[Advaita-l] Samnyasa and Sankara's position?

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Fri Apr 12 04:36:43 EDT 2019

May I ask how you would interpret the Aitareya introduction excerpts that I posted? I would be quite interested to know. Particularly these quotes:

Not so... the constant habit of resorting to any particular house of one's own is prompted by desire. When there is no clinging to any particular house of one's own, there follows begging alone, as a matter of course...


From the fact that a fresh injunction of renunciation, despite its emergence as a matter of course (as in the case of a man of illumination), is met with [footnote: In Br. Up. III v. I. etc. -- 'Knowing this very Self, the Brahmanas renounce...and lead a mendicant life."] ,it becomes evident that it is obligatory for the man of illumination. And monasticism is obligatory even for the unillumined soul that hankers after emancipation. ... Besides, such means for the realization of the Self as physical and mental control etc. are incompatible with other stages of life."

It seems that Sankara is saying that both jnanis and seekers -- the jnanis because they lack desire and it will be automatic; the second because physical/mental control are not otherwise possible -- must undertake sannyasa. No?

praNAms Sri Akilesh Ayyar prabhuji
Hare Krishna

As I told you, in the sannyasa Ashrama shama, dama etc. very easy to practice hence there is insistence about Ashrama sannyasa or sarva karma sannyasa as a kartavya.  If you are really a serious mumukshu, ready to renounce everything for the sake of Atma jnana then take Ashrama sannyasa and practice the sarva karma sannyasa.  But we should always keep in mind that for the mOksha avidyA is the hindrance, to get rid of avidyA what is needed, obviously the vidyA.  Now this vidyA can happen only after taking sarva karma sannyasa ??  I don’t think so, though bhAshyakAra in some places insists sannyasa as vidhi, he does not anywhere say, jnana is particular AshramAdheena here in this case sannyasa Ashrama.  And apart from that shankara talks about jnAni- like vidura, janaka, etc. who are gruhasthA-s, shUdra, stree etc. are too mOkshAdhikAri-s  who donot have adhikAra to take Ashrama sannyasa and atyAshrami jnAni-s as well.  And when talking about jnana sAdhana he insist about sAdhana chatushtaya before doing brahma jignAsa and direct sAdhana (pratyaksha) recommended like shAstra shravaNa, manana and nidhidhyAsana….In all these stages shankara does not talk about mandatory sveekAra of Ashrama sannyasa.  And in Upanishad also while uddAlaka preaching the brahma vidyA to shvetaketu, yama to nachiketa, yAjnAvalkya to janaka and gArgi Ashrama sannyasa was not insisted.  vAmadeva realized his svarUpa when he was in mother’s womb.  Arjuna being a khastriya declared as jnAni by shankara in Geeta bhAshya.  So, there are possibilities to gain jnana even without formally taking the sarva karma sannyasa or Ashrama saNyAsa. But as you pointed out above, the most ideal atmosphere for doing the brahma jignAsa is available mostly  in  sannyasa Ashrama but bhAshyakAra does not deny the jnana to the gruhastha-s vidura-vyAdha, kings like janaka, arjuna.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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