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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Fri Mar 19 09:38:41 EDT 2021

Namaste Venkat,

On Fri, Mar 19, 2021 at 6:57 AM Ven Balakrishnan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Apologies, I am joining the discussion late.  But I noted that someone
> asked where has Ramanamaharishi ever stated that renunciation is necessary.
> In Guru Vachaka Kovai, the most authentic collection from his talks, which
> he himself proofed:
> 828: The path of sannyasa is like treading on slippery ground. Even if a
> slip only occurs in the mind, great harm is still sure to result.  It is
> therefore the duty of the person who Is walking on the slippery ground of
> sannyaa to ensure, by vigilance, that the perfidious pramada does not gain
> clandestine access into his heart.

Yet Maharshi has defined, in this very same book, what sannyasa actually

162: "He who has destroyed the ego is alone the true Sannyasin, and the
true Brahmin; but, hard indeed is the complete destruction of the heavy
burden of the ego borne by those Sannyasins who feel “I belong to the
highest ashrama” and by those brahmins who feel “I belong to the highest

It is not defined by ashrama, it is defined by mindset.

> 829: It is impossible for anyone to determine definitively his lifespan.
> Therefore for the jivas who are trying hard to attain the powerful state of
> kaivalyam, it is most beneficial to renounce the world without delay, at
> the very moment that aversion to the body and the world arises.

Maharshi has defined in this same book the real meaning of renunciation,

840: "Know that, rather than one’s thinking in the heart ‘I have renounced
everything’, one’s not thinking ‘I am limited to the measure of the body,
and I am caught in the mean bondage of family life’, is a superior

> 830: Just as a ripened fruit separates effortlessly from the tree and
> falls, when a sadhaka who is aiming to merge his mind in the supreme
> attains maturity, he will definitely renounce family life as unsalted gruel
> unless his unfavourable prarabdha stands in the way

"...*unless his unfavourable prarabhda stands in the way*." Meaning

a) it will not necessarily happen, even for the most sincere seekers
b) it is not required for realization

> 831: Only those who have extricated themselves from the multitude of
> things that, like a dream, appear within them, by regarding those things as
> mere imagination, will root out the deception, the illusory corruption.
> None of the others willl know the means to put an end to that corruption.

And 837: "For those who have made the rarest renunciation, that of the ego,
nothing remains to be renounced."

Again, the real renunciation is the mind.

Look at all of Maharshi's other texts: his 40 verses and supplement, his
upadesa saram, and all of his many talks, and you will find the views there
consistent with what I have said.

> And he goes on with further verses.
> For Ramanamaharishi, who viewed the world as entirely unreal, renunciation
> would natural - like a ripe fruit falling - as understanding accumulated.
> However for him, there was no point in mere physical renunciation without
> mental renunciation as well.  Hence if someone had to ask whether to
> renounce, then the mere fact of asking showed that s/he was not ready for
> renunciation - so why confuse or add to the mental burden of such a
> seeker.  And as Krishna notes in BG, only the very rare seeker attains
> jnana - hence for the majority of us, we still have to perform sadhanas as
> best as possible . . . until we are ready.

That's a distortion of Maharshi's views. Maharshi would say what was true
if someone asked him directly. People asked him if being vegetarian was
good. He responded that it was. People asked him if inquiry was good -- he
would say that it was, whether or not they were "qualified" to do it per
"traditional" advaita guidelines.

Maharshi didn't lie about his positions for the so-called "benefit" of the
seeker when asked directly. And he was asked directly about physical
sannyasa several times, and responded in each case in the same way, that it
was not necessary, that the mental thing was what was essential.

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

> venkat
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