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

Ven Balakrishnan ventzu at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Mar 21 05:27:59 EDT 2021


First, Bhagavan never talked at the Ajata Vada level - at most he went to the DSV level - because nothing can be said at the AV level.  Even to talk of a jivanmukta has moved away from the AV level.  Further your contention has been that a jivanmukta continues to have thoughts / vasanas / ego.  Bhagavan’s  comments unambiguously counter that position.  If you still maintain that he is talking at the AV level, then logically any jnani will be at the level, and so will have the no-thoughts / egoless attributes that Bhagavan describes.

Second, Ulladu Narpadu's very first verse begins with “Because we see the world . . .”, so conceding that we have duality, he then goes about explaining how to overcome it.  Verse 31 that I quoted talks about a jivanmukta - hence Lakshmana Sarma can write "The difference between the states of a jnani and an ajnani is due to the presence or absence of the ego-sense”.

Third, in GVK Muruganar also concedes a world appearance writing "the implication is that the life of mauna in which the mind is dead is alone truly living as a human being.”

Fourth in Nan Yar verse 10, and throughout his teaching Bhagavan emphasises self-attention as a way of attenuating thoughts.  Elsewhere he has commented:

"Self-realisation is the cessation of thoughts and all mental activity.  Their (thoughts) annihilation must be the aim.  To be free from them is purity.  People are deluded by the confusing of the conscious Self with the insentient body; this delusion must cease.  No effort is needed to realise the Self, just remove the delusion.  Absence of thought does not mean a void.  There must be one to know the void.”

Dear Vinodh

I agree with you - people have a tendency to jump onto the idea of non-doership / non-enjoyership, and thereby believe they can continue to have desires, ‘knowing’ that they are really consciousness, and not the doer / enjoyer.  TBH though, I think this is less of an issue for Ramanamaharishi’s followers because of his focus on self-enquiry / self-attention.

I’ve encountered this argument more with the followers of some of the teachers of ’traditional’ advaita.  I think because they emphasise knowledge of sruti as equating to jnana, and Sankara’s comments that knowledge is all that is necessary to remove ignorance.  But as you imply, Sankara’s views on the attainment of knowledge were far more nuanced than simply knowledge from reading / listening.

Best wishes.

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