Jnana and sanyasa

Giri gmadras at ENGR.UCDAVIS.EDU
Mon Feb 10 21:35:29 CST 1997

>of.  If the pull of samsara is there one should practice the duties
>enjoined in the karma kanda not deviating by one letter.  If there are no
>attachments one should renounce everything.

        This does not mean all those who attain jnana should renounce all
action. See Shankara's commentary on Bhagavad Gita 4.19 and 4.20
(translation by warrier),

'He whose operative works have begun to bear fruits and who, later,
achieves the right perception of the Self will, of course, renounce works
will all their auxiliaries; he sees no profit in any work whatsoever.'

But Shankara continues,

'If, for some reason or other, works have not been wholly renounced by
such a sage, due to his detachment from works and their fruits, his
persistent performance of works is for the world's welfare. He had no
private end to serve. In truth, he works not at all. All his works have
been burnt in the fire of knowledge and so his work has become non-work.'

And Shankara further continues,

'He does NOTHING who gives up conceit in all works and attachment to
their fruits.....Work done by the knower is, in reality, non-work; for he
has already achieved the realization of the Self that acts not. What
ought to follow is that such a sage, having no private ends to serve,
should give up all work and their auxiliaries. BUT due to the desire to
promote world's welfare, he finds no way out of activity. Or, may be, he
wants to avoid the censure of righteous folk. So he MAY, as was his wont
before Self-realization, CONTINUE to WORK. Still, he works not; for he
knows his identity with the work-free Self.'

One can post further on this post, but Sadananda dealt with this issue in
great detail (and very nicely, imho) in a long article couple of months
back. However, I will quote Shri Ramana Maharshi on this subject of 'Does
Jnana require sanyasa?' (This is from the latest newsletter, Jan-Feb 1997)

One day, before dawn, when I was restless in my bed, rolling from one
   side to another, Bhagavan came to me and asked, "Are you not getting
   sleep? What are you worried about?" I told him, "I am thinking of
   taking up Sanyasa. If I do it here my people would discover it. So, I
   want to go away to a distant place like Varanasi and become a Sanyasi
   there." He at once went and brought Bhakta Vijayam, read out from it
   the portion dealing with Vitoba's determination to remain a Sanyasi in
   a forest and the advice of his son Jnana Dev, that the same mind goes
   with a man whether he stays at home or retires into a forest, and told
   me I could attain Jnana continuing to be a householder. Thereupon I
   asked Bhagavan, "Why did you become a Sanyasi?" He replied, "That was
   my destiny," and added, "Though it is irksome to remain a householder,
   it is easy to attain Jnana that way."



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