[Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Oct 1 12:34:55 CDT 2016

On Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 9:23 PM, Kripa Shankar <kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com>

> But is that shāstra adhyayana as well?
> Kripa : if I say a person is wearing a blue shirt, then it should follow
> that he /she should own it.‎ ‎

I am not clear how you use the example. What I had asked was whether he did
Vedanta adhyayana also apart from Veda?  For, mere veda study would not be
conducive to Atma jnana. You have not provided that information.

> That is fine. But that example can be applied to the case of someone who
> has not performed shastra adhyayana in the current life and yet is a jnani
> since birth itself and even gives upadesha.
> Kripa : Unless of course, we can establish the cause of such Jnana. I am
> not even questioning the authenticity of the jnani. ‎

In all cases the cause of jnana is vedanta vichara. That is non-negotiable.

>> There is no such requirement of knowing the immediate or remote previous
> lives of jnanis. For example the case of Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati
> Swamiji as stated by his Disciple Swamiji. Going by the above: 1. It would
> be impossible to gain aparoksha jnana by anyone since there is no jnani at
> all.The teaching by Krishna: 'Approach Jnanis and seek the Knowledge and
> they will teach'  will be a waste since there will be no one called Jnanis.
> In fact one reason for the acceptance of Jivan mukti is to enable the
> dissemination of jnana to others.
>  2. After the period of Vyasa, and outside the Mahabharata and Brahma
> sutras, no one can become a jnani and the vedanta shastra is of no use in
> the present day!! The sutra stated is not confined to the instances in the
> Upanishads but a guideline for all times.
> Kripa : I don't know if am missing something in your argument or you
> completely missed the point. The whole point is to establish the pramanatva
> of the scriptures. SrimaLalitalalitah has argued well and his points are
> irrefutable (Apaurusheya etc). The cause of Ramana's jnana could not be
> established and hence it is a mere belief that he was a jnAni. Moreover,
> this proves that his teachings are classic neo Advaita.

The above argument suffers from a serious illogicality. We will have to
restrict only those jnani-ns spoken of in the Veda/smriti to qualify for
the above. Just because a jnani of the post-veda/smriti period exists we
cannot say he has gained knowledge form a paurusheya source.  The purpose
of the sutra I referred to is to help us decide on those cases such as
Ramana. In fact Shankara has said that those who are not eligible to study
the Upanishads can get Jnana through purana, paurusheya source.

> I am not sure  why you said no one apart from Vyasa was a jnAni. His son
> Shukha, Gaudapada, Shankaracharya etc who studied the Vedas properly and
> duly attribute the rise of Jnana to the grace of their teachers are all
> considered jnanis in traditional sense. Even if you don't consider them as
> Jnanis, that is still fine because the Shastra pramana is upheld which is
> the only important aspect.

What you say //The cause of Ramana's jnana could not be established and
hence it is a mere belief that he was a jnAni.// happily applies to
Shankaracharya too.  Is Shankaracharya a Vedic-personage? It is only we
Advaitins *believe* that he is a Jnani; non-advaitins care least about this
belief.  For them he is an ajnani. Our belief that Shankara is a Jnani is
also from others saying so; we have no power to judge that ourselves. For,
even an ajnani can do the anuvāda, alluding, of the shrutis and that can
create a belief in someone that he is a Jnani.

I mentioned that outside Veda Vyasa's woks and period, there cannot be
anyone who can be admitted as Jnani because there is no way one can decide
whether one is since it is still a belief or someone else in whom we have
shraddhā has to vouch for it.  That is why I said in an earlier post that
in this field logic will never work; it is only āpta vākya for the seeker
or Grace that guides him to the Jnani-guru. Even Ramana has said he has a
Guru, the inner Self, Arunachala.

Shankara did not say how he became jnani.  We have to only believe that he
became one.

> I will try to give an example although it might be inappropriate. Artists
> from elsewhere come to our country to make money but when they are asked to
> say a few words sympathising with our people, they show deep disregard and
> ignore us as if we don't matter.
> Now Ramana who is claimed to be the epitome of Vedanta never acknowledged
> the cause of his jnana to the Vedas. In other words it is equal to show
> contempt to the Shastras. That doesn't mean he was not a jnani, just that
> he had nothing to do with Vedas even remotely.

Now, this is self-contradictory.  On the one had you want to accept Ramana
as a Jnani. Tell me if 'Jnani' can be anywhere outside the purview of the
Veda? It is only within the range of Veda do we have the concept of a
Jnani. So, his alleged not acknowledging Veda as the source of Jnana will
never disqualify him from being a Jnani, which automatically means he is
within the purview of the Veda. In fact Vedic scholars approached him for
clarifications and blessings. Those who are accepted by all as being within
the Veda sampradaya have acknowledged Ramana as jnani. Do you think you are
better qualified than these personages to pass judgement on Ramana? In fact
this is what is contempt to shastra. The shastra never puts a bar on
Ramana.  It is because of Jnanis that the shastra gets its value. If there
are no jnanis the shastra will be merely empty words.


> Regards
> Kripa‎

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list