Hari OM. Pranams.
Meeraji, hearty welcome to you to Sadhana Panchakam study group. Please share your thoughts on current discussion.
Thanks Kuganji, for pointing out the relationship between Dvaita sadhana as path and Advaita as goal, and the purpose of Sadhana Panchakam is to show us that path. This reminded me to re-read introduction to find out "Anubandha Chatushtaya" of this text. This is what I think it is. Please give your thoughts also.
Adhikari (Qualified student): "all Vedantin students, seeking direct experience of the Divine State, beyond the mind, the Spring of Consciousness"
Vishaya(Subject): "In these five verses Shankara enumerates some 40 items that constitute the "Vedantic Sadhana"
Prayojana (Purpose): "to show the path by which he(seeker) can steadily raise his vision into the Yonder, beyond the frontiers of the many (BMI and OET) into the One Self, the State of "Peace that passeth all understanding".
Sambandh(relationship): "Shankara shows here the great Path to Truth, the Path that was trodden by the innumerable Masters of the Vedas and the Upanishads." "Any seeker who sincerely follows these pointers surely will not miss his way and wander into the labyrinth of futile, self-defeating, negative arguments and false conclusions."
Kuganji, you have given a precise definition of ritual "set of actions performed for their symbolic value to reach a certain goal."
I think if ritual is not done for gaining material goal and if we have devotion (faith, respect and love) for that goal, then probably we can call ritual as "expression of Love" e.g. if a man loves a woman, then he will do set of actions like giving flowers to her, sending cards .. to express his love. Similarly, a devotee decorates Lord's image with flowers, offers naivedya, lights fragrant incense, sings bhajans etc. I think "invocation" is the most important part of ritual. Without that ritual is inert actions.
I think every path involves ritual e.g. if I am a devotee then I invoke Lord and worship him with Love, surrender to him and sacrifice my ego at His feet. If I am a karmayogi then I invoke Lord in people and worship him by seva, surrender to the outcome of my seva and sacrifice my egocentric desires. If I am jnani then I invoke within me "Supreme Self", worship him with Mahavakya vichar, surrender to it and sacrifice my "self (BMI) (ego)" completely. All these are of the nature of invocation, worship, surrender and sacrifice in my opinion. Please share your thoughts.
Muruganji, you are pointing out that dvaita is in transactional plane as performing Karma, and understanding at mind/intellect level is Jnana. Pujya Gurudev defines Advaita as the State of "Peace that passeth all understanding" so I think even that Jnana (understanding at mind/intellect level) will fall under dvaita. What do you all think? (By the way, in my understanding Paramarthik Satta is "Self" which is true in all three periods of time, "Vyavaharic" is transactional plane (like you have said), seen by all and "Pratibhasic" is like dream that only our mind sees, others don't see it.)
These are my thoughts and my current understanding and I am looking forward to learning from you all.