[Advaita-l] sanyAsa in shankara vedAnta - Reply -3
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Oct 7 23:52:50 CDT 2009
And this jnAni's jnAna consists in relation to action in such a way that :
he sees inaction in action, and
action in inaction, he is the wisest of all men, he has a poised mind and
he alone has done all that had to be done (geeta 4-18). Shankara in his
bhAshya explains thus : the wise one sees action in inaction, and inaction
in action, seeing that all thought of action, means of action etc. are in
the field of avidyA alone, since engagement in action or desisting from it
both depend on the doing agent (kartru), and never affect the Reality of
Sri S prabhuji :
Shankara also clarifies here what a sannyasi means -jeevanmatraarthach
eshtah - he is sannyasi and his stirrings are meany ONLY TO MAINTAIN LIFE
IN THE BODY. Nothing more.
I am sorry prabhuji, I dont know what sort of argument is this..I've been
seeing right from the top that you simply providing counter quotes (for
which I dont have any objection) without saying anything on the bhAshya
vAkya-s which goes against your pet theory...Yes, ofcourse I agree a
formal saNyAsi who OPTED for nivrutti mArga to sustain his body (jeevana
mAtrArthaM) would beg..but see how A PRAVRUTTI JNANI DOES HIS ACTION..that
is what I quoted for which you showed me a blank slate :-)) Please
onceagain note I am accommodating BOTH PRAVRUTTI & NIVRUTTI jnAni-s and
THEIR RESPECTIVE SEEMING ACTIONS based on shankara bhAshya..whereas you
are comfortably avoiding pravrutti jnAni-s who do the action for the sake
of lOka saMgraha...I hope, it is not because of your prejudices.
____________ _________ _
Now the important question is, is this state of mind, is this samyag jnAna
is restricted to ONLY people in a saNyAsa Ashrama?? The people who wear
ochre cloth, running Ashrams and parading with n' no. of disciples
(shishyakOti) are the ONLY custodians of this Atma jnAna?? If someone
says 'yes' to this question than it is really strange and regrettable that
they have completely misconstrued the very ideal of saNyAsa 'as taught' by
our shankara bhagavatpAda.
Sri S prabhuji :
Once again it is regrettable that you are erecting more strawmen
needlessly. Shankara never talks about "running ashramas and parading with
a number of disciples" - why are you so keen on de-riding these Exalted
Souls and their ashrama - not all Paramahamsas teach or have ashramas and
even if they do - they dont need to "parade with disciples" - the latter
naturally flock to them, as in the case of the Sage of Kanchi and Bhagwan
Ramana. It is unfortunate to hear these type of comments about an
institution your own paramaGuru belongs to.
See this is how you are reading my mail!!?? have I anywhere mentioned the
above names prabhuji?? When my parama guruji himself a vairAgya
personified, a saNyAsi in all respects, how can I belittle the sanyAsa &
its nobility?? When I said about running ashrama-s & parades, I had
charlatans and escapists in mind...Atleast, henceforth, I request you to
be bit careful before passing the above type of sweeping comments on me.
Here point to be noted that for paramArtha jnAni, paramahamsa
parivrAjakatva can come naturally without any effort of his own!! But this
does not mean jnAni should invariably take formal saNyAsa & follow the
Ashrama rules religiously! ! As said earlier, even after jnAna, he may
continue to be in his respective Ashrama or may opt for vidvat saNyAsa
like yAjnAvalkya or he may became atyAshrami like vAchaknavi or samvarta.
So, there cannot be any hardbound rule for that jnAni to insist on the
formal saNyAsa. Shankara's clarification on this point in geeta bhAshya
(commentary on 2-10 & introduction to the geeta verse 2-11) is worth
noting. Here bhAshyakAra says, jnAni can perform his pUrvAshrama duties
'even' after the dawn of jnAna just for the sake of lOka saMgraha like
janaka & bhagavAn krishna etc. but we should not read much into because
jnAni transcends the very notion of kartru, karma & kriya.
Sri S prabhuji :
Bhaskar-ji - as a matter of fact it is in this very commentary that
Shankara in his bhashya even leaves open the possibility about men like
Janaka (still engaged in action) being self-realized - "On the other hand
if it is held theey were NOT enlightened the passage may be explained to
mean that Janaka and others like him achieved samsiddhi, purity of mind by
means of actions dedicated to God."!
The second option shankara gives here after saying : 'janakAdayaH
tattvavidOpi' that means in the very first instance shankara clearly
admits that janaka was a tattva vida..and for the arguments sake shankara
continues and say IF IT IS HELD THEY WERE NOT, that means even if a
pUrvapaxi held this view, shankara says we go with it & gives an
explanation to that scenario also...Shankara like this way argues with
vijnAna vAdins also as if it is his own view...So, you have to be little
bit vigilent while quoting these type of bhAshya to prove your point.
Again, elsewhere shankara declares clearly that Arjuna has become
'saMyagdarshi' after geetOpadesha...so, here there is no room for any
alternatives as in the case of janaka prabhuji...Arjuna is a kshatriya &
he got the saMyagjnAna, there ends the matter prabhuji...
"But for some reason, if this renouncement of actions is impossible (karma
parityAga asaMbhave) he still continues to engage himself in action for
the sake of lOka saMgraha but without any attachment to those actions and
Here shankara could see the possibility of ' karma parityAga asaMbhavata'
in some cases of jnAni...there might be plenty of reason for this"(a) if
this jnAni is a King & due to his sarva karma saNyAsa his own
people may suffer because of lack of proper leadership
(b) if his own responsibility is not completed
(c) if he is physically not fit enough to practice the rigors of saNyAsa
(d) if there is dependents like aged parents
(e) if there is no concurrence from the better half:-)) ( this is my
excuse for not taking saNyAsa :-)) atleast I've someone to blame for my
Sri S prabhuji :
Here Shankara first of all makes it clear that what he means by sannyasa
is to give up everything save the bare minimal "stirrings necessary for
the mere maintenance of the body" and (because of the context of the
verse) he allows a concession by mentioning "for some reason"...showing
that this is an exceptional situation -
it is the matter of fact that in the history of vedAnta these exceptional
situations are more than the normal cases!! and shankara never ever says
these are all ONLY exception cases once in a blue moon day :-)) so your
reading of exception cases is concocted & fabricated one to the plain
bhAshya vAkya. When uddAlaka serves brahma vidyA to his son shvetaketu,
he does not utter a single word that it is an exception case I am teaching
brahma vidya to you...when yamadharma teaching 'mrutyu rahasya' to kid
nachiketa, he does not remotely meant that it is an exceptional case, when
geetachArya given upadesha to 'kshatriya' arjuna did not hint that it is
one in billion cases, yAjnAvalkya who taught brahma vidya to his wife
maitreyi did not bring your statement of 'exception', shankara who clearly
said anyAshrami-s like vidhura, dharmavyAdya, raikva, vAchaknavi,
saMvarta, did not say they have achieved ultimate under exception
circumstances. So, it is more than evident prabhuji that you are
concocting something & trying to push through the bhAshya vAkya.
And even if I agree to your speculation that it is only in exceptional
situation shankara allows the alternative, it is morethan enough for me to
discard your theory that SANYAASA IS INVARIABLY THE MUST REQUISITE FOR
JNANA..So, neither of the alternatives helpful to you prabhuji.
Sri S prabhuji :
by no means can this be extended to the innumerable situations and excuses
that you allude to by extension.
My dear prabhuji, go back & kindly study bhAshya in detail..nirgama
asaMbhavAt lOka saMgrahachikeershaya, shishta vigarhaNa parijaheershaya vA
pUrvavat karmaNi abhipravruttOpi nishkriyAtma darshanasaMpannatvAt naiva
kiMchit karOti saH..do you need more proof than this to prove a jnAni can
still continue work (in the loukika view point) and at the same time he
does nothing??!! shravaNa kumAra engaged himself by serving his aged
parents, shankara took his mother's permission before taking saNyAsa,
paramahaMsa married as per the order of bhagavati, ramaNa didnot take
formal saNyAsa...So, my view is justified here because shankara himself
admits the possibility of nirgama asaMbhavata and karma parityAga
Sri S prabhuji :
It is incongruous to say he is a "Knower" of Brahman that he knows his
Self to be nitya shuddha mukta Atma and then say he feels responsible to
care for aged parents and as a King( a Prime Minister in todays' age?!)
feels his people will suffer - with this type of reasonings no person can
ever take to sannyasa - it will simply be impossible to be a grhastha and
not have ANY responsibility or duty. This is repeatedly what Shankara
stresses that ONLY to a knower can there be the conviction that by
sannyasa he is not being derelict
in his duties. All these seeming "responsibilities" stem from a false
belief of an ignorant man that it is "he" and not Ishwara who is taking
care of his near and dear ones or his subjects, as the case may be. You do
bring about an excellent and very important ethical point of practicality
here that permission of a spouse is considered necessary even for a Knower
to renounce and Sureshwaracharya makes this quite explicity in his Br.Up
vartika (even though Shankara does not say so).
You are jumping fast from practicals of lOka vyavahAra to pAramArthika
satya..shankara did not say his mother, you are mother only to this body
not me 'Atman', when she asked shankara to be there beside his death
bed!!?? and shankara has not assured her Ishwara will take care of
her...so it is clear that you are simply talking only for the arguments
sake without any base in shankara bhAshya..coz. you are simply ignoring
the reasons which shankara himself gives in his bhAshya.
And finally, in chAndOgya (2-23-1 concluding sentence) bhAshya, which
myself & sri Sastri prabhuji quoted earlier clearly gives a 'clean chit'
to gruhasthAshrama jnAni to whom pArivrAjyaM is 'artha siddhaM'. Though
shankara himself states in this very bhAshya that this is not to show the
importance of any Ashrama and its respective phala, it is worth to note
that shankara declaration that by default a gruhasta jnAni would get the
status of pArivrAjyaM.
Sri S prabhuji :
Shankara nowhere declares that a grhasta jnani would get the "status of a
parivrajyam" - he emphasizes that a grhasta who achieves Self-knowledge
has to resort to parivrajyam i.e. renounce his home.
FOR YOUR READY REFERENCE ONCEAGAIN :
ETENA GRUHASTHASYA EKATVA VIJNAANE SATI PAARIVRAAJYAM ARTHA SIDDHAM...(
please note this is his CONCLUDING REMARKS on this chAdOgya maNtra...WOULD
YOU MIND TO EXPLAIN ME : what is this "artha siddhaM" ??
With this we can conclude that paramArtha jnana is NOT AT ALL a sole
property of A FORMAL SANYAASI.... And contextually there are several
meaning to the word 'saNyAsa' in shankara's bhAshyAmruta.
Sri S prabhuji :
Bhaskar-ji it is one thing to conclude that even though one respects
Shankara, one can have one's own intellectual honesty and disagree with,
or not consider very important, the Acharya's stated positions on each and
everything as Sadananda-ji alluded to - it is quite another thing to try
to find ways to read into his bhashyas a message that seems to suit one's
line of thinking - a tremendous degree of objectivity is called for and
one needs to examine this dispassionately, and with the help of one's
Yes prabhuji, it requires an hell amount of objectivity when discussing
these type of issues...selective quoting & fabricated assumptions would
not going to help us in this objective analysation...It needs abundant
guru kAruNya to get a glimpse of that truth....May the god & your guru
bless you in your spiritual quest.
Shri Gurubhyoh namah
Humble praNAms onceagain
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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