[Advaita-l] Questions on Mayavada

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Oct 26 13:13:35 CDT 2010

Why is that necessarily a bad thing? If you want to cling on to duality
because of
a desire to express devotion, what is the point of the deity telling you
explicitly that
the reality is non-dual and that you are essentially non-different from the
deity? Is
it true devotion to want to express devotion and therefore to disregard the
words of That to which the devotion is directed?

*Jaladhar is of the opinion that only duality has to be crossed not abheda
bhakti. You think that bhakti itself should be transcended. What is the
opinion of the sampradaya acharya (s)? *

Who decides what is real love and what is not? Is the parakIya prema of the
the only or the highest way a devotee can or should express love for
What about the kinds of love that yaSoda, nanda, kuntI, bhIshma,
yudhishThira and
arjuna exhibited?

*I suppose it is for sastras to decide. All are considered glorious but
Bhagavatam also says that gopis love for Krishna is paramount. This is the
opinion of Narada, Uddhava, Suka etc. *

Let us further take the case of the gopI-s logically. Either they saw kRShNa
as their
own Self or they did not. In the former case, theirs was simply an
expression of love
for their own Self. In the latter case, why is a deliberate disregard of
one's own well
being a role model worth emulating for the average human being?
*It is not for ordinary human being to act like gopis. Complete renunciation
of advaita tradition is not for ordinary human beings either. *

Divorcing acts of devotional activity from the karma kANDa is fundamentally
illicit and
illegitimate, arising from deficient understanding of both devotion and
karma kANDa.
You can of course redefine the term paramahaMsa saMnyAsa to suit your
but that is neither here nor there.
* Madhusudana Saraswati, a sankaracharya, differentiates bhakti from
karma.   *

How does any human being know whether or not the actions he or she performs
by the will of the Lord? It is easy to get delusional on this score.
Throughout history,
the world has seen numerous examples of people who have claimed to be acting
out the Lord's will and have only lead themselves and their believers to
ruin. If anybody
comes up to you and says that what s/he does is devotional activity, apart
from the
dictates of the karma kANDa, and that in any case s/he is only carrying out
the will of
the Lord, and not really performing any action, so whatever s/he does is
really inaction,
what are your criteria for believing him/her? Please don't go back to a
"bona fide
sampradAya" argument in response.

*If one wants to cheat or in illusion, it is a different matter.  We are
talking about those who directly perceive the Lord and also guided within
his heart by the Lord.  Even if such devotees act contrary to sastras, then
sastras will explain it. For example, Bhagavatam explains the apparently
adharmic actions of Krishna and gopis. Even in advaita tradition, the
actions of avadhuta sannyasis such as Sadasiva Brahmendral is explained
by those with intution to understand.*
By "total renunciation of all actions" in advaita, we mean indeed a TOTAL
You cannot designate karma kANDa determined action alone as needing to be
If one is serious about renuncation, ALL karmA is to be renounced. Till such
time as one
is ready for that stark and rigorous renunciation of all karmA, the vaidika
karmA should
not be pooh-poohed. We advaitins also talk of a gradual approach towards
this total giving
up of action, because we recognize that it takes millions of rebirths before
one is ready for
TOTAL renunciation. That is what the SAstra teaches and that is what we
uphold. We go
by Sruti and smRti, and we do not accept arbitrarily defined parameters of
what constitutes
real love for bhagavAn.

*According to Subrahmanyan, sannyasis in advaita tradition do not renounce
totally as there are mandatory observances. Please read his argument to say
that "mayavadam asat sastram" verse is an interpolation because the verse
says advaitam teaches total renunciation. What is the position of sampradaya
on level renunciation?  *

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