[Advaita-l] Re: Transformation

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 2 13:50:37 CST 2004

--- Girish Ramadurgam <rsgirish at aol.com> wrote:


> You wrote
> 'The path of GYAna is for sannyAsins'.
> Does it means only SannyAsins can achieve moksha? Correct me if I am 
> wrong. I always though that Sankara preached that only Gyana yogi can
> achieve moksha or get liberated from the cycle of rebirth.

Ideally, the study of VedAnta ought to be commenced only after
sannyAsa, which in turn should be taken only after having obtained some
amount of viveka and vairAgya (not otherwise). However, non-sannyAsins
are not barred from studying VedAnta. 

Regarding your question as to whether only sannyAsins can achieve
moksha, I don't know the answer to, but the path of Shankaran VedAnta
(that leads to jIvanmukti) seems to assume that this is the case. There
was sometime ago a discussion in this list, as to whether "mAnasika
sannyAsa" or mental renunciation leads one to moksha, but it didn't
proceed anywhere. Even among people like Ramana Maharshi who are
respected by the tradition, one can find elements of renunciation both
physical and mental. However, there are examples like Ajamila in the
Bhagavatam who never took sannyAsa, but attained moksha by simply
taking the Lord's name at the time of death, and also avatars like Rama
and Krishna who were both living very much in the society as

I haven't come across a website that explains this practical aspect of
advaita VedAnta along with the theoretical aspects. People usually take
from advaita the impression that the world is wholly illusory, and that
anything goes in practice. That is the reason one finds, especially in
the West, various groups (read "cults") claiming some tenuous
connection to advaita, and behaving any way they like. I wish someone
takes pains to create a website that points out that the practical
aspect of advaita VedAnta begins only after a rigorous grounding in
moral development, without which enquiry into the Self is futile.

> Best Wishes,
> Girish



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