[Advaita-l] References for Atma vichAra in shruti/smriti

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 12 12:42:18 CST 2003

While the advaita VedAnta tradition demands qualifications from the
disciple who seeks Self-realization and places importance on
shruti/smR^iti for removing ignorance (of the Self), Ramana Maharshi
emphasizes the path of Self-enquiry or Atma VichAra (i.e. tracing the
source of the I-thought) which can be practised by anyone, anywhere,
anytime, independent of all texts.

I'm trying to locate references in shruti/smR^iti which treat
Self-enquiry as being independent of the scriptures, and have found a
single reference so far in the Apastamba dharma sUtra

satyAnR^ite sukhaduHkhe vedaaniM lokamamuM cha parityajya aatmaanaM
anvichchhet.h .
"Truth and untruth, pleasure and pain, the Vedas, this world and the
next, renouncing (all these, the parivrAjaka saMnyAsin) shall seek the

The above verse is quoted by Sureshvara in his saMbandha vArttika,
verse 221:

satyAnR^ite sukhaduHkhe iti tathA sarvasaMnyAsapUrvakam.h .
AtmAno.anveshhaNaM sAkshAt ApastaMbaH abravIn muniH .. 221 ..
" 'Truth and untruth, pleasure and pain' etc. ought to be completely
renounced in the quest for the Self, as the sage Apastamba himself has
so declared."

Sureshvara lays stress on parityajya (renunciation) rather than
AtmAnamanvichchhet (seek the Self), but the very fact that he quotes
the verse is testament to its importance in the advaita VedAnta
tradition. Madhusudana Sarasvati too quotes the above verse of
Apastamba in his commentary on BG verse 5.1. 

If anyone is aware of any other verse which specifically speaks of
Self-enquiry being independent of the scriptures, kindly let me know, I
would be grateful.

Thanks and regards,


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