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RE: aatma saakshaatkaaram

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 07:07:51 PDT

Dear sri sadananda,

Obviously,  there is an underlying question in gita which should be asked

As per gita is there a difference between atman and ishwara?  If not why
not? If so why?

And as per Upanishads the same question needs to be answered.

This is the first question before coming to the second listed below.

You will really enjoy the book on upanisads which compare all commentaries
on these questions.  Obviously one needs detailed “contemplation” to assess
these issues since we are talking about comparing stalwarts in the field.  I
think sms chari has done an excellent “objective” non biased work.  However,
many may disagree with him based on the backgrounds.  But I can assure
everyone that if one disagrees, it will be a very tough job to answer why
one disagrees on objective grounds!

Please do call him at 760-747-7577 . He will be here in san diego till this
weekend.  If you plan the events early enough you can get him to Washington
dc. by organizing a group of people to chip in.  I had arranged several
talks in Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona, with the help of the board of Sri
Ranganatha Seva Samithi.

1.	comparitive estimate of three schools of Vedanta
2.	gita , its essence
3.	thiruppavai

You can choose any topic you want and ask the local people to pitch in or
even make a New Jersey / NY  combined with Washington DC tristate area trip
if you want.

One thing is for certain, scholars like SMS Chari are very rare.  His
approach, particularly on the aspect of “fairness” to all systems of Vedanta
while evaluating them, makes him stand out.  Obviously his medium of speech
being English helps.

Adiyen Krishna

-----Original Message-----
From: K. Sadananda []
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 5:51 AM
Subject: aatma saakshaatkaaram

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

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

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

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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