[Advaita-l] (no subject)

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 26 22:57:06 CDT 2012

> According to the narration, Bhagvan Ramana did not have good knowledge of
> upanishads etc. in moolam to begin with. When he started expanding his
> "who-am-I?' process in easier terms,
> traditional vedantins -   read, advaitins - challenged him to provide
> scriptural proof.  Bhagavan then conferred with some close scholars ( my
> guess, like Sri vashishta ganapathi muni)
> and was able to provide ample proof of congruency between what he was
> saying and what was in the major upanishads in essence.

Sri Bhagwan's realization is unique in the sense that it did not
precede the usual course of shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana. Rather in
his case understanding came spontaneously. It was only later when
scriptures were read to him that he could correlate and verbalize his

> The question I was asked was about documentation of this or anything in a
> similar vein in the early writings of the devotees of Bhagavan either in
> tamizh or english.

The earliest recorded conversation is considered to be "Nan Yar".
However when it was shown to Sri Bhagwan before publication he
underlined several passages that were not his words, but Sri
Sivaprakash Pillai's understanding. However out of the respect for Sri
Pillai, Bhagwan did not delete those parts but instructed to publish
them in italics. I believe in many later versions this distinction is
not maintained.

Extensive research has been done on every single word spoken by Sri
Bhagwan. Sri Michael James, who himself is a Tamil and Sanskrit
scholar has given an exhaustive list of resources in the bibliography
section of his excellent book "Happiness and the Art of Being".

> The context was, I believe,
> to answer the question, 'can advaitic jnaana be obtained independent of
> knowledge of upanishads and brahma sutra'.

Sri Bhagwan maintained that there are already enough pointers
available about basic advaita principles in popular culture and
literature so that anyone with an average education has already been
exposed to the teachings. Therefore what is lacking in sAdhanA is
reflection and contemplation on the teaching, not the exposure. Thus
Sri Bhagwan did not give much importance to the formal study of
Upanishads and Brahma Sutras or any other text rather emphasized on
uninterrupted self attentiveness as means of realization.

It may however be of interest to note that even as per traditional
vedAnta, study of Upanishads and Brahma Sutras is not essential for
self realization. One can gain knowledge from prakaraNa grantha-s as
well. Sri Bhagwan's own writings are almost invariably in the nature
of prakaraNa grantha-s and many of his devotees - Indians and
Westerners alike - have produced brilliant vArtikA-s on them. Whether
Sri Bhagwan's devotees admit it or not they are actually doing shAstra
vichAra on Sri Bhagwan's writings with same zest and vigour that a
traditional vedAntin might do on a traditional prakaraNa grantha.


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