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hare krishna prabhu
It is indeed true that ,bhakti once established within the heart of living entity then it is independent of other processes of jnana ,asthanga ,sankhya ,etc.
but it is also true that ,at the initial level, for coming on the platform of bhakti ,one needs to go through the process of jnana .Or at times through sankhya ,one can come to the understanding of knowing that krishna is supreme personality of godhead .for eg krishna says in bhagavad gita
bahunam janmanam ante
jnanavan mam prapadyante
vasudevam sarvam iti
sa mahatma sudurlabah
so here krishna says ,by jnana ,one comes to the understanding that krishna is in everything ,and is the supreme lord to be worshipped .Without having the jnana ,one cannot establish faith in the process of devotional service.but if one has acquired enough jnana by studying of scriptures ,then he can rest assured about the authenticity and supremacy of bhakti yoga.and then he can carry out devotional service with much more enthusiasm and undivided attention.
similarly sankhya as described by kapila muni ,can also ultimately help us by studying the material elements of this universe ,and ultimately understand the cause of this existence ,and then one can come to the platform of devotional service.
so point is bhakti is independent in a sense that ,it does not require any mental speculation like the impersonalist do , but that jnana by which one is able to understand the supremacy of devotional service in comparison to other types of process is essential, as it helps in developing the faith of the seeker ,and makes him determined in his practice of bhakti yoga .
Especially at the initial level of devotee seeker ,many questions ,doubts arise ,which requires exhaustive explanation based on jnana and logical and scientific explanation ,so that he become satisfied . but ultimately at the stage where devotee has become advanced (uttama adhikari ),or mahabhagavata ,there is no need for jnana, sankhya or any other tarka. for they are completely satisfied and established in highest rasa of devotion(for eg gopis ) .so at that time ,jnana and other paths are useless, and in that sense ,bhakti is taken to be independent of all other paths .Thus devotees understanding that krishna is the supremely lovable object of love is indeed the end of knowledge (jnana) ,so in that sense knowledge is acquired through devotion, knowledge that krishna is supreme personality of godhead.so gopis are the actual knower of the vedas ,and the most perfect amongst all the jnanis ,for they have realized the end of knowledge ,the conclusion of the vedas ,that is Krishna.
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