Wednesday 12 October 2016

Attitude of jnānis and bhaktās

Sri Ramakrishna tells :

"He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as Ātman by the yogis and as Bhagavan by the bhaktas.  The same brahmin is called priest, when worshipping in the temple, and cook, when preparing a meal in the kitchen.  The jnani sticking to the path of knowledge, always reasons about the Reality, saying, 'Not this, not this'.  Brahman is neither 'this' nor 'that'; It is neither the universe nor its living beings.  Reasoning in this way, the mind becomes steady.  Then it disappears and the aspirant goes into samādhi.  This is the knowledge of Brahman.  It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory.  All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream.  What Brahman is cannot be described.  One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person.  This is the opinion of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta philosophy. 

"But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness.  They take the waking state to be real also.  They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream.  They say that the universe is a manifestation of God's power and glory.  God has created all these - sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals.  They constitute His glory.  He is within us, in our hearts.  Again, He is outside.  The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this - the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings.  The devotee of God wants to eat sugar, not to become sugar.  (All laugh.) 

"Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: 'O God, Thou are the Master, and I am Thy servant.  Thou art the Mother, and I am Thy child.' Or again: 'Thou art my Father and Mother.  Thou art the Whole, and I am a part.' He doesn't like to say, 'I am Brahman.'


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