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Jerry Schueler on "Bhakti Yoga"

Jan 27, 2003 05:59 PM
by D. H. Caldwell " <>

Mon, 27 Jan 2003 15:58:28 -0500 (EST)

Author: Gerald Schueler <>

Subject: Bhakti Yoga

<<<The Bhakti salvific devotional traditions have ALWAYS been the 
dominant ones.>>>

Only when defined broadly to include Christianity. Islam, etc. Bhakti 
Yoga as I understand it, is a very special type of yoga and is not 
all that popular. Probably its most famous proponent and practitioner 
was Ramakrishna during the late 19th century India. Christians, 
Muslims, Jews, and so on know nothing of Bhakti Yoga. Are you 
sugggesting that Theosophists should quit and become Christians or 
Muslims? If you want me to worship a god, then maybe you can tell me 
which one? And why should I chose one at the expense of the others? I 
love them all.

The Bhakti tradition, even when understood in the broad general terms 
of anyone who prays to a god, functions under the assumption of a 
personal self who seeks favors of a personal not-self. The Mind only 
School of Tibetan Buddhism would call this assumption maya. The 
Bhakti Tradition, in my view, is a lower school intended to help 
humanity cope with life on the lower planes. And as such it does a 
good job.

As I understand Bhakti Yoga, and I may be wrong even though I did try 
to practice it for awhile, the ultimate goal, like Christian 
Mysticism, is union with God or even union with Godhead which is a 
more impersonal perspective of one's personal God. Christians, 
Muslims, and most other religious folk would consider such a goal as 
blasphemy, and this is why I did not include the world's religions in 
the "Bhakti Tradition." Prayer and devotion and worship to God with 
the intent of ultimate union or at-one-ment is limited to only a 
small percentage of people.

Jerry S.

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