harm. The purity of one's mind is known to God and not one's own self.     

4. One can also do japa, mantra, pujas etc., and simultaneously to atma vichara.  No harm.                 


*****

Arunachala Siva.

Sir thanks for your reply.  If you see my question clearly,  it is not about mantra japa,  dhyana,  pilgrimage,  service--karma yoga,  parayana, bhajan etc.  I 100% agree that thes practices will be very much required for chittha suddhi.

Ramana Maharishee actively encouraged all the above.

My main topic to Udai was about scriptural study -- and knowledge of scriptures.

To make things crystal clear,  I gave a very naive example of a person bereft of all scritpural study.

Effort, practice , practice practice --  this is what our imaginary person can do.  Because he has no books to refer.  He has none near to hear about Atma Bodha or anything.

A mantra from his Guru --  or instructions from Ramana Maharishee --  this is all  he has accessibility .   That too for 10 minutes.  Afterwards our imaginary friend is back to his jungle.

So in this context -- he puts into practice whatever he received as instruction.  But only this small thing.

He cannot elaborately sit and study Ribhu Gita or Ashtavakra Gita or Mandukya Upanishad Garika.    That was my point. 

There are two things here --  study,  reflection , meditating on Atma Bodha etc.  as Udai is quoting.

There is another mode --  simple japa, mantra repitions or bhajans or self enquiry. 

This whole question is about the first cateogry --  just scriptural study and reflection.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 12:53:49 PM by ksksat27 »

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43530
    • View Profile
Re: Is Jnaan through sadhana or study of scriptures?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 01:12:03 PM »
Dear Krishnan,

Scriptural study and contemplation there of, is only to understand clearly about Self, Reality or God.  Once this study is
completed to a reasonable level, the sadhka chooses one of the two paths; viz., bhakti or jnana. Both are only eradicate the
ego. The highest bhakti - para bhakti - is for only attaining God, and not for worldly benefits (see chapter 16 and 17 of Bhagavad   
Gita). When this state of para bhakti is attained, the only goal becomes loving God for God's sake. Here the ego simply becomes
leaner and leaner and then vanishes. (See Verse 7 of Kovil Tirup Padigam of Tiruvachaika, which Sri Bhagavan has explained in one
of His conversations.)

 And the bhakta attains god-head.  In Jnana Marga, that is Vichara, the ego is first jettisoned
and what remains is only Self and you become that.

Both Parabhakti and Atma Jnana can be done only AFTER CHIDDA SUDDHI.

Arunachala Siva.