[Advaita-l] BSB Discussion - Prerequisites

Ravi ravi at ambaa.org
Fri Jun 27 19:09:09 CDT 2003

(Please discard my previous post as it is not complete, I hit the wrong 
key and neomail sent the message. Please discard it and read the 
following. I am sorry for that error.)


I did take note of all your comments on this matter. 

1) It is true that if the prerequisites are not met, desired results 
will not be achieved. In some situations (typically in upaasana-s) 
there may be also contrary results. 

2) Acharya himself discusses what are the necessary prerequisites in  
the context of explaining the word "atha" in the 1st suutra.  This is 
repeated almost in  similar words in vivekachuuDaamani verses 

saadhanaanyatra chatvaari kathitaani maniishhibhiH .
yeshhu sat{}sveva sannishhThaa yadabhaave na sidhyati .. 18..

aadau nityaanityavastuvivekaH parigaNyate .
ihaamutraphalabhogaviraagastadanan{}taram.h .
shamaadishhaT.hkasampattirmumukshutvamiti sphuTam.h .. 19..

In the commentary itself (see 

"... | ucyate  nityaanityavastuvivekaH, ihamutraarthabhogaviragaH, 
shamadamaadisaadhanasampat, mumuxutvaM ca | ..." 

By "na sidhyati", yes it is indicated one will not succeed it brahma 
jij~naasa.  But this process is highly nonlinear. For instance, in yoga 
if someone says let me first succeed in yama and niyama, the go to 
others. Rarely that will happen. Perfection in yama such as ahimsa can 
be attained only by an advanced yogi.   As Swami Vivekananda points out 
in one of his lectures that some degree of success in the latter steps 
in necessary to become better in yama and niyama.

I think same holds true to what is said here as prerequisites. From my 
personal experience, I have studied only iishaavaasyopanishhad 
bhaashyaa with some attention (and compared with raghavendra's work to 
see what dvaitins think). Whenever thoughts of anger and hatred try to 
overpower me, I think of verses such as yastu sarvaaNi bhuutaani (along 
with few other things), it definitely helps me to get to correct 
perspective. I need this help even when I am not a sannyaasi. My 
implicit trust that upanishhad that it is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, enables 
me to overcome (at least temporarily) the negative thoughts.

3) I do not worry much about whether other members makes errors or not. 
I do make them. And I am learning to correct them. These days I dont 
even read even printed books assuming they are correct. If someone 
thinks what is posted on the list is all correct, it is his problem.

4) Making mistakes openly here has an advantage of someone stepping in 
to point it out. It is better than reading just by oneself. 

5) As I mentioned in the first post 

a) I am going to start a discussion and coordinate -- that is -- I am 
not going to discuss it all by myself. I hope to get a lot of help from 
others. b) I am going to make my contribution brief and going to base 
in on few books and the text on IITK site.  I will post the reference 
of the books I intend to use soon. I have only two at this moment and I 
am planning to get the book by gambhiraananda soon. 

6) Whether we like it or not, people quote these books a lot in many 
discussions. NOt knowing is a big disadvantage. At least an ordinary 
knowledge of our aacharya's bhaashhya is better than not having it. 

7) It should be a matter of common sense that people should know that a 
e-mail list will not replace or remove the need of guidance and 
learning under  a teacher. 

Your corrections are welcome. More importantly, I request your  
contributions to the discussion. I will be even more happy if you agree 
to coordinate the discussion instead of me.

Thank you.


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