Grandfathers and sannyaasa

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Nov 22 11:41:13 CST 1996

> From: sadananda <sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL>

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

That's a shame.  Vedanta is dialog (Mimamsa.)  Even with one's Guru
analysis and reflection is required not blind obedience.  Intellect may be
limited but unfortunately it's all we have for apprehending the truth.  So
I would encourage you to get into a dialogue more often.

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

Bhakti depends on attachment to Ishwar whether it is Shiva Bhagavan or
Vishnu Bhagavan or whoever.  Earlier a poster asked what was wrong with
that.  After all Ishwar is hardly the same as a rock or a tree.  I
acknowledge this but Ishwar (or Saguna Brahman) does share with rocks and
trees the characteristic of being an illusion.  Jnana means the shedding of
all maya.  I understand the great Swami Madhusudana Saraswati felt that
Jnana and Bhakti could be reconciled.  I recently aquired an allegorical
play of his called Krishnakautuhalam which I understand goes into this.
I'll revise my opinion if I learn anything new from this.

> 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
> 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
> he sees (the truth).
> No sir,  Karmaphala is only a first step. Giving up the Kartutvabhava is
> the real renunciation.

Arjuna is a perfect example.  The Mahabharata clearly says that Arjuna and
the other Pandavas went to hell for their sins.  If Krishna Bhagavans own
companion was unable to avoid the effects of karma what chance does anyone
else have!

Karma produces other karma.  Just denying responsibility for your own does
not help if you keep on producing more.  That's why all karma is to be

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

I don't know enough about Ramana to know whether he belongs in that
category but the teachings of most of these modern gurus are of doubtful
validity.  I'd prefer quotes from teachers in Shankaracharyas parampara.

> >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
> 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
> karma.

Are you referring to performing his mothers Shraddha?  This is indeed
problematic.  However his writings and those of successors do not approve
of this.  Perhaps it was a moment of weakness.  Even the best of human
beings can have flaws.

> I donot know what you mean!  Advaita vedanta is all inclusive.  Buddha,
> most compassionate, was a Hindu and some consider as one of the divine
> incarnation.

There are several things wrong with this.

1. The writings of the acharyas of Advaita (indeed all Vedantins) are full
of criticism and polemics against rival schools including ostensibly astika
ones like Samkhya or Nyaya.  This is hardly a sign of inclusion.

2. Buddha was not a Hindu as Hinduism as a concept didn't exist at that

3. Buddha and his followers do not accept the validity of the Vedas.
Vedanta bases itself squarely on the Vedas.

4. Buddha is accepted by all Astikas as an avatara of Vishnu Bhagawan as
this is the testimony of the shastras but if you look at the actual story,
the mission of this avatar was to trick the asuras into giving up Dharma.
This isn't very complimentary to Buddhism is it?  The attitude of the
Astika tradition to Buddhism is quite negative.  When for instance Madhva
is referring to Advaitins as pracchanna bauddha, you can rest assured he is
not trying to pay us a compliment.

> 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
> >> 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.

Not being able to psychically determine his intent that was the only way I
could take it.

>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
> of mind that I have is the product of my prarabda meaning it is the
> 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
> as I have the kartutva bhaava, I have a choice in action at every moment
> time.
> I hope I have clarified myself.

You have.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

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