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aatma saakshaatkaaram

From: K. Sadananda (
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 05:50:36 PDT

>Dear learned members,
>I need an answer to the following question.
>As per gita,
>Is atmasakshataram absolutely necessary for one to start bhakti yoga?  If
>not why not - prove using slokas from gita + commentaries.
>As per upanisads can it be established unmistakably, that atmasakshatkaram
>is absolutely needed for bhakti yoga? If so provide detailed quotes and
>these quotes should be unmistakable and generally agreeable to wider
>audience, (in the sense strongly provable.)
>I am having the time of my life discussing gita with sri SMS chari who is
>writing a new book on Gita.  His book will be something very unique.  I
>don't think a similar book has been written before.
>Adiyen krishna

Krishnanji - Namaskara-s.

I saw the information of Shree SMS Chari. Please convey my 
shaashhTanga praNaams.  I am wondering if he can find sometime to 
spend in Washington D.C.  I will be honored to host him. I will try 
to call him this evening if I may. 

About the topic you raised.  Obviously from my background I cannot 
appreciate logically any seeing of grossified form of the Lord.  - 
Hence it is rightly called aatma saakshaat kaaram - The Mundaka U. 
mantra declare the nature of the reality as -

yat adresham agraaHam agotram avarNam, akshakshu shotram tada paanai paadam|
nityam vibhuH sarvagatim sasuukshmam, yat bhuuta yonim paripastyanti dhiiraaH||

It can not be seen -He is everywhere and very subtle -  yet it says 
dhiiraaH paripasyanti - those who are possessed of proper dhii can 
perceive! -

and Giita says:

maya tata midam sarvam jagdvyaka muurtinaa| masthaani sarva bhuutaani 
na cha aham teshu avasthittaH|| - He pervades in an unmanifested form.

both Giita and upanishads declare - He is  smaller than the smallest 
and bigger than the biggest

In contrast in purusha suukta it says  -   sahasra shhiirshaa 
purushaH- sahasraakshaat sahasra paat -

In Giita - sarvataH paaNi paadam tat sarvataH askhi shirormukham| 
sarvataH shshrutimat loke
  yet it is sarvam aavR^itya tishhTati|  and also sarva indriya guNa 
abhaasam sarva indriya guNa visarjitam asaktam sarvabHR^it cha eva, 
nirguNam guNabhoktR^i cha||

These contradictions are indicative of that nature of the reality can 
only be perceived by the meditative mind. If Bhakti is defined as the 
love towards this higher reality, the love needs a well defined 
locus.  Without proper locus - mentally - one cannot develop true 
love.  I cannot love gaagabuubu since I do not know what that 
gaagaabuubu is.  Hence  for bhakti to be crystallized one has to have 
a clear vision of the object of love. That is aatma saakshaatkaaram 
in my understanding. Lack of clear vision causes lack of appropriate 
bhakti.  The more I know about the object of my love the more focused 
the love will be.  Personally I do not subscribe bhakti means doing 
some ritual or exercises without clear vision to whom I am praying. 
But that is not a waste either since it could possibly (underline 
possibly) lead to more understanding of the nature of the reality, 
if I have proper guidance or if this is supported by the study of 
prabhandha-s.  From my point aatmasaakshaatkaaram or clear vision of 
the object of my love is needed for the love to focus.  Otherwise it 
will be dissipated.

I realize that vishhTaadvaitic interpretation of Bhakti as Vedantic 
Technical word may be different but logic of devotion should be the 
same.  The true love towards higher or Bhakti should involve less 
agitations in the mind hence becomes 'self-focussing' towards the 
object of bhakti. That is possible with the clear vision or 
aatmasaatshatkaaram of the Lord who is the object of Bhakti.  Without 
that it gets de-focussed - but as with all sadhana-s this vision 
becomes clear as one gets more and more involved - snow-ball effect. 
To me Bhakti and sharaaNaagati are not different - sharaaNagati is 
the ultimate of the Bhakti. One can surrender only if one has the 
love ultimate and that happens not by will but by Love, where the 
surrender, the ego, himself is surrendered at the alter of the Bhakti.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

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