Advaita 1001: Sri Shankara's and Sri Ramana Maharshi's insights into Advaita

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Fri Nov 8 07:38:42 CST 1996

I teach and do research in Physics of the Earth for a living. I read and
think a lot about Advaita because of my interest in the subject.

My readings about Shri Shankara's and Sri Ramana's approach to Advaita
suggest a vast difference in their approach. So I pose this question to
a hypothetical class in a hypothetical introductory course in Advaita
1001: Compare and contrast Sri Ramana's and Sri Shankara's approaches to
Advaita and their insights into true Advaitic experience.

I recognize the non-duality and oneness of all. Thus, this question is
self-contradictory in Advaitic philosophy. But this is an introductory
Advaitic course, where history is as important as the philosophy. The
question is on the approach of two great individuals (who are one and the
same) toward Advaita.

Sri Shankara had a missionary zeal in spreading Advaita, started
monastories, appointed successors, travelled all over India in search of
opponents of Advaitic thinking, and vanquished them all in debates.

On the other hand, Sri Ramana stayed in a place, is a recluse, experienced
true Advaita, and enjoyed the bliss, did not take sishyas, did not appoint
successors. His is an experience of Advaita, while Sri Sankara had a
different mission.

Any comments, additions, suggestions, opinions ?

I am putting this question also, after reading and fully agreeing with
Sri Chuck Hillig's recent posting on Positions. He suggested a very good
point that one can have opinions, positions etc and yet not become
attached to them, so that we can see our own opinions from a distance.

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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