[Advaita-l] Ramana's method

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 9 12:25:31 CDT 2012

Hari Om,

I respectfully disagree with those who think that Bhagavan Ramana's method
is divorced from traditional Advaita Vedanta. Factually, Maharshi's method
is just one part of the tradition, albeit the part that's reserved for
uttama adhikAris. Undoubtedly, its called the direct path for this very
reason. However, this direct path is not useful to one who has doubts of
various kinds, full of vAsanAs, meaning one who is not a mumukshu, seasoned
by sAdhana cAtuShTaya (in this life of earlier ones).

To an uttama adhikAri, if Maharshi's method suggests self-inquiry, one just
tries to look at the source of ahaM vritti and he realizes the sphuraNa;
similarly, the traditional guru says "Tat tvaM asi and he realizes ahaM
brahmAsmi. There isn't any difference. To a madhyama adhikAri, vAsanA
kshaya is needed which is an effort in both cases, be it in finding the
source in inquiry in the former or making jnAna sthirA in the latter; much
repetition of the method is needed in theory & practice. For a manda
adhikAri, samshayAs keep him away from the inquiry even, because many
questions would piggyback his "Who am I?"

Without shravaNa, no one even would have heard of Maharshi's method.
Knowing that one has to do self-inquiry itself is shravaNa. Of course, one
may argue that the tradition considers only Vedanta shAstra for shravaNa,
but that wouldn't be proper, since the subject matter is Atma-anAtma
viveka, which is necessarily a part of self-inquiry of Bhagavan Ramana too.
Without mananA, one cannot be convinced that Bhagavan's method is right.
Anyway, it has been accepted that nidhidhyAsana is the main part of the

To sum up, the method of traditional Vedanta is as direct as Ramana
Maharshi's self-inquiry for uttama & maybe some madhyama adhikAris. But
most madhyama & manda adhikAris cannot truly benefit from self-inquiry
alone and will necessarily have to follow the traditional process. I recall
that somewhere, perhaps in Talks, Bhagavan too mentions that the
eligibility for each aspirant varies and so does the method.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15]

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list