Why do we trace our lineage in chanting Gayatri mantra ?

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Thu Aug 29 11:22:56 CDT 1996

On Thu, 29 Aug 1996, sadananda wrote:

> Sri Murthy wrote:
> >          All of us, members of this group, are well aware that we are not
> >          body, nor the mind.  What we refer to as "I" is the Nirguna
> >          Brahman, that formless, shapeless Reality described in the
> >          Upanishads.  We add various upadhis to it due to ajnana and give
> >          ourselves a name and a lineage and falsely associate ourselves with
> >          this lineage.
> The way I look at it:
> Advaita is the ultimate - till then just intellectually understanding and
> appreciating and discussing about it is dvaita - sadhana, japa, tapa,
> meditation implies dvaita.
> Just because I am advaitin- If I meet my father and mother - I prostrate -
> when it is advaita why should I? - vyaavahaarika is satya too! in its
> reference.
> The one who does sandhyaavandana and gaayatri japa is automatically a
> dvaitin, even if he has intellectual understanding of the ultimate goal.
> There is a doer ship.
> Sankalpa and abivaadam are means of establishing first in our own mind why
> we are doing it and who we are.   By recognizing my ancestry, I have
> indirectly acknowledging that I am standing on a platform build by my great
> ancestors - that cuts down my ego - and also reminds me that I have come
> such a lineage and my character and behavior be worthy of such lineage.
> Our elders always remind us - to remember what a glorious family we have
> come from.
> Finally - Even as an advaitin - my pay check is mine and my friends is his
> and my wife is my wife and his wife is his - no confusion in these!  All
> transactions within time and time bound and satyam in their reference.
> What was that biblical statement - what belongs to Rome belongs to Rome and
> what belongs to kingdom of heaven belongs there - or to that effect. As
> long there is no confusion about it - if there is, even that belongs to the
> vyavahaarika satyam only! That is also within the total order! -
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda

          I get the feeling, reading through Sri Sadananda's response to my
          posting, that my original posting gave the impression (to Sri
          Sadananda) that it is the ego of the individual that prompts the
          question "Why do we trace our lineage in chanting Gayatri mantra

          Exactly the reverse is what I have in mind.  That tracing of our
          origin and saying it is Gummuluru Murthy, coming from the
          ancestry of such and such great rishiis, has an ego element in it.
          That is the point I am trying to get clarification about.  If my
          original posting gave the impression which Sri Sadananda reads
          into it, my sincere regrets.

          We do prostrate to father and mother, to learned people, to gurus,
          to rishiis ..... There is no difficulty with that and, in fact, we
          that.  My  question simply is  " To say that it is such and such
          individual, coming as part of such and such a (great) lineage, doing
          abhivaadanam has an ego element to it. Why do we say we are part
          of such a great lineage ? And identify ourselves as such and such an
          individual going by the name which the worldly customs give us ?
          Is that consistent with the Advaitic thinking ?"

          Gummuluru Murthy
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
                                GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
 end is as good as non-existent even in the present.

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