[Advaita-l] Karma yoga: the kinder, softer preparation for self-inquiry and surrender

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Fri Mar 12 09:21:53 EST 2021

On Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 2:36 AM H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com>

> Namaste.
> << On Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 9:14 AM Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Show me *any* quote in *any* of Ramana's works that support the suggestion
> that
> physical sannyasa is a necessity. I'm genuinely curious >>,
> Really curious?  Then why insist on written or spoken evidence for his
> opinion. It is like missing the Wood for the trees.The Maharshi  has shown
> by his renunciation what  he deems to be essential. If to such a person
> people go and ask ** Is renunciation (physical as is being termed here)
> essential **, what is he expected to say.
He's expected to say it's necessary if he believes it to be necessary. He
advocated vegetarianism, for example.

But in fact he says the opposite in many places. Just to give a couple of

>From *Letters from Ramanasram*, a questioner says:

Q: “The reasons for these interruption [in my practice] is the samsara
(family), is not it? I am therefore thinking of abandoning the samsara.”
M: “Oh! Is that so? What really is meant by samsara? Is it within or
Q: "Wife, children and others..."
M: "Supposing you leave your wife and children. If you are here this will
become another kind of samsara. Supposing you take to sannyasa. Another
kind of samsara comes into existence in the shape of a karra (walking
stick), kamandalu (water bowl) and the like. Why all that? Samsara means
samsara of the mind. If you leave that samsara, it will be the same thing
wherever you are. Nothing troubles you."

Later, in the same work:

Q: “Before beginning the Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’, is it necessary to give
up all actions (Karma Sannyasa)?”
M: “What is your idea of sannyasa? Sitting, getting up, going about, and
eating, are karmas (actions). Of these which are you going to give up? That
is why ancients say, when they talk of Karma Sannyasa , ‘First give up the
feeling that you are the doer’.”
Q: *“Sankaracharya gave prominence to Karma Sannyasa.”*
M: “Yes, he did. But then, even he did karma (action). He went from one
place to another and from village to village and established the doctrine
of Advaita (non-duality). At that time, there were no railways. He went on
foot. Is not all that karma? The meaning is, when a person becomes a Jnani,
nothing affects him, whatever he may do. He does everything for the welfare
of the world. He, the Jnani, gives up only the feeling of ego namely that
he is doing everything.

Maharshi then goes on to quote relevant verses of the Gita and says: "That
is the meaning. Hence Karma Sannyasa means, one should know the difference
between attributes of the senses and the attributes of karma, and with that
knowledge remain desireless and, at the same time unattached to all actions
and conduct oneself as only a witness. That is Karma Sannyasa. *There is
not much use in mere outward sannyasa*.”

Couldn't be any clearer.

Akilesh Ayyar
Spiritual guidance - https://www.siftingtothetruth.com/

> He correctly assesses that the questioner is not mature enough and hence
> advises on what is best for him in his current state of maturity. And
> obviously that is not sanyAsa. The advise if followed properly,at least
> over a period of time leads him to the right path. And that is sanyAsa. Sri
> Raghav Ji has aptly pointed this out in his post copied below.
> <<  3. Sri Ramana adopted a 'kinder softer' version of the self-enquiry
> approach for householders by encouraging them to practise wherever they
> were and not merely outwardly renounce things. For such grihasthas, he
> discouraged any inorganic outward lifestyle changes and stressed surrender
> and developing an attitude of non-doership. (An attitude of non-doership is
> different from knowledge of non-doership.)
> 4. But He adopted a much 'tougher' upadesha for those who were living near
> him in the nivRtti mArga, such as the disciples mentioned under point 2.
> For example he deftly deflected young Balaram Reddy from getting married.
> And told another brahmachari Annamalai Swami to consume just one piece of
> coconut, a piece of dried mango, and a few groundnuts a day for
> purification mind and body. The idea is, no "Janaka-logic" of rationalizing
> outer luxurious life while claiming 'freedom from doership' was
> countenanced by Bhagavan for his disciples in category 2. Again, When
> Bhagavan's nephew Vishwanatha Swami expressed his desire to renounce his
> other pursuits and stick to a naiShThika brahmacharya life of outer
> renunciation, he endorsed it >>.
> Regards

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