[Advaita-l] jnAna-vijnAna, gradations in Atma jnAna, superior-inferior jnAna nishTa etc. etc. PART-I
sunlike at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 5 18:05:20 CST 2007
Normally I do not post too much here. This one is a long post. Please bear
>Personally, I admire, revere, stand by and am guided by the Sringeri
>Acharya and the matha's tradition. However, there are other longstanding
>members of this list, as well as new members, who are aligned with other
>institutions or perhaps with none.
>We cannot presume to speak for any of the traditional mathas, in an
>official or unofficial capacity. We have come together on this forum only
>in order to assist in our own svAdhyAya, to engage in and to mutually
>benefit from a dialogue with other people who share our interests in
>advaita vedAnta. That is all. I hope that this settles doubts on the
>Ravisankar Mayavaram wrote:
>When there is a dispute in understanding the doctrine of
>advaita-vedAnta, we have no choice but to go back to the sampradAya
>and Sringeri maTha is the obvious and the best choice. But we should
>allow room to raise some of these disputes so that we can understand
>the objections and thereby the siddhAnta better.
>The only place I think, as a policy, we should not take a specific
>side is regarding the date of Sankara. But this is not a doctrinal
I have been a member of this list for several years and would like to make
certain observations based on my experience over the years. This list has
helped me a lot in understanding what I have been reading from other
I should thank Sri. Vidyasankar Sundaresan for his posts covering a huge
bandwidth - from the profound Advaita BhashyAs to Mahabharata stories. There
have been other contributors in this forum including Kartik, whose posts
have been beneficial too.
I have had different view points on the Sankara's date to post here (from
what Sri. Vidyasankar had to say) which I had researched several years ago.
It was more of a presentation of the material from different view points for
both of us, for the reader to take whatever he/she thought was appropriate
enough. Personally, I do not think that there is much to conquer in this
area for anyone.
Coming from a very orthodox family steeped in tradition, my father's parents
were devoted to Sringeri gurus, with my mother's side devoted to Kanchi
mutt. Needless to say, I had visited both the acharyas. I certainly did not
like the mutts to have differences whatsoever, but things were not very rosy
at least among some of the staunch devotees.
When new members browse the pages of Advaita Vedanta, apart from the
material covering the philosophical matter, they see links from external
sites seeing vehement attacks on the Kanchi mutt. For someone who abides by
the Kanchi mutt tradition, this is really offending. We have seen a few new
members join the forum, to get back on Vidyasankar, start a new set of posts
to get even; this goes on for a while, and the whole thing dies down. I am
sure that they have also offended some of the other devotees in this forum.
My humble opinion is that the links attached by Vidyasankar, though created
by him in some other Hindu forum a decade ago or even before, is very
hurting for Kanchi devotees including myself, certainly giving a necessary
color to this august forum. As Vidyasankar himself mentioned that we cannot
presume to speak for any of the traditional mathas, in an official or
unofficial capacity, it certainly indicates that what ever has been written
in that article is his opinion.
The Kanchi AcAryA's opinion on this dispute can be seen in Ra.Ganapathi's
article (http://www.kamakoti.org/souv/5-59.html). Sringeri AcAryA had given
a message about Sri. Kanchi Mahaswami on the occasion of centenary
celebrations of Kanchi Mahaswami's peetarohanam (I posted some time ago), by
which all the questions of the devotees should be cleared. This proves
beyond doubt that AcAryAs are above this normal plane looking at the same
dispute from a different perspective (perhaps from being THE SELF). They
cannot and need not change the ground rules in which we normal human beings
live. They need to pretend to rely on conflicting material, though they know
what they are talking of.
On a similar note, the recent discussions about Sri.SachchidAnandendra
Saraswathi Swamiji (SSS) have caused much anxiety and stress in the minds of
Holenarsipur Swami's devotees. What we need to consider is that this Swami's
works have been funded by AcAryAs of 3 traditional mutts. They would not
have given SSS the due importance, if SSS did not really deserve it. Having
read some of SSS works, I feel that there is a possibility for some of his
thinking to create new vistas in certain areas of Advaita tradition. Though
it may not be part of the tradition now, some parts of Swamiji's teachings
could become part of the tradition down the road, provided our tradition
itself survives (seeing the current state of affairs in India!!!). That is
possibly the primary reason for which Kanchi, Sringeri and Dwaraka AcharyAs
have accepted SSS. I also think that SSS was very well read, able to discuss
the subject authoritatively using different possibilities.
I would like to talk about another person I admire who can be inspiration to
all of us. Some of the members of the forum may know Dr.Yagnasubramanian
(YS) of Sanatana Dharma Yajna Mandali (www.yajnam.org) New Jersey. He is
great devotee of Kanchi and Sringeri mutts. Please see the GuruparamparA
YS was given a title of "Dharma Rakshamani" by Sri. Jayendra Saraswathi
Swamigal a few years ago. He is one of the key members running Sringeri
Vidya Bharati Foundation in Pennsylvania. Under the instructions of Sringeri
Sankaracharya, YS is working on a temple for Sarada Devi in the US, along
with his friends and disciples - from both Kanchi and Sringeri mutts.
Let us look for common areas of understanding, strengthen our bonds to the
root (which is Sri. Adi Sankara Himself), but cling to one of the branches
of the tree (Sringeri, Kanchi or SSS and so on...). Though the tree exists
with branches, we need more people to practice this tradition by clinging to
one branch of the tree or other. The tree will get weakened if one branch
cuts the other. Practitioners are more important; bring more people into
this fold. Let us make our children understand the fundamentals (root) of
this tree and make them cling to a branch. That is more rewarding for all of
us, and if this forum is used that way, I am sure it will have the blessings
of all the great gurus of the tradition.
Sorry again for the long post. Regards, Ravi
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