[Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?
kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 19 06:17:33 CDT 2016
Please forgive me for my ignorance. I had this long standing doubt about Ramana. I believed that Ramana taught Advaita all along thanks to the popular opinion. However I later realized that he was unacquainted with the scriptures. Further, he apparently learnt from the hill which he considered as Shiva. Isn't this dogmatic and a deviation from the tradition?
I am copy-pasting the below text from Wikipedia :
Via his devotees Ramana Maharshi became acquainted with classic texts on Yoga and Vedanta. Ramana himself did not call his insights advaita, but said that dvaita and advaita are relative terms, based on a sense of duality, while the Self or Being is all there is.
Although Ramana's teaching is consistent with and generally associated with Hinduism, theUpanishads and Advaita Vedanta, there are some differences with the traditional Advaitic school. Advaita recommends a negationist neti, neti (Sanskrit, "not this", "not this") path, or mental affirmations that the Self is the only reality, such as "I am Brahman" or "I am He", while Ramana advocated Self-enquiry "Nan Yar". In contrast with traditional Advaita Vedanta, Ramana Maharshi strongly discouraged devotees from adopting a renunciate lifestyle and renouncing their responsibilities. To one devotee who felt he should abandon his family, whom he described as "samsara" (illusion), to intensify his spiritual practice, Sri Ramana replied:
Oh! Is that so? What really is meant by samsara? Is it within or without? Wife, children and others. Is that all the samsara? What have they done? Please find out first what really is meant by samsara. Afterwards we shall consider the question of abandoning them.
Acquaintance with Hindu scriptures
During his lifetime, through contact with educated devotees like Ganapata Muni, Ramana Maharshi became acquainted with works on Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta, and used them to explain his insights:
People wonder how I speak ofBhagavad Gita, etc. It is due to hearsay. I have not read the Gita nor waded through commentaries for its meaning. When I hear a sloka (verse), I think its meaning is clear and I say it. That is all and nothing more.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list