[Advaita-l] RE: Dharma

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 27 11:26:24 CST 2004

>In this context, should we necessarily exclude the knower of brahman from 
>the followers of both categories? My impression is - pravRtti for ignorant 
>householders and nivRtti for ignorant sannyAsin-s. The knower of brahman 
>being a different category. Is that correct?

Yes, the knower of brahman is beyond dharma, but practically speaking, not 
necessarily. It is the ignorant sannyAsin of today who is the knower of 
brahman tomorrow, so long as the ignorant sannyAsin continues on the path of 
nivRtti dharma. SankarAcArya makes the following point repeatedly in the 
gItAbhAshya - what are taught as the secondary means to knowledge, i.e. 
yama, niyama, indriya-nigraha, Sama, dama, etc., which characterize nivRtti 
dharma, are essentially the same as the characteristics of the knower of 
brahman. The beginner sannyAsin follows nivRtti dharma because of the rules 
imposed upon him by the tradition, but the knower of brahman just naturally 
personifies nivRtti. He doesn't need rules, but his conduct, so long as his 
body continues to function, is precisely that of nivRtti dharma.


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