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Onkara
20 November 2009, 12:37 PM
The word "Bhakti" is not in the Vedas

Namasté
I came across this suggestion in Denis Waite's book "Back to the Truth (http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781905047611/Back-to-the-Truth)" page 226 and thought I would share a smaller quote here as it may be interesting to the discussions on bhakti yoga in contrast to other yogas:

"According to Swami Chimanayananda the word Bhakti does not appear in the Vedas. (In fact it occurs first in the muktikopaniShad from the shukla yajur veda[...]. The word does occur twice in the Bhagavad Gita, which is smiRRiti.) Instead, the word that is used for devotion is upAsana, meaning homage, adoration, worship or litterally 'sitting or being near or at hand.' "

Mr Waite then goes on to suggest that:

"The idea of bhakti as a seperate path came much later, possibly not until the sixteenth centry, with the Hindu ascetic, Caitanya." A source is quoted for this suggestion in the book.

One thought arises from this, could it then be that there was only "upAsana" or worship before the 16th Century and the debates on bhakti versus other paths were not the equivalent as they are today?

Are we not making things harder for ourselves than necessary by the afirmation that bhakti is the main path of worship? It might be said upAsana has never changed but was given greater empahsis under the name of "bhakti" by later Vedantins as a way to acknowledge it as a way to moksha e.g. Caitanya?

I offer these as ideas only :)

Ganeshprasad
20 November 2009, 04:45 PM
Pranam Snip

I think if you research a bit more on bhakti you would find that it has its roots a lot long before Sri Chetanya MahaPrabhu although he did popularise the path a lot, but then he is not the only one around that time.

Before that the Alvars of south India are know for their great Bhakti in their songs.

Even Sankaracharya acknowledges Bhakti, if you consider his song Bhaja Govinda.

As you rightly point out Bhagvat Gita mentions Bhakti, in fact whole chapter 12 is about Bhakti. so how can you deduce that bhakti is a new path?

And he promises my Bhakta will never perish.

Vedas for great part deals in Karma kand result of all the effort and tapas eventually leads to gyan or bhakti.

‘upAsana, meaning homage, adoration, worship or litterally 'sitting or being near or at hand.' "

now can this be sustained without the love for it?

What can be more evident for the bhakti to be an eternal path then the existence of Narad Muni and Hanuman, as a Hindu I need no more evidence.

So no its not a new path recently given
‘greater empahsis under the name of "bhakti" by later Vedantins as a way to acknowledge it as a way to moksha e.g. Caitanya?’

These literatures Ramayan, MahaBharat and Purans are full of Bhakti, long before the appearance of Chetanya MahaPrabhu.

Jai Shree Krishna

Eastern Mind
20 November 2009, 05:56 PM
Vanakkam Snip:

The term 'bhakti' may not have been there long ago, but I am led to believe the idea was. Tirumular was the Tamil Saiva Bhaktar who composed this. Currently there is only one complete translation. (Dr. Natarajan) (Saidevo may correct me here.) If the following isn't an expressin of bhakti, please give me an example of what is.

Aum Namasivaya


113: He Descended From Heaven and Filled Me With Grace
He come down from Heaven, clothed in body,
Karma to match, stretched forth His cool Feet of Grace, planting them firm
On my head; and lo! inside me He stood, melting my yielding heart;
And filled my eyes with peerless bliss, past all compare,
All impurity dispelled.

atanu
21 November 2009, 01:18 AM
The word "Bhakti" is not in the Vedas
I offer these as ideas only :)

Namaste Snip,

However, you bring a subtle idea of profound importance. Let me relate a story.

Twenty years back, i was entrusted to measure hydrocarbon content in a widespread gas seepage that was leaking from every nook and corner of a village in Gujarat. We had dug pipes into the ground and flared the gas to avert danger. So, I was to collect gas from the top of the pipe for analysis. We were thinking how to accomplish the task as simply as possible. I suggested "Let us get a 'ghora' from the nearest processing centre, where I have seen a tall 'ghora', which will allow us reach the top of the pipe easily."

A partner of mine stood there with hung jaw and kept looking at me as if I was mad. We argued and argued for ten minutes. He finally said "It is the most mad idea". I asked him "Why is the idea mad?". He retorted "Simple. As we stand on the ghora, it will move away". Now, my jaws hung down. My ghora was a ladder. And my friend's ghora was horse.

Om Namah Shivaya

Ekanta
21 November 2009, 04:29 AM
Rig Veda, Mandala 10, Mantra 151 (Faith/ Sraddha)
1. By Faith [Sraddha] is Agni kindled, through Faith is oblation offered up.
We celebrate with praises Faith upon the height of happiness.
2 Bless thou the man who gives, O Faith; Faith, bless the man who fain would give.
Bless thou the liberal worshippers: bless thou the word that I have said.
3 Even as the Deities maintained Faith in the mighty Asuras,
So make this uttered wish of mine true for the liberal worshippers.
4 Guarded by Vayu, Gods and men who sacrifice draw near to Faith.
Man winneth Faith by yearnings of the heart, and opulence by Faith.
5 Faith in the early morning, Faith at noonday will we invocate,
Faith at the setting of the Sun. O Faith, endow us with belief.

Sounds like Bhakti?

saidevo
21 November 2009, 05:20 AM
• The word 'bhakti' with its meaning 'devotion', is emphatically mentioned in the concluding verse 6.23 of the shvetAshvatara upanishad of the 'kRShNa yajur veda', thus:-

यस्य देवे परा भक्तिः यथा देवे तथा गुरौ
तस्यैते कथिता ह्यर्थाः प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः
प्रकाशन्ते महात्मनः इति

yasya deve parA bhaktiH yathA deve tathA gurau
tasyaite kathitA hyarthAH prakAshante mahAtmanaH
prakAshante mahAtmanaH iti
--shvetAshvatara upanishad 6.23.

VI-23: These truths, when taught, shine forth only in that high-souled one who has supreme devotion to God, and an equal degree of devotion to the spiritual teacher. They shine forth in that high-souled one only.

• 'bhakti' with the same meaning of 'devotion' figures in the kaivalya upaniShad, where the threefold path of karma (shraddha), bhakti and yoga is also mentioned:

तस्मै स होवाच पितामहश्च श्रद्धा भक्तिघ्यान योगादवेहि ।
न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः ॥

tasmai sa hovAcha pitAmahashcha shraddhA bhaktighyAna yogAdavehi |
na karmaNA na prajayA dhanena tyAgenaike amRutatvamAnashuH ||
--kaivalya upaniShad 2.

2. And to him, the Grandsire (Brahma) said, “Know (this) by means of faith, devotion and meditation. Not by work, nor by progeny, nor by wealth, but by renunciation, some attained immortality.

kd gupta
21 November 2009, 10:08 AM
Namaste Snip,

However, you bring a subtle idea of profound importance. Let me relate a story.

Twenty years back, i was entrusted to measure hydrocarbon content in a widespread gas seepage that was leaking from every nook and corner of a village in Gujarat. We had dug pipes into the ground and flared the gas to avert danger. So, I was to collect gas from the top of the pipe for analysis. We were thinking how to accomplish the task as simply as possible. I suggested "Let us get a 'ghora' from the nearest processing centre, where I have seen a tall 'ghora', which will allow us reach the top of the pipe easily."

A partner of mine stood there with hung jaw and kept looking at me as if I was mad. We argued and argued for ten minutes. He finally said "It is the most mad idea". I asked him "Why is the idea mad?". He retorted "Simple. As we stand on the ghora, it will move away". Now, my jaws hung down. My ghora was a ladder. And my friend's ghora was horse.

Om Namah Shivaya

I know and use ladder , but it is called ghori and not ghora .:)

devotee
21 November 2009, 11:27 PM
Namaste,

Out of Six Darshanas within Sanatan Dharma, Vedanta Darshana holds supreme. Within Vedanta Darshana, there are many schools & the most important ones are : Advaita Vedanta, Vishishta Advaitavada, & Dvaita. All these schools hold Shruti i.e. Vedas as Sabda Pramana.

Bhakti is common to all the above three schools. So, how can it be said that Bhakti as a concept ( & as Saidevo ji has shown that the term, "Bhakti" too is there in the Vedas) has no roots in Vedas ?

Though Bhagwad Gita is a Smriti, it is considered the essence of the Upanishads & it is the only Smriti which has been considered as authoritative as any Shruti scripture by almost all great scholars/Saints within Hinduism (the only requirement is that Bhagwad Gita should not be interpreted in a manner so that it violates the Vedas).

OM

atanu
22 November 2009, 05:44 AM
Namaste All

The following post may be somewhat related and of interest.

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=2670&highlight=satapatha+brahmana

In the above post, there is a story from Satapatha Brahmana of Bhrigu being taught by Varuna, who teaches that belief, unbelief, and wrath consitute the quarter of the North-East (the quarter of the Lord, the Ishana corner). Lord Varuna teaches Bhrigu to transcend all three qualities.


http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=21039&postcount=5.

Om Namah Shivaya

chandu_69
22 November 2009, 07:20 PM
Rigveda first book:


I adore Agni, placed in front, the deva of the yajňa, the invoker or the summoner in the yajňa and carrier of felicities.
Agni, adorable by the ancient seers, is adorable by the later ones also. He brings here the devās.
The treasure obtained from Agni is full of hearing and strength, Increasing day by day; not subject to dwindling like ordinary wealth.
Only the yajňa, which is guarded by Agni, all round reaches the devās.
Endowed with Vision and Audition, wise and firm of will Agni is the associate of the gods.
Agni's special Truth is his power of conferring happy and good bhadra, which averts falsehood.
We approach thee day by day, in the night and in the light, carrying our surrender by our thought.(surrender sounds like bhakthi?)
The (vast) Truth is the own Home of Agni. There he increases for the yajamāna; That he protects.
O Agni, cling to us like a father to the son, be easy of access to us.

Ekanta
23 November 2009, 01:15 AM
1. I adore Agni, placed in front, the deva of the yajňa, the invoker or the summoner in the yajňa and carrier of felicities.
2. Agni, adorable by the ancient seers, is adorable by the later ones also. He brings here the devās.
3. The treasure obtained from Agni is full of hearing and strength, Increasing day by day; not subject to dwindling like ordinary wealth.
4. Only the yajňa, which is guarded by Agni, all round reaches the devās.
5. Endowed with Vision and Audition, wise and firm of will Agni is the associate of the gods.
6. Agni's special Truth is his power of conferring happy and good bhadra, which averts falsehood.
7. We approach thee day by day, in the night and in the light, carrying our surrender by our thought [this is bhakti itself!].
8. The (vast) Truth is the own Home of Agni. There he increases for the yajamāna; That he protects.
9. Agni, cling to us like a father to the son, be easy of access to us.

Yes, there's certainly Bhakti all over it. There's bhakti i karma and there's bhakti in jnana, and there's jnana in karma etc. Without Bhakti there's no surrender. Bhakti is the life-breath of surrender. What then comes is more bhakti and jnana, and thus more surrender... Much more could be said... especially about translations, but no time.

devotee
23 November 2009, 05:49 AM
Thanks Ekanta for the quote !

Here is another from Muktika Upanishad :

I-i-15-17. Hanuman: Rama, sages speak differently: some say there is only one kind of liberation. Others say it can be got by worshipping your name and by the Taraka mantra at Kashi. Others speak of Sankhya-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga, the enquiry into Vedanta-Vakyas etc.

I-i-18-23. Rama: Liberation is of four kinds: Salokya etc. But the only real type is Kaivalya. Anybody even though leading a wicked life, attains Salokya, not other worlds, by worshipping my name. Dying in the sacred Brahmanala in Kashi, he will get the Taraka-mantra and also liberation, without rebirth. On dying anywhere (else) in Kashi, Maheshvara will utter the Taraka-mantra in his right ear. He gets Sarupya with me as his sins are washed away.

The same is called Salokya and Sarupya. Persevering in good conduct, with mind fixed upon me, loving me as the Self of all, the twice-born gets nearer to me – This is called the three forms of liberation. Salokya, Sarupya and Samipya.

I-i-24-25. Meditating on my eternal form as prescribed by the Teacher, one will surely achieve identity with me like the insects changing into the bee. This alone is the liberation of identity (Sayujya) yielding the bliss of Brahman.

All these four kinds of Mukti will be got by worshipping Me.

OM

atanu
23 November 2009, 11:22 AM
Thanks Ekanta for the quote !

Here is another from Muktika Upanishad :

I-i-15-17. Hanuman: Rama, sages speak differently: some say there is only one kind of liberation. Others say it can be got by worshipping your name and by the Taraka mantra at Kashi. Others speak of Sankhya-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga, the enquiry into Vedanta-Vakyas etc.

I-i-18-23. Rama: Liberation is of four kinds: Salokya etc. But the only real type is Kaivalya. Anybody even though leading a wicked life, attains Salokya, not other worlds, by worshipping my name. Dying in the sacred Brahmanala in Kashi, he will get the Taraka-mantra and also liberation, without rebirth. On dying anywhere (else) in Kashi, Maheshvara will utter the Taraka-mantra in his right ear. He gets Sarupya with me as his sins are washed away.

The same is called Salokya and Sarupya. Persevering in good conduct, with mind fixed upon me, loving me as the Self of all, the twice-born gets nearer to me – This is called the three forms of liberation. Salokya, Sarupya and Samipya.

I-i-24-25. Meditating on my eternal form as prescribed by the Teacher, one will surely achieve identity with me like the insects changing into the bee. This alone is the liberation of identity (Sayujya) yielding the bliss of Brahman.

All these four kinds of Mukti will be got by worshipping Me.

OM

Namaste Devotee,

Thanks for the nice citation. It feels good to go back to the upanishads. There remains further, the Kaivalya, which Shri Rama takes up last. Probably you would have shown that next.

I will approach this from a different perspective. Most of us are aware that speech and mind come back from THAT. Now, is the emotional fervour without the mind or within the mind? Guru Ramana explains that in samadhi no emotions are known. The horripilation, excitement etc. arise when the samadhi withdraws. To paraphrase, Brahman is sat-chit-ananda, but it is not the thinker and knower, which arise on account of spandan. Kaivalya is to know the Brahman without the spandan.

Om Namah Shivaya

devotee
23 November 2009, 12:07 PM
Namaste Atanu,



There remains further, the Kaivalya, which Shri Rama takes up last. Probably you would have shown that next.

True ! But that part is Advaita & if I would have posted that part, people would have thought that I had some ulterior motives in disguise in posting that which was actually in support of "term Bhakti being mentioned in the Vedas" !! I hope you understand that. :)

OM

Ekanta
23 November 2009, 04:35 PM
Rigveda first book:

... We approach thee day by day, in the night and in the light, carrying our surrender by our thought.(surrender sounds like bhakthi?)

It should also be noted that surrender is the final stage of Bhakti!

Nine modes of Bhakti Yoga:
1. Sravanam (listening to the glories of God)
2. Kirthanam (Chanting the praise of God)
3. Vishnu Smaranam (remembering the name of the Lord)
4. Pada Sevanam (Worshipping the Lord's feet)
5. Vandanam (Prostration)
6. Archanam (Worshipping the figure of the Lord)
7. Dasyam (Service)
8. Sneham (friendship)
9. Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender)

Ekanta
23 November 2009, 05:23 PM
This is kind of funny... Read this and... its kind of hard to separate the paths...

The four-storied mansion
Whichever the book, whoever the Guru, whatever the peetam (institution), the goal is the same. The path is the ancient one, laid down by the saintly pioneers. Or, you can picture it as a four-storied mansion, the ground floor being Karma (action) and the succeeding ones being Bhakti (devotion), Jnana (wisdom) and Vairagya (non-attachment).

1. Karma (action): When it is just a nascent fruit, it is karma. That is, the activity that all are capable of, and so it is the first step in sadhana as well.
2. Bhakti (devotion): When it matures and is rendered free from egoism and greed, it becomes worship, and so, it leads one on to the second floor, Bhakti.
3. Jnana (wisdom): When it is ripe and sweet, that is to say, when the Bhakta (devotee) achieves complete self-surrender, then, it is the acquisition of Jnana;
4. Vairagya (non-attachment): when the fruit drops from the tree, it marks full detachment (Vairagya); the fourth floor of God's mansion is then reached.

Prema (divine love)
1. Is the motive power in Karma Yoga;
2. It is the very breath of Bhakti Yoga.
3. It is universal and infinite, in Jnana Yoga;
4. It sees the Lord everywhere and in everything, when Vairagya has been achieved.
The Bhagavata (worshipper) is saturated with the sweetness of Prema.
(sss04-30)

... and excuse me for not commenting the other posts,,, but again no time.

yajvan
23 November 2009, 06:46 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

Namasté Ekanta,


It should also be noted that surrender is the final stage of Bhakti!
Nine modes of Bhakti Yoga:
1. Sravanam (listening to the glories of God)
2. Kirthanam (Chanting the praise of God)
3. Vishnu Smaranam (remembering the name of the Lord)
4. Pada Sevanam (Worshipping the Lord's feet)
5. Vandanam (Prostration)
6. Archanam (Worshipping the figure of the Lord)
7. Dasyam (Service)
8. Sneham (friendship)
9. Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender)

A nice list indeed. I am impressed with your opening statement

It should also be noted that surrender is the final stage of Bhakti!

It is by accomplishing this pouring of the self into the SELF that all the other actions you list bloom to the fullest. This surrender and fullness of SELF is the liberation that is found for the baktyā, jñānin or karmin.
Why so ? all end in bhaj भज्- to serve , honour , revere , love , adoration of the SELF.

Yet what I find interesting for bhakti (love, devotion, adoration) to occur an action takes place i.e. the act of devotion; for knowledge/wisdom to take for the jñānin, the act of learning, contemplation occurs. In both ( really all 3) approaches action ( karma) is taking place for good ends to occur. One could even consider this yajña, yet we can leave this for a different post.

It seems to me all 3 of these paths are inter-twined ( for sattva to bloom) - they are complementary methods or upāya-s ( skillful means).

What are your thoughts on this matter?

praṇām

sm78
24 November 2009, 02:08 AM
1. I adore Agni, placed in front, the deva of the yajňa, the invoker or the summoner in the yajňa and carrier of felicities.
2. Agni, adorable by the ancient seers, is adorable by the later ones also. He brings here the devās.
3. The treasure obtained from Agni is full of hearing and strength, Increasing day by day; not subject to dwindling like ordinary wealth.
4. Only the yajňa, which is guarded by Agni, all round reaches the devās.
5. Endowed with Vision and Audition, wise and firm of will Agni is the associate of the gods.
6. Agni's special Truth is his power of conferring happy and good bhadra, which averts falsehood.
7. We approach thee day by day, in the night and in the light, carrying our surrender by our thought [this is bhakti itself!].
8. The (vast) Truth is the own Home of Agni. There he increases for the yajamāna; That he protects.
9. Agni, cling to us like a father to the son, be easy of access to us.

Yes, there's certainly Bhakti all over it. There's bhakti i karma and there's bhakti in jnana, and there's jnana in karma etc. Without Bhakti there's no surrender. Bhakti is the life-breath of surrender. What then comes is more bhakti and jnana, and thus more surrender... Much more could be said... especially about translations, but no time.

This bhakti has nothing to do with concepts like *sharanagati*.*dancing with arms raisedd*, *bhakti rasa being supreme*, *living in golok is superior than knowledge*

love, desire are primal truths, and they *naturally arise* in us during worship or offering oblation in the sacred fire, while fighting the fidayeen's in the Taj.

Life is the only *path*, where bhakti karma jnana automatically sythesise in an in-separable way.

This artificial separation of Bhakti as a *path*, as a separate cult is indeed very late.

devotee
24 November 2009, 02:31 AM
This bhakti has nothing to do with concepts like *sharanagati*.*dancing with arms raisedd*, *bhakti rasa being supreme*, *living in golok is superior than knowledge*

love, desire are primal truths, and they *naturally arise* in us during worship or offering oblation in the sacred fire, while fighting the fidayeen's in the Taj.

Life is the only *path*, where bhakti karma jnana automatically sythesise in an in-separable way.

This artificial separation of Bhakti as a *path*, as a separate cult is indeed very late.

Yes, I agree ! :)

OM

Ekanta
24 November 2009, 03:20 AM
chandu_69... you were also right in a way... I thought of bhakti as prema,
sm78... I guess I agree...
anyway:

Hi Yajvan... It seems to me that :

“[I]Atmanastu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati” (All are dear because of the love of the Self) [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, part two, Chapter 4]

Karma is love in action (Definition of amrita-dharma)
Bhakti is love for self in another
Jnana is love for self in oneself
Love itself is complete surrender (of non-self)

Karma purifies chitta
Bhakti gives concentration of manas
Jnana separates the aham from ahamkara (limited aham)
Vairagya is merging with Atma (big Aham)

"Every man is the embodiment of the Divine. True human relations can grow only when this truth is recognized.
1. First stage is where you recognize "I am in the Light."
2. Next when you realize, "The Light is in me",
3. Finally you realize, "I am the Light."
"I" represents love and light represents Jnana (Wisdom). When love and light become one, there is Realization." (sss21-26)

This last sentence is interesting! "I" or Aham is love. Love tries to establish itself with itself. It does so in different ways (karma, bhakti, jnana). Light I would say is Prajna, the inner motivator (antaratma/conscience).
"I" is Jivatma, Light is Paramatma. When "I" and "light" becomes one...
It could also be stated as:
Jiva is conscious, Paramatma is conscience... when conscious & conscience becomes one... its the universal consciousness. "Prajnanam brahma" at different stages of realization.

devotee
24 November 2009, 03:45 AM
Nice Post, Ekanta ! :)

OM

atanu
24 November 2009, 09:19 AM
The common meaning of bhakti is devotion , attachement, fondness for , devotion to , trust , homage , worship , piety , faith or love. Bhakti or devotion is required for any success; whether family matters or for career. But, it is my understanding that Bhakti in Gita usage means undivided devotion to Lord alone, in exclusion of other attachments - in a way appropriate to the bhakta.

Om Namah Shivaya