Intro (fwd)

Wed Aug 6 09:02:14 CDT 1997

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 1997 01:16:31 PDT
From: shyam sundar <t_shyam_sundar at>
To: aum at
Subject: Intro


I am T.SHYAM SUNDAR. You can address me as Shyam.My age is 21. I
finished my B.Tech from IIT Madras  and I am now working with Infosys, a
software firm based in Bangalore. I have been interested in Vedanta for
quite some time. I  consider Advaita Vedanta to be the solution to the
problem of samsara.I have some exposure to the Prasthana Thraya along
the lines of the Shankara Bashyam and have read some of the works of Sri
Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Ramana Maharishi.I believe that the Shruthi
is the only pramanam for Brahman and i hope this advaita mailing list
will serve as Sravana-Manana-Nidhidhyasanam for those pursuing Moksha.

With loving regards
(t_shyam_sundar at

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>From gmurthy at Fri Aug  8 09:33:44 1997
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Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 09:33:44 -0230
Reply-To: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Subject: guru
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Shri Shankara in Upadesha sahasri, and particularly in
VivekachuDaamaNi emphasizes the need of a guru (for help in
realization of what we are). The upanishhads, to a lesser extent,
but still stress at points the importance of the acaarya in
attaining Brahman. Shri Shankara gives in Upadesha sahasri [Prose
part 1.6] the characteristics of a true guru of vedanta.

The teacher of vedanta is one who is endowed with the power of
furnishing arguments pro and con, of understanding questions [put
by the disciple] and remembering them [so as to answer them], who
possesses tranquility, self-control, compassion and a desire to
help others, who is well-versed in the scriptures, unattached to
any enjoyments both seen and unseen, who has renounced the means
to all kinds of actions, who is a knower of Brahman and is
established in the Brahman, leads a blameless life, who is free
from faults such as deceit, pride, trickery, wickedness, fraud,
jealousy, falsehood, egotism, self-interest etc. He has the sole
aim of helping others and a desire to impart the knowledge of
Brahman only.

Shri Shankara also gives similar description of an acaarya in
VivekachuDaamaNi verses 33, 37 and 38 and particularly says in
verse 37: There are pure souls (acaaryaas)who have attained peace
and greatness. They bring good to mankind, like the coming of
spring. They themselves have crossed the dreadful ocean of this
world. Without any selfish motive, they help others to cross it.

In the present day world, where materialism is the dominant
force, there are very few who have seen through this materialism
and have rejected all what the world has to offer. Thus there are
very few vedantic teachers having the qualifications which Shri
Shankara described. In addition, such a person is to be
knowledgeable in the vedanta and should be willing to transmit
his/her knowledge and wisdom to the disciple. Is there such a
person at all nowadays ?

As seen from above, true gurus are hard to come by. I recall
Allan Curry's (of the List) statement of a few weeks ago where he
enquired about testing the eligibility of gurus. While we can do
the "testing", I am afraid it is the other way round. Many disciples
seeking that rare entity, the genuine guru. [Of course, when the
acaarya sees non-duality, there is only ONE. How can a disciple be
there ?]

If we cannot get a genuine guru in the modern day world, can we,
with a pure heart {here, I mean pure buddhi), invoke one of the
great acaaryaas of the past [like Shri Shankara], accept Him as
our guru and learn through the books ? This requires a REAL saadhaka,
not one who sits at the meditation seat for half an hour and then
indulges in all worldly, materialistic endeavours.

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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