New member introduction: Sundararaman Subrahmanian

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed May 24 05:58:22 CDT 2000

I work as a softwar professional in a Wall Street firm.  I hail from India.
I was born in TN but grew up in different parts of the country and hence
have a decent exposure to different cultures within India.

Five years ago, when I came to the US, a monk from the Himalayas met me in
New York city.  I initially treated him with disdain, but later grew to
appreciate his wisdom and later we became very good friends.  We correspond
with each other regularly now.  Within a little while after my stay in US,
when he got to know me well he gave me the following advice: "Keep the
spiritual side of your life well lighted and do not let the modern and
western illusion darken it.  A deep passion and love for the ultimate truth
is the only long lasting and peaceful state in this world.  Everything else
is false".

The words kept coming up now and then in my memory and after 4 years since
the prophetic advice, I am SLOWLY realizing what he meant about "truth" and
"false".  Years of "care and avarice" (as Dickens would say) have made me
question certain fundamental viewpoints in life.    Since he was a
follower/admirer/student (don't know what is correct), he bade me to read
the Upanishads and other texts.  His advice took concrete form with the dawn
of the new millenium.  I picked up a copy of Vivekachoodamani and I was very
"impressed" by its contents (though Shankara warns in that, not to praise
without understanding completely).  I wanted to read more of Shankara and
know more about Upanishads and their contents.  I went and bought the movie
on Shankara in Sanskrit and have watched now over 10 times.

I want to study and research Vedanta and Shankara (citing them separately
may not be appropriate).  Being born in an orthodox Hindu family I have a
brief knowledge of Sanskrit (decent vocabulary, but poor grammar) and Hindu
rituals.  I understand that the Ultimate Truth can be cognized only by
intuitive self-perception and not by dialectics and argumentation (though
both are essential for novices).  And since intutive knowledge dawns with
the refinement of character and not by accumulation of bookish knowledge, I
have been changing my life style little by little, removing tamasic
pursuits, sublimating rajasic desires and (trying to) cultivate satwic

As I was trying to find more information about Shankara as part of my
personal research effort I found your site (mailing list).  I feel I don't
know as much as many of you seem to know.   But I would like to learn.  I
approach the members of this group with the attitude of Arjuna "Shishya(s)
te aham".  Please accept my membership.  I may not be able to contribute
much in terms of answering questions, but I think I can get my questions
answered through some/many/all of you.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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