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Re: Jerry Schueler on "Bhakti Yoga"

Feb 06, 2003 03:24 PM
by Steve Stubbs " <>

Katinka Hesselink: "Dear Bhakti, I don't really believe you are still 

Correct. He unsubscribed.

KH: "I do agree that devotional forms of religious practice is the 
kind of religious practice that is most popular.

I saw a documentary on Pure Land Buddhism in Japan one time in which 
the commentator said that most people do not believe they can get to 
where they want to be by their own merits and they don't want to 
invest the time anyway. So that is the underlying cause for the 
effect you are describing.

KH: "Jerry has a point that Christian devotees don't see nirvana as 
their ultimate goal, neither do Muslims, for that matter.

Well, yes, but neither do most Pure Land Buddhists. They all want to 
go to Paradise.

KH: "On the other hand, from a theosophical perspective: any practice 
that teaches reliance on an outside power is exoteric by Blavatskian 

Also by the classical Buddhist definition.

KH: "I don't quote understand, is Jerry a member here or not???

No. On theostalk we only address those who are absent.

KH: "Still ? a theosophist usually sees in the outward and popular 
forms of religion, merely the cloack for esoteric wisdom found only 
by the few. Bhakti yoga, however defined, is clearly and exoteric 
form in its doctrines and explanations of experiences.

True, but it is not absent from Theosophy. Blavatsky identified 
Avalokitesvara with the Higher Ego or Higher Self (do not remember 
which) and devachan, to which she refers constantly, is a Sanskrit 
word which literally means "Pure Land." The problem with the Pure 
Land from the Zen Buddhist perspective is that it is part of the 
samsara (literally "the wandering"). According to legend, the 
denizen of the Pure Land ecentually exhausts all his or her good 
karma. He or she then sees his or her garments begin to tatter or 
soil. The fruits on the trees begin to show signs of overripeness. 
And these are the signs that good karms is soon to be exhausted and 
the dweller will "die" out of the Pure Land and be reborn in another 
of the six realms. Legend also maintains that one can fall straight 
from heaven into hell, so that freedom from the Wheel of Rebirth is 
the only legitimate objective. Unless one follows the Bodhisattva 
path, that is.

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