Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam pkanagar at RSL.UKANS.EDU
Sat Feb 15 10:44:11 CST 1997

On Thu, 13 Feb 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> > As for the ashubha and the ashuddha aspects of chanting mantra-s and
> > practicing sanaatana dharma outside of India, I believe this view is also
> > unfounded. Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami
> > Bhaktivedanta all came to the United States from India and were able to
> > carry on their dharmik duties and present brahmadarshanaM. If one is pure
> > in duty and thought, such petty injunctions as crossing oceans is sin, are
> > inane.
> >
> This is irrelevant.  Bhaktivedanta wasn't a Smarta and the other two
> weren't particularly knowledgeable about Dharmic matters.

Hari Om!
Namaste Jaldhar,

Your statement above implies that Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa
Yogananda are not Self-Realized saints. My Paramaguru, Swami Sivananda,
will also fall under this category since he went to Malaysia for some time
to practise medicine and his teachings are almost identical to the 2
saints you have mentioned.  I would like to know how you came to such a
conclusion. As far as I know, it takes one Self-realized person to know
another. But we can infer from what the Blessed Lord said in the
Bhagavad-Gita (verses 2:55-57) to Arjuna in response to his question
(2:54) on how a Self-realized person behaves. I find no contradiction in
the behaviour of these 3 saints to that described by the Lord. From this I
infer that these 3 saints are Self-realized and hence have the knowledge
of all the Vedas (2:46). I know for certain that reading books doesn't
give one Self-Knowledge (the first verse of Bhaja Govindam confirms this).
The Vedas is a means to the end but not an end itself; the end being
experiencing the Truth of the Vedas.  Ramana Maharshi didn't read anything
before he got Self-Realization. How do you decide if a person has
knowledge in Dharmic matters?

Whatever I know about our religion is based on books I have read by Swami
Sivananda (I can't thank him enough for expounding the essentials of the
Vedas in simple English so that people with inferior intellects and no
knowledge of Sanskrit like me can understand a little about our Indian
philosophy).  From what I understand from my Paramguru's teachings on
Advaita, God is present in every speck of space in this Universe. If that
is the case, how is it possible for one who knows God to be everywhere to
become impure when one moves from one location to another? Where there is
God, no impurity can exist.  Since God is everywhere, no place is impure.

Om Tat Sat!


  Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
  E-mail: pkanagar at
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