[Advaita-l] The Saint of Sringeri - Method of Teaching

Divya Meedin divyameedin at gmail.com
Sat Jun 9 09:28:51 EDT 2018

Though His Holiness (Jagadguru Sri Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal
of Sringeri Sharada Peetam ) was an adept in the intricacies of Hindu logic
and philosophy and was a very good dialectician Himself, He did not like
that anybody should engage himself in any wordy fight merely for the sake
of the pleasure of it. Once when a gentleman had taken the trouble to write
out a detailed answer to the objections raised by the head of a Madhva Mutt
to the doctrine of Advaita, His Holiness asked him ‘ ‘ Has our Acharya
anywhere laid down that such as those are any means to a realisation of the
goal of life ? Why have you wasted your time and energy in this  endeavour
? It is really a work of hatred and bound to provoke more hatred. While our
Acharya has asked us to give up Raga (passion) and Dvesha (hatred)
completely, you are trying to give them a place even in the field of
religion. I do not wish to be troubled with such works.”
His Holiness would say “ Why should people quarrel about the nature of the
Absolute Being ? If we are content to believe that the Being has a form, we
are at present far far away even from His feet; and the path to attain
those feet is yet to be trodden by us all. When we are at the end of that
path and if, by the grace of that Being, we are enabled to have a vision of
His glorious face, it will be time enough then to look Him in the face and
ascertain whether He is wearing on His forehead holy ashes or the trident
mark or any- thing at all and whether He can be called Siva, Narayana, or
by any other name. Why should we wrangle over it now? What does it matter
to us in the stage in which we are at present situated whether the highest
truth is absolute non-dualism, qualified non-dualism or dualism? The path
of Dharma is broad enough for all of us to travel along; each according to
the Dharma prescribed for him; when we. have advanced far enough in this
long and arduous road and are on the threshold of the final goal, it will
be time enough to consider the true nature of the Absolute Being”.
His advice was therefore usually confined to such simple admonitions as
Remember God, Perform your daily ablutions, Do not hanker after riches, Be
content. Preserve an attitude of detachment and so on.
“ It may seem strange to you when I ask you to remember God. You occupy
high positions in life and arc learned in our sacred lore. Is it not
improper on my part to ask you to remember God? It will certainly bo
improper if I ask yon to do so when ou are feeling the presence of God.
Does not the existence of so in my courts m vour town, of so many documents
to evidence transactions, of so many offices to register those documents,
and in fact every other dealing of yours, proclaim not only that you do not
remember God but have completely forgotten His existence?
This may seem a very elementary teaching but people require it the most
If you honestly believo in the Law of Karma and honestly believe that pain
and pleasure are both the results of antecedent Karma, and if you do
actually get one of them, namely, pain without .the least attempt or.
intention on your part to get it, why do you-'long for and work for the
other, pleasure, alone? "Will it not come of its own aocord if you have
merited it by your past karma and will it ever come to you in spite of your
most earnest efforts now, if you have not merited it already? Why do you
waste your time and energy in this futile endeavour? Spend them in
accumulating the store of virtue to enable you to lead a higher and better
life in other regions or in future births or, better still, spend them in
trying to eliminate birth altogether, for if you happen to take birth again
I feel sure that you will not find then even the few facilities which, yon
now have for spiritual uplift.”

Excerpted from the chapter 'Method of Teaching' from the book The Saint of
Sringeri' written by Sri Jnanananda Bharati Swamigal on His Holiness
Jagadguru Sri Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal of Sringeri Sharada

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