Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Nisargadatta on Jnana path not being suitable for all; Sathya Sai on Jnana, Bhakti and Karma paths

In the article/extract here: http://nisargadatta.net/SwamiParamatmananda.html, Sadguru Nisargadatta is reported to have said to a person who thought that the path for her was just thinking that she is the Supreme Being, "Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit.  They have no faith in the ancient traditional practices leading to Self-Knowledge.  They want everything served to them on a silver platter.  The path of knowledge makes sense to them and because of that, they may want to practice it.  The(y) will then find that it requires more concentration (than) they can muster and slowly becoming humble, they will finally take up easier practices like repetition of a mantra or worship of a form.  Slowly the belief in a Power greater then themselves will dawn on them and a taste for devotion will sprout in their heart.  Then only will it be possible for them to attain purity of mind and concentration.  The conceited have to go a very roundabout way.  Therefore I say that devotion is good enough for you".

Ravi:  IMHO, Jnana (Path of knowledge) without Bhakti (devotion) is a recipe for conceit leading to an illusion of being spiritually evolved when one is not really so. Somebody said that more dangerous than ignorance is the illusion (false belief) of being knowledgeable! I did falter badly in the initial days of my spiritual journey when I considered myself to be on the Jnana path but did not have Bhakti/faith in the Grace of the Lord and did not pray with intensity and faith to the Lord. Fortunately, I came to the feet of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who corrected me which included some strong blows to my conceit, making me realize the need for sincere prayer to the Divine/Guru!!

Here are some interesting quotes of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the matter:

"Swami, what is meant by Jnana or Spiritual Wisdom?
[Sathya Sai Baba:] Jnana does not mean bookish knowledge! It has nothing to do with scholarship. To acquire Jnana, you do not have to master numerous books. Truly speaking, Jnana is attained when you investigate all your shortcomings and get rid of them totally. Spiritual Wisdom is NOT attained by stuffing the brain!" - From http://www.saibaba.ws/teachings/conversation.htm

"There is no distinction between Bhakthi and Jnana. Just as Suguna becomes Nirguna, Bhakthi too becomes Jnana. I will not agree that Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana are separate. I do not even like to classify one of these as first, the other as the second and next as the third. I will not accept a mixture of all the three or even a samuchchaya, a merger of the three. Karma is Bhakthi and Bhakthi is Jnana: A block of Mysorepak has sweetness, weight and shape; the three cannot be separated, one from the other. Each little part of it has sweetness, weight and shape. We do not find shape in one part, weight in another and sweetness in a third. And when it is placed on the tongue taste is recognized, weight is lessened and shape is modified, all at the same time. So too, the Jiva, the Atma, and the Paramatma are not separate; they are one and the same.

Therefore, each individual deed must be full of the spirit of Seva, of Prema and of Jnana. In other words each group of life's activities must be saturated with Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana. This is verily the Purushothama Yoga. It has to be acted in practice, not merely spoken in words, Sadhana should be done constantly with ever-expanding heart full of Bhakthi and Jnana. The sweetness of nectar or (of?) the Lord's name is the charm of life; the internal joy derived from the Name is akin to the external joy of the outer life." - From http://www.saibaba.ws/vahini/premavahini/premavahini05.htm

[I thank nisargadatta.net and saibaba.ws and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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