Advaita 1001

Anand Hudli ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM
Mon Nov 11 08:39:59 CST 1996

      Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> >    Study the Vedas constantly; perform the karma's (rituals, at least
> >    the nitya karma's) mentioned in the (vedas) well; by the performance
> >    of those karma's, worship the Lord; abandon attachment to desire-driven
> >    action; wash away the accumulated sins; reflect on the defects of
> >    happiness derived from samsaaric existence; be firm in desiring the
> >    (realization of) the Self; quickly leave your house (ie. take to
> >    sannyaasa).
> >
> Is this also called Saadhana Panchakam ?


> Even when one has a firm conviction that he/she desires the Self and
> nothing else, can one do it (renounce the world) ?
> How about people that depend on the person who wants to renounce ?
> Is the person duty-bound to wait until the dependents are no longer
> dependents ? Can one just walk away from the committments ? But then,
> when do the committments end ?
> What is renouncing ? Does it mean going away to Himalayas or away from
> the world ? Or just simply shun the worldly activities and be within
> oneself ? Does taking a salary cheque mean the person has not
> renounced ?

  Renunciation or sannyasa is based on the varNaashrama dharma. Just
 as there is brahmacharya, gR^ihasthaashrama, vanaprastha, the fourth
 is mentioned as sannyasa. Of course, in these days it is difficult to
 go to the forest and lead the life of an ascetic. It is generally
 accepted that the mental renunciation is equivalent to the original
 definition of sannyaasa. While this is certainly true, it should also
 be noted that mental renunciation while living in the midst of samsaara
 is much more difficult than actual sannyaasa! It takes no less than
 a jiivanmukta to do so.

 Shankara seems to emphasize that actual sannyaasa has to be taken up
 as a natural culmination of a spiritual life. See for example his
 commentary on the MuNDaka upanishad (3.2.?) where he says that the Self
 will not be attained by one who does not have the characteristics of a
 sannyaasi. Anandagiri, however, seems to differ here and suggests that
 mental renunciation is what is more important. After all, we have heard
 of King Janaka, who was a jiivanmukta and a King at the same time.

> In the same Upadesa (Sadhana) Panchakam (verse 4), Shri Shankara says
> "svadannam na tu yaachyatam,  vidhivasat praaptena santuushyatam"
> Do not beg for delicious food,  live contentedly on whatever comes
> your way as prompted by destiny
> Can a person take solace in this statement by Shri Shankara that even
> though one does not take sanyaasa (becaue of other duties), if one
> has accepted what has come his/her way, is that a satisfactory
> alternative ?
> I believe Gita supports that view.

  The Gita clearly upholds the reunciation of the fruits of actions as
 the true sannyaasa. See for example, 6.1.

> 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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