[Advaita-l] Samnyasa and Sankara's position?
ayyar at akilesh.com
Fri Apr 12 09:36:43 EDT 2019
On Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 4:36 AM Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
> 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
> *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
> 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.
Yes, these examples are persuasive as to Sankara's overall view. But in the
Aitaraya excerpts *specifically* he seems to be saying something different.
He poses no exceptions and does not soften his language. He does not say
it's merely *beneficial* to take sannyasa; he says in no other station is
It's also says -- and this is very interesting -- that a jnani, whatever
his ashrama was before, *always* becomes a sannyasi, because to stay a
householder requires desire that is no longer present post-jnana.
Again, these are very cut-and-dry, definitive statements.
You can certainly and correctly bring up counterexamples -- no doubt -- but
this particular text seems quite rigid, that's all I'm saying. So perhaps
bhAshyakAra is a touch inconsistent.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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