rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sun Jun 30 13:39:36 CDT 1996
This is going to be my last post on this subject. Please read my statements
carefully before refuting my statements on ramaNa. I have read almost every
publication from the ramanaashram gazillion times and in expositions of ramaNa,
people usually neglect to add qualifiers to their statements. It's important to
read the talks and ramaNa's own works etc to get a whole picture.
> Sri Ramakrishna even said that anyone dying in Benaras would become Shiva.
> But if that were the case, why did he not encourage his own disciples to
> stay put in Benaras till their death? I doubt if Sri Ramakrishna meant such
> statements "philosophically". For example, when he was talking about Krishna
> and the Gopis, Vivekananda (then allegedly an atheist) "proved" that Krishna
> not a historical character. Sri Ramakrishna said,"But in writing about
> the author of the Bhagavatam had to experience all that the Gopis went
> In that sense, Krishna did exist for him." IMHO, all that Sri Ramakrishna
> from his disciples/devotees was faith and renunciation. As he himself said,"If
> you have faith, you have everything."
Anyone living in thiruvaNNaamalai gets salvation according to the skanda. "Such
is the order of Shiva" - by ramaNa. The point is that only people whose
prarabdha allows staying in thiruvaNNaamalai get to stay there. Try however you
may, you won't be able to do it unless your prarabdha allows it. Same goes for
dying in Benares. ramaNa has said that whether one believes it or not living in
thiruvaNNaamalai grants realization.
> > My point is very simple:
> > ramaNa has explicitly said "there is only _one_ path and there is only _one_
> > goal", on a question about various paths. The only path is self-enquiry.
> > are also quite valid as they lead to purification of the mind, and
> > automatically _result_ in self enquiry. This has been said _explicitly_ by
> > ramaNa without any ambiguity whatsoever.
> I do remember a posting in the SRH (by Ken) which said how RamaNa also
> recommended surrendering to the Guru. ("Either enquire into the self, or admit
> your own inability and surrender to God or to the Guru. God or the Guru never
> forsakes the devotee who comes for refuge".)
You forgot to notice "Others are also quite valid as they lead to purification
of the mind, and automatically _result_ in self enquiry.". This holds true for
surrender also. Complete surrender is synonymous with realization, which
results from enquiry _only_. This point is quite clear from the talks.
> Definitely, sharaNaagati is _not_ self-enquiry. Rather, the former is to rely
> upon "someone else", the latter is to rely upon "yourself". I'll be more
> surrender places emphasis on "Thou", and self-enquiry places emphasis on "I".
Complete surrender = realization according to ramaNa. He has also said partial
surrender will lead to complete surrender to one Maharani who visited him.
> Even in the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is quite advaitic in some parts (there
> two advaitic commentaties on the Bhagavatam; one is by a ShrIdhara SvAmin),
> bhakti is repeatedly stressed. I think it even says how those who are inclined
> towards bhakti should not orient themselves towards GYAna.
It may be so as you say. I am not very well read about Ramakrishna. However the
fact is that his quotes on samaadhi directly contradict both ramaNa and
shaMkara. This does not mean he was not an advaitin. Various advaitins have
contradicted each other.
> I distinctly remember RamaNa recommending Bhakti in his "talks".
> What exactly is the advaitic notion of Bhakti?
ramaNa has also recommended praaNaayaama and hatha yoga. He recommended
iishvara aaraadhana for mind control also. Complete absorption in the self =
realization = bhakti according to ramaNa. This bhakti is different from the
usual concept of bhakti. In other words the JNaani is alone a bhakta.
> > ramaNa has explicitly said that he is always in sahaja samadhi (or permanent
> > nirvikalpa samadhi), again contrary to Ramakrishna.
> There are so many "contradictions" in advaita more glaring than that. In the
> last verse of the GauDapaadIya kaarikaa,"On realizing the non-dual state,
> is profound...we salute it to the best of our ability." If the state were
> non-dual, how can there be any "saluting" at all?
You are introducing straw men into the argument un-necessarily. The gauDapaada
kaarikaa has to be read as a whole to understand it. Not, random quotes from it
Note: In the above, I am merely quoting ramaNa. The statements about complete
surrender=realization has not been realized by me.
> As P.T.Raju has pointed out," `sarvaM khalu idaM brahma' (everything is
> is vastly different from `neti, neti' (not this, not this)."
Different only in words. The idea behind both is _exactly_ the same, whether
P.T.Raju agrees or not (whoever he may be).
> scripture says "You are that" The Self is intimate to you and you can not
> indeed be without the Self. Realise it. That is the Realisation of
> Brahman also.
> Disciple : But I am unable to do it. I am too weak to realise my Self.
> Maharshi : In that case surrender yourself unreservedly and the Higher
> power will reveal Itself.
Says everything that needs to be said. In another place he has said the same
thing and that surrender will lead automatically to enquiry.
> My thoughts are that the complete surrender is different from
> surrender. For example, you do a job to the best of your ability. If you
I think we are in complete agreement here. Thanks for the quotes.
> Regarding teachings, most of the teachings are disciple-specific.
> Q: " If it be true that the Guru is one's own Self (atman), what is
> the principle underlying the doctrine which says that however learned
> a disciple may be or whatever occult powers he may possess, he cannot
> attain self-realization (atma-siddhi) without the grace of the Guru? "
> Ramana Maharshi: " Although in absolute truth the state of the Guru is
> that of oneself it is very hard for the Self which has become the
> individual soul (jiva) through ignorance to realise its true state or
> nature without the grace of the Guru.
> All mental concepts are controlled by the mere presence of the real
> Guru. If he were to say to one who arrogantly claims that he has seen
> the further shore of the ocean of learning or one who claims
> arrogantly than he can perform deeds which are well-nigh impossible,
> 'Yes, you learnt all that is to be learnt, but have you learnt (to
> know) yourself? And you who are capable of performing deeds which are
> almost impossible, have you seen yourself?', they will bow their heads
> (in shame) and remain silent. Thus it is evident that only by the
> grace of the Guru and by no other accomplishment is it possible to
> know oneself. " *
Fine. But it does not contradict my quote from ramaNa that there is only one
path and only one goal. In other places ramaNa has said tantrik saadhana leads
to realization. All paths are good for purification of the mind, which result
in self-enquiry. This is the statement of ramaNa. Note that ramaNa used "grace"
in a different sense from what is usually perceived. He has said "Grace is
always present. It is upto one to take it." This should have been added to the
above statement to make his teachings perfectly clear. The above statement
which you give, taken alone, may give a totally different idea from what ramaNa
actually meant. The statement of his "Grace is always present. ...", makes it
crystal clear, what he meant.
Two monks were arguing about a flag. One said, "The flag is moving." The other
said, "The wind is moving." The sixth patriarch happened to be passing by. He
told them, "Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving." - The Gateless Gate
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