[Advaita-l] Ramana's method

Swami Sarvabhutananda swami.sarvabhutananda at gmail.com
Tue Oct 9 10:26:16 CDT 2012

Mananam without the appropriate knowledge input is of no use.
Bhagavan Ramana also had interaction with the panditas and the
understanding of ShAstrA is a prerequisite!
RamanA has to be appreciated as a unique personality and quoting RamanA and
comparing RmanA does not solve the problem of BRAHMA jnAnam.

On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 5:09 PM, vinayaka ns <brahmavadin at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Sanjay Srivastava <
> sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> > Bhagwan Ramana gave minimal emphasis on any text.
> >
> >  In Sri Bhagwan's scheme, shravaNa and manana were almost
> > dispensable. All efforts were to be focused towards nididhyAsana only
> > and that too in a very specific manner.
> >
> ========================================
> Namaste,
> nidhidhyAsana is the most important sAkshAt sAdhanA in the tradition. The
> following remark of Kanchi Maha SwamigaL makes it clear:
> "Remember our Acharya is one who gave the noblest status to the hearing
> (shravaNa) of the teaching from the guru. If the same Acharya says "Let it
> be understood that mananaM is a hundred times greater than shravaNaM".
> *shataguNaM vidyAn-mananaM*, then at how really a high level should
> shravaNaM be counted? And he doesn't stop there. If mananaM is a hundred
> times greater than shravaNaM, he says nidhidhyAsanaM is a hundred-thousand
> times greater than mananaM: *mananAdapi nidhidhyAsaM lakshha-guNaM* (the
> sentence appears in vivEkachUDAmaNi by Shankara). MananaM is not just dead
> information; it is knowledge full of life. But even that knowledge becomes
> tiny little in the face of experience. You may know everything about sugar,
> you might have bales and bales of high class sugar, but they are not
> equivalent to that experience one gets from the taste of a little pinch of
> that sugar. That is why he says nidhidhyAsaM is one hundred thousand times
> greater than mananaM."
> (Translated by Prof. V.K. from Tamil)
> >
> >
> > I have found Sri Bhagwan's method nothing but vedanta though with very
> > different emphasis on shravaNa, manana and nididhyAsana components.
> > Among contemporary vedanta teachers with whom I have had any contact
> > (esp. English speaking teachers), the emphasis is almost entirely on
> > shravaNa. Sri Bhagwan would have disagreed with this approach. In his
> > view shravaNa of even one text was more than enough. Any more efforts
> > on shravaNa would have been considered shAstra vAsana.
> >
> In this context the following note by the Bhagavan on the Shankara's
> methodology is of relevance:
> Talk 349.
> (A Note By Sri Maharshi (In the current issue of  The Vision is published
> the following note, being
> the translation by Mr. S. Krishna,  M. A., of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s preface
> to his translation of Sri Sankara’s  Viveka Chudamani  or “Crown-gem of
> Discrimination”).
> Every being in the world yearns to be always happy, free from the taint of
> sorrow; and desires to get rid of bodily ailments which are not of his true
> nature. Further, everyone cherishes the greatest love for himself: and this
> love is not possible in the absence of happiness. In deep sleep, though
> devoid of everything, one has the experience of being happy. Yet, due to
> the ignorance of the real nature of one’s own being, which is happiness
> itself, people flounder in the vast ocean
> of material existence forsaking the right path that leads to happiness and
> act under the mistaken belief that the way to be happy consists in
> obtaining the pleasures of this and the other world.
> A SAFE  GUIDE: But alas, that happiness which has not the taint of sorrow
> is not realised. It is precisely for the purpose of pointing out the
> straight path to happiness that God Siva took on the guise of Sri
> Sankaracharya, wrote the commentaries on the Triune Institutes ( Prasthana
> Traya ) of the Vedanta, which extol the excellence of this bliss; and
> demonstrated it by his own example in life. These commentaries, however,
> are of little use to those ardent seekers who are intent upon realising the
> bliss of absolution, but have not the scholarship for studying them.
> It is for such as these that Sri Sankara revealed the essence of
> the commentaries in this short treatise, “The Crown-gem of
> Discrimination”, explaining in detail the points that have to be grasped by
> those who seek absolution, and thereby directing them to the true and
> straight path.
> LEARNING WON’T DO: Sri Sankara opens the theme by observing that it is hard
> indeed to attain human birth, and one should (having attained it) strive
> for the realisation of the bliss of liberation, which is verily the nature
> of one’s being. By  jnana or Knowledge alone is this bliss realised,
> and  jnana is achieved only through  vichara  or steady enquiry. In
> order to know this method of enquiry, says Sri Sankara, one should seek
> the favour of a Guru, and proceeds to describe the qualities of the
> Guru and his  sishya  and how the latter should approach and serve his
> master.
> He further emphasises that in order to realise the bliss of
> liberation one’s own individual effort is an essential factor. Mere
> book-learning never yields this bliss which can be realised only through
> enquiry or vichara , which consists of  sravana or devoted attention to the
> precepts
> of the Guru, manana or deep contemplation and  Nididhyasana or
> the cultivation of steady poise in the Self.
> THE THREE PATHS: The three bodies - physical, subtle and causal -
> are non-self and are unreal. The Self, or ‘I’, is quite different from
> them. It is due to ignorance that the sense of the Self or the ‘I’ notion
> is foisted on that which is not Self, and this indeed is bondage.
> Since from ignorance arises bondage, from Knowledge ensues liberation. To
> know this from the Guru is sravana. To reject the three bodies consisting
> of the five sheaths (physical, vital, mental, gnostic and blissful) as not
> ‘I’ and to extract through subtle enquiry of “Who am I?” - even as the
> central blade of grass is delicately drawn out from its whorl - that which
> is different from all the three bodies and is existent as one and universal
> in the heart as
> Aham or ‘I’ and denoted by the words  Tvam (in the Scriptural dictum -
> ‘Tat-tvam-asi’ - That thou art). This process of subtle enquiry is manana
> or deep contemplation.
> THE BEATITUDE: The world of name and form is but an adjunct of Sat or
> Brahman, and being not different from it is rejected as such and is
> affirmed as nothing else but Brahman. The instruction by the Guru to the
> disciple of the Mahavakya,  Tat-tvam-asi, which declares the identity of
> the Self and the Supreme, is  upadesa.  The disciple is then enjoined to
> remain in the beatitude of  Aham-Brahman - ‘I’ the Absolute. Nevertheless
> the old tendencies of the mind sprout up thick
> and strong and form an obstruction (to that state of beatitude).
> These tendencies are threefold and egoism, which is their root, flourishes
> in the externalised and differentiating consciousness caused by the forces
> of vikshepa  or dissipation (due to  rajas) and avarana or envelopment (due
> to tamas ).
> CHURNING  THE  MIND : To install the mind firmly in the heart until these
> forces are destroyed and to awaken with unswerving, ceaseless vigilance the
> true and cognate tendency which is characteristic of the Atman and is
> expressed by the dicta, Aham Brahmasmi (I am
> Brahman), and Brahmaivaham (Brahman alone am I) is termed nididhyasana or
> atmanusandhana ,  i.e ., constancy in the Self. This is otherwise called
> Bhakti, Yoga and  Dhyana.
> Atmanusandhana has been likened to churning the curd to draw forth butter,
> the mind being compared to the churning rod, the heart to the curd and the
> practice of constancy in the Self to the process of churning. Just as by
> churning the curd butter is extracted and by friction fire is kindled, even
> so, by unswerving vigilant constancy in the Self, ceaseless like the
> unbroken filamentary flow of oil, is generated the natural or changeless
> trance or  nirvikalpa samadhi,
> which readily and spontaneously yields that direct, immediate,
> unobstructed and universal perception of Brahman, which is at
> once Knowledge and Experience and which transcends time and space.
> LIMITLESS  BLISS: This is Self-Realisation; and thereby is cut asunder the
> hridaya-granthi or the Knot of the Heart. The false delusions of ignorance,
> the vicious and age-long tendencies of the mind, which constitute this
> knot, are destroyed. All doubts are dispelled and the
> bondage of Karma is severed.
> Thus has Sri Sankara described, in this “Crown-gem of
> Discrimination,” samadhi  or trance transcendent, which is the
> limitless bliss of liberation, beyond doubt and duality, and has at the
> same time indicated the means for its attainments. To realise this state of
> freedom from duality is the summum bonum of life; and he alone that has won
> it is a  jivanmukta  (the liberated one while yet alive), and not he who
> has merely a theoretical understanding of what constitutes  purushartha or
> the desired end and aim of human endeavour.
> FINAL  FREEDOM: Thus defining a  jivanmukta , he is declared to be
> free from the bonds of threefold Karmas (sanchita, agami and
> prarabdha). The disciple who has reached this stage then relates his
> personal experience. The liberated one is free indeed to act as he pleases,
> and
> when he leaves the mortal frame, attains absolution, and returns not to
> this “birth which is death”.
> Sri Sankara thus describes Realisation that connotes liberation
> as twofold,  i.e.,  jivanmukti and  videha mukti  referred to above.
> Moreover, in this short treatise, written in the form of a dialogue between
> a Guru
> and his disciple, he has considered many relevant topics.
> Best Wishes,
> Vinayaka
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