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Re: Bhakti

RSrin_at_aol.com
Date: Fri Jul 31 1998 - 06:57:57 PDT

Dear Sri Sadagopan,

May I at the very outset say how touched I am with your detailed response to
my poem written on impulse? I am extremely grateful to you for highlighting
the difference between Advaita and Sri Vaishnava philosophy, which I found
very enlightening.But it is not true that Pt5. The Buddhists believe in
becoming and not being. Zen Buddhism in particular emphasizes on BEing, since
when you Become, you really get back to the state of Being.., quite like
Advaita.
 All I can say is my own experience has shown me that it is only when you get
out of your own cloistered and conditioned beliefs, shake off the cobwebs that
grow with time and taste a whiff of fresh air of other belief systems that you
come back to your own fold more rejuvenated, more enlightened, without the
need for paramada khandana. .. my excursions into the Buddhist Path has taught
me that Buddhism has a lot to offer us devotees in its ethical simplicity, ie.
the 8fold path. We Hindus tend to lead our lives in compartments, turn very
devout at the sannadhi, talk complexly exciting philosophy during satsangs and
practice questionable ways in our personal lives.. no judgment here, only a
prodding so we think...this has helped me to integrate practice with my Path.
While, when I deal with the heights of philosophy, I find Buddhism very
wanting, not being able to match the philosophical cogencies of Advaita as
propounded by Adi Sankara and Sri Ramana. Yet, when it comes to bhakti and
saranagati, I see Sri Ramanuja's way so appealing that words, acts, thoughts
all melt into tears, esplly when I sing Periyaalvaar's pasurams... Integration
of all these have not been problematic for me, although I know for many, it
may pose serious contradictions. 
My own question however, regarding Unconditional Love is more at practical
level rather than philosophical. Is unconditional love blind? Can we
differentiate between the act and the person committing the act in
unconditional love? Thank you..