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

Ven Balakrishnan ventzu at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Mar 22 04:46:12 EDT 2021

Dear H S Chandramouli

I made the observation that Sankara had written: “therefore the knowledge of this Self, by the process of neti, neti and the renunciation of everything are the only means of attaining immortality”, and SSSS’ comments on baalya and mouna as the total rejection with disdain of any perceptual or conceptual knowledge of the not-self).  There is a logic to why neti, neti and renunciation go together.

In Nan Yar (Who am I?) Ramana writes in his second para:

“I am not this physical body, nor the five organs of perception; not the five organs of activity, nor the five vital forces, nor even the thinking mind. Neither am I that unconscious state of nescience which retains merely the subtle vastness, while being free from functional activity of the sense organs and mind.
Therefore summarily rejecting all the above-mentioned as ’not I, not I’, that which then remains separate and alone by itself, that pure Awareness is what I am.”

This teaching of Ramana is not something other than what Sankara has said.  Scriptures bring a person who is caught in the ignorance to understand step by step - from creation to non-creation -  ’neti, neti’, the best that words can do to describe Brahman.  Ramana is saying that that neti, neti has then to be applied, each time a desire, a fear, an egoistic thought arises; until that I-thought no longer arises.  That is abidance in the Self, mouna.  Sankara says as much as set out in the first para above.

Best wishes.

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