Advaita 1001

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Nov 11 14:31:45 CST 1996

[Note: having just joined the list I am actually responding to anands
message.  However I have removed his words so his response is not confused
with mine.]

      Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> 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 ?

Shankaracharya is quite clear that Jnana may be achieved in any stage of
life.  Indeed Maharshi Vamadeva achieved mukti before he was even born!
For one who fully understands such texts as aham brahmasmi, there is no
desire for karma or its rewards.

However this in itself does not entitle you to abandon worldly duties.
That can only be done through the sannyasa ashram.  According to the
Dharmashastras Sannyasa is restricted to men of the dwija varnas.  (A
minority view is to Brahman males only.)  All else must continue
performing their all0tted duties until they die.

Assuming a person has the requisite adhikar to take sannyasa, is he
allowed to abandon his dependents, position etc?  Yes because these are
illusionary bonds only.  However as even the jivanmukta still has to
suffer the residue of karma from previouse lives etc. it would seem
prudent to wrap everything up as neatly as possible before leaving

> 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 ?

No. Such a person is still entangled in samsara and is therefore bound to
continue performing his Dharmic duties.  A person in such a situation
cannot be said to have renounced.

> 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 ?

It is a commendable course of action for the grhastha.  It is not a
replacement for sannyasa.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]  I will choose.-_|\ free will
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \   -)==Perth=Amboy=>*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy                                   v      McQ!

>From  Mon Nov 11 21:45:42 1996
Message-Id: <MON.11.NOV.1996.214542.GMT.>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 21:45:42 GMT
Reply-To: kstuart at MAIL.TELIS.ORG
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ken Stuart <kstuart at MAIL.TELIS.ORG>
Subject: Suggestion
Comments: To: ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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I have a suggestion/request.

Would it be possible to start a Sanskrit Glossary for Advaita-L on a
web page somewhere?

What would be needed is for list members to scan their completed
messages - before sending - for Sanskrit terms.

Then, they would add those terms and definitions (short definitions in
their own words would be fine) to the Glossary.

For example, I own a Sanskrit dictionary, but it did not contain the
term "adhikar".

And their advaita-specific terms used in the messages on this list
that are even less likely to be found in a dictionary.

I do find that using Sanskrit terms is beneficial, because their
meanings are more specific.   If one notes the current arguments and
confusion over the meanings of "knowledge" (always a controversial
one) and even "experience", the one can see the value of the Sanskrit

However, there needs to be a way to learn the terms that some of those
do not know, and I think an Advaita-L Glossary which would be compiled
as we go along, would be a good method.




kstuart at

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