The paths of Devotion and Knowledge – Bhakti vs Jnana | Advaita Vedanta

The following is taken from the wonderful text Sadhanai Saram (The Essence of Spiritual Practice) written by Sri Sadhu Om, a direct devotee of Sri Ramana’s. This text not only gives us the essence of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching, but also directs us to the true Vedanta teachings. The notes are written by Sri Sadhu Om himself. You can download the full text as a PDF using the above link.

Devotion and Knowledge – Bhakti and Jnana

  1. To the extent to which love for God arises in one’s heart, to that extent will one acquire knowledge about Him. And to the extent to which one knows the nature of God, to that extent will the mind gain steadfast love for Him. Thus, knowledge (jnana) will be increased by devotion (bhakti), and devotion (bhakti) will be increased by knowledge (jnana).
  2. By means of our love for God, He will give us more knowledge of Him, and by means of our knowledge of Him, He will give us more love for Him. Therefore, of these two paths, bhakti and jnana, follow that one for which you first gain a liking, because that one path will lead you to follow the other one into the heart.
  3. In the life of an aspirant who is seeking liberation, bhakti and jnana will be experienced as inseparable, like the two sides of one sheet of paper. Hence, each one is equal to the other. They are not two different things, for the true nature of both of them is one and the same; know that bhakti and jnana are merely two names for that one thing.(Garland of Guru’s Sayings (Guru Vachaka Kovai) verses 722, 731)
  4. The state of abiding firmly in Self-alone is wisdom (jnana). Would it be possible to abide thus in Self if one did not have love for Self? Love for Self-alone is bhakti; abiding firmly in Self on account of that love alone is jnana. What difference is there between these two? Discriminate and know this truth. (Maharshi’s Gospel p.24)
  5. If there did not exist the power of gravity, which attracts and pulls everything towards the earth, would anything remain stable on earth? On scrutiny, devotion (bhakti) is found to be similar to the gravitational power of attraction, while the state of wisdom (jnana) is found to be similar to the state of objects remaining stable on earth as a result of that attraction. If either one of these two, the power of attraction or bhakti and the state of abidance or jnana, were absent, the other one would not exist.
  6. An aspirant who practices Self-inquiry, which is the path of jnana, denies his own individuality by knowing, “I, this insignificant ego, am not the doer of any action”; while a devotee denies his own individuality by knowing, “God alone is the doer of all actions.” Thus, since an aspirant who follows either of these two paths refrains from assuming the sense of doership, understand that these two paths are not different even during the time of practice, and follow either of them.
  7. We should not allow our minds to become bewildered and confused by trying to deliberate and decide, “Which of these two, the practice of bhakti or the practice of jnana is the best means for attaining liberation?” For whichever path a liking arises in the heart of a person, for that person that path alone is the best.
  8. According to the strength of habit continuing from former lives, in this life the mind will acquire a liking either for the path of devotion or the direct and unfailing path of Self-inquiry, and will feel that particular path to be the best and most suited to itself. Therefore, follow at least one of these two paths to its very end.

Inquiry Becoming Easy Due to Devotion

  1. When, having wept and wept with intense yearning for a long time, unceasingly thinking of and adoring the Gracious Feet (of the Lord), the mind which rises (as “I am so-and-so”) dissolves and becomes pure, the blemishless Self-inquiry (jnanatmavichara) will become firmly settled (in the heart) and the experience of Self (swarupa-anubhava) will of its own accord arise very easily indeed. – Sri Muruganar

Note: from Sri Ramana Jnana Bodham v.1286

  1. O, you who say, “We have never seen you closing your eyes and practicing Self-abidance (nishtha); tell us, how did you attain the state of inner silence (mauna)?” Understanding the above verse, know the secret of (how to attain the true experience of) God, who is not seen even though one waits closing one’s eyes (for a long time in expectation of seeing His true vision).

Note: the previous verse is the answer to the above question

Surrender it all to Bhagavan! | Sri Ramana Maharshi | Self-Surrender | Who am I?

‘Firm and disciplined inherence in the Atman, without giving the least scope for the rise of any thought other than the deep contemplative thought of the Self, constitutes self-surrender to the Supreme Lord.

‘Let any amount of burden be laid on Him, He will bear it all. It is, in fact, the indefinable power of the Lord that ordains, sustains, and controls everything that happens.

‘Why then should we worry, tormented by vexatious thoughts, saying: ‘Shall we act this way? No, that way,’ instead of meekly but happily submitting to that Power?

‘Knowing that the train carries all the weight, why indeed should we, the passengers travelling in it, carry our small individual articles of luggage on our laps to our great discomfort, instead of putting them aside and sitting at perfect ease?’

~from ‘Who Am I?’ by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

For those who resonate, this is the ENTIRE spiritual teaching | Devotion | Bhakti | Love | God

For those who resonate…

Devote yourself to God (That Divinity which is nothing but your own Self) daily, give yourself to Him* daily, put Him first, rest upon Him in all things.

Guided by Him (who is the True Teacher or True Guru): surrender to Him, talk to Him, sing to Him, praise Him, move with Him, allow Him to guide you: guide your thoughts, move through you, speak through you and to replenish You;

Be with Him, in Him, with Him in You;
Lovingly, take his lead, follow His lead;

For those who resonate, this is both the beginning, the middle, and end of the Spiritual Journey. For those who resonate, this is the Entire Spiritual Teaching and the Entire Spiritual Journey.

Do this with Genuine Feeling, with Spiritual Feeling, with Love in which all distinctions ultimately fade.

Become One with Him, Be with Him, Abide as Him, Be Him – You are He.

Om tat sat

🙏

*Or Her or That, as you prefer

Guided Meditation: A Wonderful & Joyful Way to Liberation (with devotion to Sri Ramana Maharshi)

A wonderful and joyful way to liberation. With loving devotion to Guru Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Please allow these words to wash over you – if you have difficulty hearing the words please turn the volume up!

Namaste and love to you all

To see all the guided meditations I have created please see the Guided Meditation playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TomDasNonduality/playlist

Devotion is key | Do we need to make an effort? | Yoga Vasistha | Sadhanai Saram

We need to make an effort, but the primary effort we make is to let go and surrender ourselves to Him, and then it’s done by God’s Grace. You’ll find all the answers come, synchronicities happen, or a great difficulty will come your way and it will give rise to a Jewel.

Here is a link to the piece about Sadhanai Saram mentioned in this video.
https://tomdas.com/2020/11/05/sadhanai-saram-the-essence-of-spiritual-practice-devotion-and-self-enqiry-ramana-maharshi-advaita-vedanta/

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

To attend satsang, see here: https://tomdas.com/events.

For guided meditations see the ‘guided meditation’ playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TomDasNonduality/playlist

For recommended reading for liberation see here: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/

To book a 1 to 1 session with Tom see here: https://tomdas.com/nondual-spiritual-counsellor/

Loving and thinking of My Lord, Guru Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi | Muruganar

318. By thinking of my Lord, thought waves came to a complete rest. I was freed from attachment to action I performed. I separated from potential associations that approached me. I merged everywhere with mauna, the virtuous conduct of abiding as being.

319. Because thinking of my Lord yielded bliss for me, I realised that my Lord is the very form of bliss. By experiencing my lord through the mauna-consciousness in my heart, I too became, with delight, that [bliss]

320. Because the thought of our Lord destroys completely all other thoughts, devotees will come to experience the grace that is supreme tranquillity thought that thought of our Lord. The potency of the supreme power of our Lord’s mauna will destroy the ego of true devotees, bestowing on them the experience of our Lord’s very own real nature, the Self, jnana.

313. Why seek a tapas other than true love, the melting of the mind that comes from meditating on my Lord?

314. No other tapas is required for those whose minds have dissolved by meditating on the Lord.

315. Melting within by repeatedly thinking of him in a loving way became the cord with which the Lord tied me to himself. His ultimate real nature, existing as the unique pure being, surged forth as pure consciousness, absolutely blemishless grace.

The above verses are from The Shining of my Lord by Sri Muruganar


Guru Vachaka Kovai, Verse 659:

659. Those people who lack consciousness of being, the natural light [I am], and who consequently come, through ignorance, under the spell of karma and suffer, will have their delusion ended and reach the Self, the supreme reality, through meditation on a divine form that is dear to them.