Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sat Aug 16 12:07:05 CDT 1997

Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

>I may not thinks of Shankaracharya as the pope but I repect him enough to
>actually read what he has to say and I have done it in the original
>Sanskrit not relying on potentially misleading translations.
>Shankaracharya is unequivocal.  Jnana and Karma are utterly distinct and
>cannot be combined in any way.  This idea is hammered home time and time
>again in all his major works.  Look it up and see for yourself.

Jaldhar, I have read many works of shrI sha.nkara and shrI sureshvara
and know quite well that GYAna and karma cannot be combined. All I said
was in a few and rare cases GYAna may be obtained without going through
the physical Ashrama of sannyAsa. shrI sha.nkara very clearly says so in
his BG bhAshhya and also in the BSB. References were provided and please
do look it up. Read the orginal sanskrit itself. It's the same shrI
sha.nkara you are also quoting. You have said nothing about those
quotes, except that shrI sha.nkara is not the pope.

If you are saying that these exceptions should not be used as an excuse
to be a householder, yes I fully agree. Actually in many cases GYAni-s
do karma so that the ignorant are not misled. Take H.H abhinava
vidyAtIrtha mahAsvAmigaL for example. H.H told one disciple that when
his guru taught him the upanishhad-s etc, he thought "Oh, the
upanishhad-s are saying the same thing what I already experienced". Why
should such a person do chandramaulIshvara pUjA, etc with atmost
diligence? It's only to set a example to disciples that he did so. Once
a person asked Ramana Maharshi, how he as a person who always taught
ajAti vAda could write poems on aruNAchaleshvara and asked if it was for
setting an example to others. He answered in the affirmative. If you
don't want to believe these two persons, Ishvara makes it amply clear in
the BG.

All in all, I find your method of argument rather strange. You don't
hesitate to quote shrI sha.nkara et al when they agree with your views.
When they do not, you claim that they are not the "pope". All in all you
seem to think that you yourself are the highest authority. Either that
or there is some other advaitin who has written bhAshhya-s on the
prathAnatrayI whose views are the same as yours. To be an Acharya, one
has to either write bhAshhya-s on the prasthAnatrayI or one's teachings
should conform to the views of a person who has written bhAshhya-s on
the prasthAnatrayI. If there is one, it's not anyone any of us have
heard of. I am talking about your views on sannyAsa, brahmaloka and many
others here.


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