[Advaita-l] Fw: Re: waking, dreaming, sleeping, as mutually supportive

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Oct 27 00:42:11 CDT 2009

On Mon, 26 Oct 2009, Shrisha Rao wrote:

> We tend to forget that there are actually said to be scriptural
> injunctions behind all the rules that tradition is supposed to follow;
> we merely pick whatever real-world community we consider our own and
> consider its practices as normative, but this is not strictly correct
> though शिष्टाचार does have a role.

This is the yawning chasm between Advaitins and other Vedantins.  We 
believe that there is a finite limit to the authority of vidhis 
(scriptural injunctions.)  They only apply to that which can be acquired 
or lost.  Brahman cannot be acquired or lost it simply is.  Therefore 
there can be no injunctions concerning Brahman.  Should jnana -- the complete 
knowlege of ones identity with Brahman -- arise (and it can arise in any 
sentient being who posesses chetana, viveka, etc. whether they be 
Brahmana, Shudra, foreigner, devata, AI-powered robot or alien), vairagya 
inevitably results.  At that point the knower of Brahman takes to sannyasa 
not because it is a sanctioned behavior but because it is the only thing 
that makes sense in his situation.

Certain paramparas may have their stipulations for who can take their 
brand of sannyasa but the core "act" of sannyasa -- renunciation of 
samsara -- is possible for any jnani whether anyone else formally 
recognizes it or not.

On the subject of tradition, the area around Junaghadh in Gujarat is the 
Pauranic Vastrapatha Kshetra.  It is a major stopping point on the 
pan-Indian yatra circuit for those sadhus who zealously follow the vow of 
not staying in one place for more than three days.  All the Dashanami 
akhadas have mathas in the area.  In other words it is area infused with 
Advaita monastic orthodoxy.  If the case of Swami Narmada Giri was an 
anomaly or an innovation, this is the last place you would expect to find 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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