Agony of the soul (?) etc

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon Jan 6 09:15:47 CST 1997

On Sun, 5 Jan 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> On Sun, 5 Jan 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> > The Advaita List is very quiet for the past few weeks. May be, the members
> > are following the dictum of the last thread "Silence is best" too
> > literally. I am sure, all of us interpret Shri Ramana's teaching "Silence
> > is best" as the silence of the mind that is to be strived for.
> Call me uncharitable but it's more likely due to lingering embarrasment
> over the inability to answer Shrisha Rao.  At least some good has come out
> of it.  I have begun reading Advaitasiddhi of Swami Madhusudana Saraswati
> which answers those criticisms in detail.

I beg to differ. I have followed the arguments in that thread closely. I
have no intention of re-opening the arguments or participate in that
thread. But, allow me to make the following general comments.

In any arguments or discussion, the motives can be of various types and
they were mentioned in some other context. They, roughly, are

(a) to gain some knowledge and learn something
(b) to defend one's position
(c) to find the weak points of the opponent and try to vanquish the
(d) to completely not hear the others' arguments and to go on one-sided

The only objective of a true practitioner of Advaita is to gain stillness
of the mind by seeing oneness in all. There is no need of one-upmanship by
vernacular juglery. [Shri Shankara is excluded from this definition
because His mission is different.]. If a person gains peace of mind by
being dvaitin, so be it.

I clearly remember and try to practice Shri Chinmayananda's explanation
(which might have followed Shri Ramana's teachings). Every argument is
correct at the level of understanding of the person who makes it. Leave
it to the person to recognize the Truth in his/her own time. At that time,
the person will see for himself/herself the fallacy of the arguments that
were made.

Reading technical treatises on advaita or dvaita and parroting the views
does not make any difference. Only when a person's mind is properly tuned,
the knowledge will pour in from all directions. If the mind is not tuned,
however much of reading does not take a person anywhere. When or how and
by whom the mind is tuned is a mystery (to me).

> >
> > Now, my question is "Is it the soul that feels the agony or suffering or
> > joy or happiness ?  I think it is the ego that feels the suffering or
> > happiness and not the soul. The soul is a witness to the feelings and
> > does not participate in these emotions.
> >
> Sukha and Dukha are only felt by the jiva enveloped in maya.  At this
> point the atma and ahamkara are indistinct.
Yes, the jiva enveloped in maaya thinks that I is the body and the mind
and thinks is doing all the actions. Hence the attributions of
the emotions to the wrong source. But once you recognize what you are, the
emotions themselves vanish.

> > 2. Seeking happiness and sadness
> >
> > In some books [Shri Ramanaashram letters, Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM
> > THAT, Shri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi of Kanchi Peetham] it is stated
> > that we seek happiness and avoid everything that is sad. My question is:
> > Why should we seek anything ? What is happiness and sadness anyway ?
> > Do not seek anything. Then one can take things in stride as that
> > pre-ordained to us.
> >
> The only way to avoid sukha and dukha is through sannyasa.  For a
> grihastha (like Arjuna who asked a similiar question) such fatalism is a
> shirking of ones duty.  Far from being a neutral act, such inaction
> destroys Dharma and brings about evil.
Here, I have to differ from you. This was discussed to the full a few
months ago. Being a grihastha and doing one's dharma as a grihastha
without being entwined in it is not fatalism and shirking of one's duty.

> --

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

Gummuluru Murthy
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
                                GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
 end is as good as non-existent even in the present.

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