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

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 1 15:17:19 CDT 2016

Shree Ravi Kiranji - PraNAms
I read few of the posts - including that of shreeman LalitalaalitaH's. 

First the whole discussion whether Ramana Maharshi is jnaani or not is meaningless. Since it is up to one's beliefs whether someone is a jnaani or not. Beliefs are not logical since they are beliefs.
Shraddhaa you are referring is very important - but that is defined as - shaastrasya guruvaakyasya satya budhyaavadhaaraNa - saa shradhaa. Hence not only on teacher but on shaastra is also important. 

Whether one is jnaani or not cannot be litmus-tested, one can test whether what one teachers (if that jnaani is a teacher) is in tune with Shaastraas or not. Hence one can say he is shaastravit not necessarily jnaani - but hopefully we assume that he knows what he is teaching. 

There is a difference between jnaanam and vijnaanam - where the second one involves jnaana nIshTa. The whole of 7th Ch. of Geeta is entitled on that.

Knowledge once gained will not get negated - the mind may not be capable of repeating that knowledge due to memory problems - that is true for any jnaanam - as Uddalaka tests Swetaketu by asking him to starve for 15 days and Swetaketu could not chant Vedas after that. Hence I do not agree with LalitalaalitaH statement that jnaanam can get lost - if that is what I he meant. If that is not what he meant, then I am not sure what he said in that. However it does not matter since it is not relevant. 

Scripture provided a case using Vamadeva that jnaanam is not lost by being born as vaamadeva. Krishna says a person, if he has not shtita prajna, will be born in a conducive family for his rapid growth. Nothing is lost by this pursuit.  It is a fact that Bhagavan Ramana's life took complete change after his death-experience - some experience that triggered further pursuit. Hence knowledge never get wasted. 

Most of us agree that anubhava -including samadhi - is not a means of knowledge. Pramana has to operate by its due process via the mind. anubhava from advaita point is abiding in the knowledge gained by shravana etc. 

What is required is mahaavaakya - the essence of vedanta - That part is apourusheya - not the text per sec - that is the pramaana part.  If the teacher teaches tat tvam asi in some form that the disciple can understand, and the student has faith in that teaching, which is the faith indirectly on the Vedantic teaching, then teaching is fulfilled. The example of Nisargadatta Maharaj is one where he has not studied Vedanta but understood from the teaching of his master - the essence of tat tvam asi. 

There is Ammachi in Kerala - a saintly lady who sent her own students to learn Vedanta so that they can formally teach, since she could not teach although she seems to have understood the essence of the teaching. 

I had mentioned that Bhagavan Ramana's texts Upadesha saara and Sat Darshnanam are packed with Vedanta. Some of the question-answers he gave, gives the impression that study of scriptures are not needed. I am reminded of the Vevekacudamani Sloka that says 
ajnaate pare tatve shaastraadeestu nishphalaa}vijnaatepi pare tatve shaastraadeesty nishpalaa}Thus study of scriptures is useless if one is ajnaani or jnaani. - Obviously the superficial meaning will give wrong guidance, since the very fact the rest of the text provides exhaustive analysis of the scriptures. 

I must admit that some of these question-answers by Bhagavan can mislead the students - as it appears to be happening as we see since many think that the study of scriptures is useless or not needed and one can sit down and inquire - who am I, and gain the knowledge.
What is essentially required is to understand clearly without a doubt 1. Brahma statyam, 2. jagat mithyaa and 3. aham brahmaasmi. 
Shakara says - anena vedyam tat shaastram, iti vedanta DinDimaH - Hence he has defined what is shaastram - if the three understood - one way or the other. 

The difficult part and I am sure many of us agree is to abide in the knowledge - or jnaana nishTaa. 

The rest of discussion, however logical or illogical has no bearing.
Just my 2c On this topic.
Hari Om!Sadananda

      From: Ravi Kiran via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 To: श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com> 
Cc: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2016 2:59 PM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?

Just few thoughts on this entire thread :

It is said by Bhagavan Sri Krishna that .. ShraddhAvan labhate jnAnam

Having shraddhA is an important aspect from the seeker's perspective and
at the same time, most difficult to get, mind being saMshayAtmaka and
fickle natured.

It is only through aquaintance of a mahApurusha in some way or exposure to
such great soul's teachings,
that one gets interest towards AdhyAtmika vicAra and having such exposure
is rare,
as told in vivekachUDAmanI -

manushyatvam mumukShutvam mahApurushasamsrayam – durlabham – daiva

For many, it is quite possible that through such mahAtma's influence in
some way (Sri Ramana Maharshi,
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Sarada Devi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
etc), belief's in such Teachings,
eventually one gets shraddhA and/or interest and/or opportunity in study of
scriptures (knowing its importance) from a shrotrIya (Brahma nishThA). It
is very rare, that one gets shraddhA in Sruti directly at start, without
any path traversal ..

The logic based discussions (categorizing a Sage as GYAni or not, is his
GYAna based on
sruti pramANA etc) such as the current thread has the potential of blocking
or hitting at the
root of the seeker's shraddhA in AdhyAtma or create disturbance in their
belief's and
one can possibly lose interest in AdhyAtma mArga itself (if one can no
longer hold onto one's
belief strongly to move forward nor hop onto the traditional system)..

I am pointing to the entire discussion on this thread starting from the
initial post (as controversial)

If one has the knowledge to refute all these opinions and continue on one's
path in a steadfast
manner, it is fine. If not, if it is based on devotion to a mahAtma or
belief in such teachings and
getting introduced to advaita, the negations or refutations, seeding
doubts, may have a counter effect
on such seekers, which may potentially affect a seeker.

At the same time, for many of the members, such critical reasoning in
advaita is a good learning benefit as well.
Since this list may have a mix of audience, at all levels (beginner in this
path to GYAni's/AchArya's, it is up to one's decision/discretion to chose
the topic to start the discussions and share your understandings.

If the same discussion (such as the current topic here) happens within a
vidvat goshti
( meeting a minimum common level) , chances of buddhi bhEdha are less ..

However, if one opines, it is up to the audience, to chose which thread to
read and which to discard, the audience
to use their discretion, have nothing more to say :)

Just my 2c,


On Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM, श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <
lalitaalaalitah at lalitaalaalitah.com> wrote:

> That's fine with me. I don't have to conclude that ramaNa was GYAnI. The
> condition of doubt is more favorable for me.
> On Sat, 1 Oct 2016 09:20 Ravi Kiran, <ravikiranm108 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Namaste,
>> On Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 1:43 AM, श्रीमल्ललितालालितः via Advaita-l <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > Ø    Yes, that is why I said jnana of the particular jnAni is his
>> > hrudaya spandana and acknowledging that in any particular person is
>> > subjective decision of his/her followers.
>> >
>> You have to understand that I was accepting other's point of view
>> apparently and then questioning their claim about ramaNa being GYAnI. Try
>> to relate the answer to the logic which others provided.
>> >  Ø    In the brahma jignAsa  (unlike dharma jignAsa)  shAstra is not
>> the
>> > sole pramANa anubhavAdhyascha too valid pramANa says shankara…If the
>> > anubhava of ‘deathlessness’ of Atman to ramaNa is in line with shruti
>> > pramANa can we discard it just it is not the result of shruti vAkya
>> janita
>> > or pramANa janita jnana prabhuji ??
>> >
>> I'm questioning the cause of anubhava he had? First of all, I'm not sure
>> that the anubhava he had was same as that which is generated by shruti.
>> Second, how could he get that result without pramANa.
>> If there is lack of information (whether one(A) has admitted that jnAna
>> had, is through Sruti pramANa or not) and in the absence of such
>> information (if one (A) has not admitted through one's own words/writings
>> that jnAna is not through Sruti pramANa. Note: there is no admission that
>> one(A) has not been exposed to Sruti texts through one's life either), how
>> can any one(B) categorize another one(A) as not jnAni or advaitin, as jnAna
>> is svasaMvedya ? It can't be established either way through logic?
>> Based on such a one's (A) describing his experience about one's (A) own
>> absorption in the Self experience, another yogi (X) or jnAni (Y) or Z
>> reading such texts may interpret accordingly and such interpretation
>> (pramA) is vyakti-niShTA knowledge (from A's point, such interpretation may
>> be true or false, but from X or Y or Z standpoint, it is true only). Now,
>> some one (C) may say, all such interpretations ( X or Y or Z) are beliefs,
>> since there is no clear information available about A's jnAna prApti. That
>> is fine. But, one(B or C) cannot conclude/establish A, as not
>> jnAni/advaitin either.
>> Thanks
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