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

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sat Nov 9 12:43:29 CST 1996

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

>> >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.
>> May I know why you think they are different? I ask this because there is a
>> dialog like this in the talks:
>> Someone asked the Maharshi "I heard that you teach sha.nkara's philosophy. Is
>> that true?". The Maharshi replied that he taught what he had experienced, but
>> others found that it tallied with sha.nkara's teachings.
>I am well aware of that dialogue between Shri Ramana and one of the
>visitors. I fully agree that there is no difference in what Shri Shankara
>and Shri Ramana were saying. As both Aikya and M & E Shearn point out
>in their response, both teachings of Shri Shankara and Shri Ramana
>point to the same: recognition of the Self.

Well, when you said "difference in approach" I thought you meant some thing
like what Anand Hudli mentioned about the differences between Swami
Sachidanandendra and the traditional Shankaran philosophy (ie
adhyaaropa-apavaada vs ajaata vaada).

If what a jnaani is perceived to do is the yardstick, then there would be
pretty much no agreement among the actions of those who are usually accepted as
jnaanis. In fact, sha.nkara would be the complete opposite of govindaachaarya,
his direct guru! The latter was quite similar to Ramana Maharshi (according to
tradition) preferring to sit at one place rather than being a peripatetic
monk. And there would be no similarity between sha.nkara and hastaamalaka, who
did not bother to write varttikas or any work at all (other than the stotra
attributed to him), though all the other disciples felt he was the most fit to
do so.

>Shri Ramana. May be, as Shri Giri pointed out, it has to do with the
>time when these two great persons appeared and their pre-ordained
>courses. As Aikya said, their visions are the same and we are blessed
>to know both.

This message did not come in the digest. There must be some bug in the software
since this happened once before also.

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
undermine your entire philosophy)           -- strong Vulcan curse

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