[Advaita-l] Importance of Ashram

jagannathan mahadevan jagannathan.mahadevan at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 12:07:48 CST 2007


By Deeksha I suppose you mean "learning". I think it is largely a
personal preference as to who one should obtain guidance for learning
from. For some the idea of getting a Deeksha and learn some
technicalities, which is not wrong at all, may not appeal. What is
best for you may not be suitable at all to another! For all that you
know the sringeri swamiji may not even admit someone that is not a
brahmana or not done veda adhyayana (I do not know what the rules

HH Chandrasekhara Bharathi swamigal himself has said that advaita
cannot be taught but only experienced. In one of the quotes he
mentions to an aspirant that he may at best clarify some grammar of
the vedic texts but cannot teach advaita. Now my question is why
should one go to sringeri matha (where Sri Bharathi Teertha Mahaswami
resides) if only grammar is taught there? Of course as I mentioned
before it may not be wrong at all to go and learn grammar, but for
someone that is longing for an experience it is not suitable unless
your high ranking orders can provide that.

I am reminded of an anecdotal incident, narrated to me, about Swami
Chinmayananda when he was called upon to shed the "saraswati" suffix
by the same order you have mentioned as best for Deeksha. Swami
Chinmayananda simply replied, "they can have the name, as saraswati is
with me anyway!" Saraswati was indeed with Swami Chinmayananda and no
one can dispute that. Learning is always possible where saraswati is
and it is simply the person's preference to choose who he wants to
learn from.

The point of this is that the statement that sringeri is the best
place or that the current mahaswami is the best, or that Ramakrishna
order is "next" best is highly disputable without stating the metric
for your ratings!!


On Dec 3, 2007 10:04 PM, RAMESH RAMANAN <rameshramanan at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi Anuj,
>   I did not intend to discourage you from your goal, but only wanted to caution against the pitfalls. Swami Parthasarathy is very well-known and he has written very good treatises on Vedanta and the Gita. He has extensively lectured on Vedanta as well. But if you could get Deeksha from Sri Bharathi Teertha Mahaswami and be under his guidance, that will be the best you can get in this yuga. There just can not be any second opinion on that. Next to this will be discipleship under a senior monk of the Sri Ramakrishna Order. I do not know much about Swami Parthasarathy's Ashram, but I think, it ranks third in my list of preferences if I were to join an Ashram. Best wishes, Ramesh Ramanan.
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