Jerry S.'s reply to BAG's final posting on Theos-Talk
Jan 29, 2003 07:38 AM
by D. H. Caldwell " <email@example.com>
Tue, 28 Jan 2003 09:12:32 -0500 (EST)
Author: Gerald Schueler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re to BAG - Bhakti
First of all, I bow with respect to the knowledge of BAG regarding
Hinduism. I am certainly not any kind of expert in Hinduism. His
definitions are unique, but I won't argue with them. Yes, I have read
much on Ramakrishna including his biography, and he did practice
tantra and he did worship Kali. The man was a saint by any
definition. And Tzongkhapa worshipped Manjruski and other gods. Is
all worship considered Bhakti or not? If Ramakrishna was not Bhakti,
then I guess the answer is not. Apparently BAG limits Bhakti to the
worship of one supreme God, which is NOT how the word is used in most
Western magic and occult schools. I still feel strongly that calling
Buddhists atheists is nonsense, but BAG does not seem to understand
polytheism. As I recall, KH mentions that because the Masters do not
accept one supreme God, they are wrongly labeled atheists. So be it.
<<<Why would I want you to "worship a god..." ? I wish you to be
fully loved and to fully love, that is all.>>>
This universe has only a few true laws, and love is one of them.
<<<God is not the same as a god or gods. There is only one Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Who is infinite and has infinite
relationships with the beings that He has manifest and created.>>>
There simply is no one "supreme" God anywhere. This is one of the
teachings of Theosophy that I wholeheartedly agree with. The
word "infinite" (and also "eternal") is a vague mental concept, and
when used in occultism it is usually a blind. What it really means
is "everywhere within our universe." Why? Because both "infinite"
and "eternal" are limited to our manvantaric experiences during this
one manvantara as Blavatsky rightly says.
As I have pointed out many times, there is no way to "prove" that God
exists, nor to "prove" that He does not exist. The idea of a supreme
God is an unprovable assumption that we are free to accept or reject.
I believe in gods and goddesses because I have met with them. I have
never met with any "supreme being" and so I must reject that idea
until the experience of such a thing happens. But others are free to
do as they will.
This entire Bhakti business, like most things, hinges on the self and
not-self duality. Without the union of self and not-self, one can
continue to worship all one wants to, but will remain in duality.
This is, apparently, BAG's goal. In fact, the very belief that one is
separate from God holds one in duality as long as that belief lasts.
But after such a union one experiences nonduality where there is
neither self nor not-self, neither worshpper nor worshipped can be
found and Bhakti becomes meaningless. Nonduality is the ultimate goal
of both Buddhism (dharmadhatu) and Theosophy (Beness), and my goal as
In short, I consider both Buddhism and Theosophy to be far superior
Paths than Bhakti. I would place Bhakti somewhere between karma yoga
and raja yoga, but of course this is my own opinion here. I do not
consider any of these three yogas to be terribly effective in
reaching enlightenment. BAG will doubtless see this differently. So
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