Grandfathers and sannyaasa

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Thu Nov 21 08:14:05 CST 1996

Normally, I donot like to get into dialogue, other than to make myself
clear.  But here it is - for whatever it is worth.

>On Wed, 20 Nov 1996, sadananda wrote:
>> It is assumed in the question and Sri Anand's answer that followed that the
>> choice is between leaving home vs. karma and Bhakti.  First they are not
>> mutually exclusive.

Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

>I thought we just spent a few days concluding they are mutually exclusive.

Yes. There was a discussion not a conclusion. If there is a conclusion that
was not conclusive.  My statement implies the way I understand advaita-
they cannot be mutually exclusive.

>The fallacy here is assuming karma is a unitary thing.  Actually there is
>a whole range of behavior.  The miniscule amount of action that the
>sannyasi has to perform in order to stay alive in no way compares to the
>action of loving a grandson.

I do not discuss the nature of karma.  It is not what type of karma small
or large that matters, it is the notion that I am the doer - kartutva bhava
is the problem - True renunciation  is the renunciation of this. Krishna
says - I think it is in the 13 th chapter:

"Prakrityaivacha karmaani kriyamaanaani sarvasaH
 yapasyati tadaatmaanam akartaram sa pasyati"

Prakriti alone does all the actions. Whoever sees that he is the non-doer,
he sees (the truth).

>No this is renunciation of karmaphala.  Which is also necessary

No sir,  Karmaphala is only a first step. Giving up the Kartutvabhava is
the real renunciation.

See also Giri's posting the quotation of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

>many quotes over the past few days have demonstrated Shankaracharya
>requires renunciation of karma itself.

I beg to disagree with you.  Sankara who worked without any rest traveling
from one end of the country to the other by foot, accomplished so much in
the span of 30 years that which takes many lives,  did not himself renounce
karma.  Krishna provides his own example as he discusses in the 3rd
chapter.  My understanding is clear form the quotes you mentioned.

>> If he is like Siddhartha,
>...he's on the wrong mailing list. :-)

I donot know what you mean!  Advaita vedanta is all inclusive.  Buddha, the
most compassionate, was a Hindu and some consider as one of the divine
incarnation. But the fact remains, he left his wife and child, to
accomplish something which he thought cannot be accomplished in the
environment he was in.

>> Hence external sanyaasa should not be taken unless internal sanyaasa is
>> there.  The teacher who gives sanyaasa generally does not give to his
>> disciple unless he has that detachment.

>Interestingly a view has been mentioned on this list that only those who
>have the requisite prarabdtha karma end up taking sannyas.  How do you
>square this with the view expressed above?

I have a feeling, Bhagavan Ramana's statement is understood just to the
letter.  The statement as it stands becomes meaningless - because by
converse, those who can take sanyaasa automatically have the requisite
prarabda karma and those who cannot donot. This is no win situation - The
statement can come after the fact.

  But if one is faced with a decision to enter a sanyaasa ashram or not,
how does he know if he has the requisite prarabda karma or not.

Hence Bhagavan Ramana's answer to a specific individual has to be
understood with the context.

I remember a quote from my Guru -Swami Chinmayaananda- "What you have is
prarabda and what you do with what you have is purushaartha"

To take up sanyaasa, I should have the requisite frame of mind.  That frame
of mind that I have is the product of my prarabda meaning it is the result
of all my previous actions or samskaara.  If I donot have that frame of
mind then I have to work for it.  My future prarabda is my past prarabda
modified by my present action.  So I am not a prisoner of my past.  As long
as I have the kartutva bhaava, I have a choice in action at every moment in

I hope I have clarified myself.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

What you have is His gift to you and what you do with what you have is your
gift to Him: Swami Chinmayananda

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