Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Jul 17 20:13:05 CDT 2006

On 7/17/06, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 17/07/06, Abhishek RK <rkabhi at gmail.com> wrote:
> You are just shooting off your mouth to show how orthodox you are.
> What is a christian lifestyle anyway? If you are talking about social
> work, then many sannyAsI-s do it. The Kanchi Math also does it. I
> think the Sringeri Math also supports some hospitals, schools,
> libraries, etc.
> If you are expecting all advaitin sannyAsI-s to behave in exactly the
> same way, thats unreasonable. The tradition is not a bunch of parrots.
> Different organizations have their own ways of doing things. The core
> tradition is the same; peripherals vary.
> In any case, why should a sannyAsI bother about karma-s? Does
> SankarAcArya teach karma-s in his writings? All he says is that if you
> are not a sannyAsI, you should practise karma-s. But to learn those
> karma-s you have to go elsewhere, not to a sannyAsI.
> Translations/commentaries produced by the Ramakrishna Math say the same thing.
> Sadananda-ji was talking about learning vedAnta, not karma-s. I am not
> saying that karma-s are unimportant, but there are other sources from
> where one can learn them.
> Another thing to be kept in mind is that the audience of the
> Ramakrishna Math is different from that of Sringeri or other older
> maTha-s. Only a small fraction of our population has a family
> tradition of doing nitya karma-s, etc. What about the rest?

I think Abhishek might be referring to the opinions he has received
about karmas from certain swamis. Traditionally sannyaasins encourage
non-sannyaasis to do the proper karmas. For example, a long time ago
when Sri Sannidhanam graced our house for a paada-puujaa (I was 15 or
16 then), and I went to do namaskaaram. Before that he asked me if I
do the sandhyaavandanam daily and asked me to recite "aapo hiShThaa"
as verification!

Not having any experience with Ramakrishna Mutt, I don't know what
advice their sannyaasis give householders. Of course, as you say the
target audiences are vastly different. I would say that their
structure is more Westernized than traditional Mutts, but not a
Christian one. It's more a mixture of the vedaanta and bhajana kind of
traditions. As you say "social service" has been adopted by even the
most traditional of mutts.

They have produced some outstanding scholars of vedanta. The
translations Swami Gambhirananda (8 Upanishads and Brahma Sutra) are
monumental. I wonder what kind of advice he gave to people who spoke
to him.

My personal opinion is that if one is obligated to nitya karmas, they
better do it. Studying vedanta texts in lieu of that is most likely
useless and even counter-productive.


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