[Advaita-l] Recent debates

ken knight hilken_98 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 26 05:18:51 CDT 2003

--- "Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [IT]"
<sundararaman.v.subrahmanian at citigroup.com> wrote:
> Regarding recent debates:
> =========================
> While individually many may have
> studied the upanishads, as a list there is not a
> single upanishad that has been discussed completely.
>  I feel that should be the first step.  Kena with
> two commentaries by Sri Shankara is a good start. 
> It is small, pithy and thought provoking.  I am
> saying for the "list" in general to follow the right
> sequence.
> In Vedanta, I have found that you can get only as
> much as you want to know.  Not a drop gets into the
> head (heart) by repeatedly reading.  If we don't
> have questions, merely reading BSB will not stick in
> one's head.  Kena upanishad provokes us to ask the
> right questions and if we start there, we can
> motivate ourselves to churn ideas within and thereby
> get more out of our discussions.  Kena is only a
> suggestion, other upanishads also are thought
> provoking.

Namaste all,

'1.	Willed by whom does the directed mind go towards
its object? Being directed by whom does the vital
force, that precedes all, proceed (towards its duty)?
By whom is this speech willed that people utter? Who
is the effulgent being who directs the eyes and the
ears?'  Kena Upanishad.

Last year I was having a private daily study of the
Kena Upanishad when a request appeared on the
(advaitin) site from someone who wanted to study that
Upanishad.  Seeing this as a rather fortuitous event I
offered to post my own thoughts. The original
questioner soon disappeared and some good discussion
followed before it was 'hi-jacked' by someone with
strong opinions.
Following that I sent my notes to Swami Bodhananda for
comment and I still have his reply.

Now 'coincidence' comes again. Yesterday I was
visiting a lady who, in the last two months has had
her mother die the week before Aruna, my friend,
entered hospital for major surgery. A few days out of
hospital and her husband of 36 years died after a
heart attack. Then she herself had a 'stroke' and has
only recently recovered her speech.
As a lady of deep devotion and outstanding service in
her life she is presently crying frequently and
plagued by the question 'Why?' It is only over the
past two years that she has begun to enter onto a
jnani path.
Although she has many Indian friends here in the UK,
she regards my own limited study of Vedanta to be her
link with the teachings of India so our conversation
rests in the sruti.
I suggested that she replaced the question 'Why?',
which only leads to a cycle of cause and effect, by
the question 'By whose will is it?'
She accepted willingly therefore that we should study
the Kena Upanishad together as she is not familiar
with this.
Then, today I read the above posting.
I would be very grateful if we could take up this
study on this site. I could post the previous study
purely to set out my own understanding at that time
but it may be better to begin afresh.  Having said
that, I am aware of my own limitations in both
knowledge of Sanskrit and advaita, and would request
that you would welcome a 'toddler' into your more
mature discussion.

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