Agony of the soul (?) etc

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jan 6 12:00:00 CST 1997

On Mon, 6 Jan 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> 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
> opponent
> (d) to completely not hear the others' arguments and to go on one-sided
> track.

  (e) to strengthen the mind
  (f) to remove doubt

> The only objective of a true practitioner of Advaita is to gain stillness
> of the mind by seeing oneness in all.

This is a good definition of the Yoga Darshana (chitavrittinirodhah) but
it is _not_ a good definition of Vedanta of any school let alone Advaita.
The objective of a Vedantin is to know Brahman and the word used (jignasa)
denotes an intellectual enquiry.

> There is no need of one-upmanship by
> vernacular juglery. [ShriShankara is excluded from this definition
> because His mission is different.].

So there is a bheda amongst Advaiins?  Shankaracharya differs from us only
in degree not kind.  His mission is the same as ours.  Engaging indebate
is a duty only of Brahmans as their duty is to teach the Vedas but
understanding is the duty of us all.

> If a person gains peace of mind by
> being dvaitin, so be it.

The focus is not on the other person but on yourself.  If someone is
raising questions about your supposed beliefs and you cannot answer them
you should be alarmed and anxious to rectify the situation.  Ignorance is
not bliss.

> 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.

This is something I've always found fascinating about the so-called
neo-vedantins (i.e. Vivekananda, Chinmayananda etc.)  Apparently in their
philosophy one just stumbles through life waiting for some vague,
undefined thing to magically happen.  This is supposedly the path to peace
but I don't see how any kind of peace could result from something so

> Reading technical treatises on advaita or dvaita and parroting the views
> does not make any difference.

The copy of the Shiva Mahapurana I have was given to me by a lady at our
mandir who is not at all literate in Sanskrit.  But she believed that by
the very act of purchasing such a book and giving it as dana to a Brahmana
she would earn punya.  How much more punya could you gain by reading and
understanding the Shastras?  Swami Madhusudana Saraswati was a giant in
the Advaita parampara.  Indeed without his efforts there might possibly be
no Advaita today.  By reading his works and those of other great acharyas,
we strengthen our our sadhana and purify it from doubt and delusion.

> 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).

So you will never know whether your mind is tuned or not.  Read the
shastras and you won't be mystified any longer.

> 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.

Rather, when the emotions vanish, you recognize what you are.

> 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.

Certainly not.  But being a grihastha is the source of sukha and dukha.
Only Sannyasa will cure that.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
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