Practical Vedanta

Sankaran Panchapagesan panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU
Tue May 18 20:57:01 CDT 1999

> What is social service? If it's helping others to the extent possible
> it's good. I presume all of us here try to do that. If you are
> thinking about rewriting rules in smR^itis, etc, then advaita is not
> for you.

        I never said anything about rewriting smRtis. I only wanted to
learn if social service was included in our smRtis, and they seem to be.
(So, I guess advaita is still there for me :-).

> Further there is no "GYAni level" here. A GYAni has no conception of
> differences, much less social service. A few quotes from Ramana
> Maharshi who you seem to like:

:-). I don't like or dislike Ramana Maharshi. Because of my background I
believe that he was a jnAni and have faith in what he says.

> [quotes from RM]

> My comments: If you want to help people in society, go ahead and do
> it. Why think others must follow your foot-steps? Further note that
> it's not from the stand point of a GYAni that the Maharshi is
> speaking. It's from a sAdhakas viewpoint.

Okay.  Since "social-service"  seems to be relevant as long as I am
attached to this world, I will do it as part of my dharma. I don't think
learning advaita and trying to practise it are incompatible with that. As
for social service for a jnAni, since He is God, there is no need for Him
to do (physical) social service through the physical body (maybe His
agents are doing it). As I see it, otherwise, there is even no basis for
beliefs in the grace of God, etc. And anyway, even jnAnis are doing what
can be called valuable service to society by teaching the right path.

> Bottom line: The state of > no distinctions can be arrived at only by
self-realization. If you > think it's a cop-out, so be it. Then, it's for
you to realize that > advaita is NOT, I repeat *NOT* for you, and move on
to something else.

        I don't think you should say this to anybody, least of all to
somebody who believes in the advaitic tradition. If you mean I am wasting
time on the list, I will not post further on the topic. Things are at
least clearer to me now.


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