Has followed Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Advaita

Do Sri RamaKrishna's statements about attaining Brahman through Bhakti agree with Adi Shankara?

It is generally believed that Sankara only taught jnana. However, an examination of his writings shows otherwise. In his Vivekachudamani , Crest Jewel of Discrimination, says Sankara (Swami Madhavananda translator):

Verse 31. Among the things that are conducive to liberation, devotion (bhakti) alone has the highest place. Searching for the true nature of a person is called surrender.

and is his commentary on this verse, says Swami Madhavananda:

Searching, etc. - This definition is from the advaita point of view. Dualists, who replace Isvara, the Supreme Lord, with the Atman or the Supreme Self immanent to being, of course, define bhakti differently. For example, Narada defines it as - "It is in the nature of extreme love for a being" and Sandilya, another authority in the field, puts it as "It is extreme attachment to Isvara the Lord". After reflection, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the definitions of the two schools.

and in verse 34.Sankara says:

When he devotedly worships and approaches this guru [defined in verse 33], when he is satisfied with prostration, humility and service, he should ask him what he needs to know:

Why did Sankara emphasize Jnana? It seems that he was born to establish jnana as a way. in the Sankara Digvijaya , The traditional life of the life of Sri Sankaracharya, from Madhava-Vidyaranya (Swami Tapasyananda translator) states:

... Siva, the great god who had matted locks, said to his son like this: Dear! Hear my words that are meant for the blessings of the world. The Veda has three strands in its comprehensive teaching - the ritual, the meditative and the gnostic. By establishing the rule of the Veda with its tripartite message, the spiritual ideal can be preserved in the world. If the spiritual ideal is saved, society will be saved ... After Hari and Sesha understood my plan and followed my instructions, they were already born as the sages Sankarshana and Patanjali for the revival of the central part of the Veda they deal with Meditation and have produced texts on bhakti and yoga. And I have now promised ... that I will commit myself to rejuvenating the Gnostic teachings that make up the ultimate meaning of the Veda [by being born a Sankara].

So many followers of Sankara see him as an incarnation of Shiva, whose mission it was to highlight the fullness of jnana in the Vedanta teachings.

Although his commentaries and writings are known for their dry advaitism, Sankara also wrote many bhajans and hymns. Many people know, but many forget that one of the most popular Sanskrit bhajans, Bhaja Govindum , written by Sankara. There are numerous other bhajans and hymns that he wrote that are filled with bhakti.


Good and explanatory answer. It would be helpful if you could provide links (in your answer) to the sources you mentioned.

Keshav Srinivasan ♦

Does Adi Shankaracharya say anywhere in the commentaries of Prasthana Traya that bhakti yoga is a valid way to moksha or only in other scriptures?


Brilliant! Thank you for that great answer, Swamiji. @KeshavSrinivasan I think he mentions this in his comment on the Bhagavad Gita, I need to look.

Swami Vishwananda

@Jatin my sources are books that have not been put on the internet.

Swami Vishwananda

@ KeshavSrinivasan Yes, but not as clearly as in the verse I quoted. If you read his commentary in the Gita, especially verses 2.10, 4.33, 4.34, and 18.68, as well as various hymns by him.