[Advaita-l] RE: Books by Ramesh S Balsekar

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 28 15:14:07 CST 2005

hariH Om !!

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> I see you are trying to strike a balance. But my
> feeling is that it's
> quite difficult, if not impossible.
> The reason being advaita vedAnta and the goal mokSha
> are
> indistinguishable (at least if you belong to this
> school). GYaanaadeva
> tu kaivalyam. 

How do you know that you do not get jnAna by listening
to teachers like Ramesh ? Atleast six people have
claimed to have got final understanding after
following Ramesh's teaching. If I were to trust some
sage who is dead and gone, reason makes me believe
these declarations also.

> So as sha.nkara remarks in his
> introduction to the
> prashna bhAShya, GYAna is obtained only going to the
> traditional
> teachers who can almost be called sarvaGYa
> (sarvaGYa-kalpita) like
> pippalAda, and not by going to anyone (kenacit). 

Sri Ramesh comes from equally traditional teachers.
Tradition is not one against the other. Traditions are
established in time. 

The teaching of Gaudapada is different from other
books. The teachings of Ashtavakra or Yoga Vasishta
are more profound than some other
progress-oriented-teachings of traditional advaita
vedanta texts.

The peculiarity with Ramesh's style is that he uses
modern terminology that is easy to understand.
Specially the type of people who go to him are those
who do not strictly depend on Krishna, Rama or any
other God. So, they need not be forced to accept our
culture oriented thoughts while teaching Advaita
siddhanta. They are already free of some notions, they
may have others.

> My
> feeling is that
> some of these may help in achieving a "feel good"
> state of mind. 
> Somewhat like listening to "inspirational" speeches.
> Final, net result
> in reality - zilch.

Millions have listened to Advaita Vedanta lectures,
and have got the same - zilch. 

> Just because one harps on "finding the source" does
> not necessarily
> mean he is realized (he may be). It's also quite
> probable  because he
> lacks the knowledge to explain things properly. 

Properly taught Advaita Vedanta has not made
'Realized' men, and all is blamed on Adhikari
Lakshana. We need to sincerely question if the method
'properly' explained all along is correct or even
universally applied. Being able to explain the subject
matter is not uniform across subjects. The matter is
if Sri Ramesh is able to explain his CONCEPT clearly
and takes a student to realization of TRUTH. It is an
additional work for him to solve the conflicts of
concepts we have with other teachings, which he does
for a clearly articulated question. Atleast I am
helped to resolve the differences of teachings of
Bhagavad Gita and his teaching while I questioned him.
Then a new flash occurred to me in the message of the

> Many
> of these
> "teachers" have sprung up because of myths
> surrounding Ramana
> Maharshi. 

So, Ramana established a new tradition.

> See Chadwicks (a direct disciple) book
> where he dispells the
> notion that Ramana never talked or kept silent all
> the time.
> Apparently he would answer sincere questions quite
> well and was very
> knowledgable.

I do not think any body believes that he was like a
dumb mystic. We know that he answered the questions of
seekers. But, we know that he did not start teaching
books starting from Tattva Bodha, then Atma Bodha etc.
like your traditional advaita vedanta guru.  But,
great teachers sought clarifications from him.

> Money is better spent buying some books and good
> translations of
> authentic masters like sha.nkara
> (sarvaGYa-kalpita!), unless you are a
> bibliophile :-). 

Your notion of who is a sarvaGYa needs to be
re-examined. How do you know that Ramesh is not a
sarvaGYa ? Ofcourse, he says, he does not know if he
can walk on water or not.

> The upadeshasAhasrI is the best
> starting point (in
> fact should be sufficient). I suggest the
> translation of Jagadananda
> or Alston.

It will be a surprise to me if one can start with
upadESasAhasrI and get any thing, unless he is taught
by a competent teacher guiding word by word. 
Surprisingly, I do not see many teachers who even talk
about it.

> Rama
> On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 15:41:25 +0800, K Kathirasan NCS
> <kkathir at ncs.com.sg> wrote:
> > Namaste
> > 
> > Sometimes it is good to study these teachers as
> well, along with traditional
> > Vedantic studies. It really helps us to remove our
> attachment to namarupa in
> > the form of traditions and customs. So ideally it
> should be a good balance.
> > 
> > Shankara in the prasthana traya bhashyas is
> establishing the tradition of
> > teaching Moksha. And to this tradition we give a
> name Advaita Vedanta. The
> > goal is Moksha and not Advaita Vedanta.
> >

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


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