Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 16 May 2023


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How to correlate the statements of the three acharyas regarding attaining salvation?

[Devotees asked some questions during some recent Satsangas and Swami replied to them, which are given below.]

[Shri K. Abhiram asked:- Shankara says that knowledge gives salvation. Ramanuja says that theoretical devotion (Vedanā) gives salvation. Madhva says that practical devotion or service (Sevā) gives salvation. How to correlate these three?]

Swami Replied:- Sadguru gives true knowledge (A→B). Knowledge gives theoretical devotion (B→C). Theoretical devotion gives practical devotion (C→ D). Practical devotion gives salvation (D→E). Now, Shankara told that ‘B’ gives ‘E’. Ramanuja told that ‘C’ gives ‘E’. Madhva told that ‘D’ gives ‘E’. Here, the attainment of true knowledge from Sadguru takes the whole time because once true knowledge is attained, other steps are spontaneous. In this situation, whether ‘B’ gives salvation or ‘C’ gives salvation or ‘D’ gives salvation mean one and the same. People may mock on this solution laughing about simple knowledge giving salvation. It is true that salvation is not obtained by mere knowledge. The reason is that such knowledge obtained is not true. The knowledge given by Guru is not completely true. The knowledge given by Sadguru is completely true knowledge. True knowledge alone can remove ignorance, however much intensive it is. Getting true knowledge from the Sadguru takes the whole time because even catching the Sadguru takes a lot of time. Once you get true knowledge from the Sadguru, all the other steps are spontaneous and take no time at all. In such a situation, the product of the first step (B) can be linked to the final fruit (E). Even the products of second and third steps (C and D) can be linked to the final fruit (E) directly. The time taken by the first step is the time taken by the overall reaction when the subsequent steps are spontaneous. From this example of ‘Reaction Kinetics’, the three statements become one and the same. When you go to a doctor, he gives a prescription, you purchase those prescribed medicines and you use those medicines as per the prescription. Finally, your illness disappeared. When you say all these steps in nutshell, you will say that you have gone to such and such a doctor and your illness got cured. In this statement, the product of the first step is linked to the final fruit since all other subsequent steps are spontaneous.