Karma and Sanyaasa

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Sun Aug 2 08:09:29 CDT 1998

>And you must indeed apologize to him: if not for having made a personal
>comment, at least for having misunderstood what he was trying to say.

Kartik - Thanks for pointing out my faults.  There is a saying in telugu
related to what is called ' guriginja', a small bright red seed but it has
very dark small patch underneath.  Without knowing its own black spot
underneath, it thinks it is all full bright red.  There goes my black spot.

It is possible that I misunderstood the contents and the implication of
Rama's post.  But frankly, the issues were not addressed to any specific's
of Rama's post.  If so I would have found some guts to address those
directly, even if Rama thinks -what the heck- or -what non-sense is that  I
am taking about the mental renunciation-  We are run into the same problem
don't we?  My own posts were not understood either but commented upon
without any justification.  Everyone interprets the others posts with their
own biases.  Personally I donot know if that can ever be avoided.  That is
one of the reasons I try to avoid back and forth discussions on what each
understands since most of it is related to ones misunderstanding than
understanding.  I face these constantly in the scientific peer reviews too.
I agree one should try his best to aviod that.

Yes, as an impartial judge if you think I must indeed apologize to him -
then I should.

Rama - frankly, this is not because of what Kartik asked. In my previous
post I already asked for excuse if I have made any personal attacks without
my knowledge, which I try not to do to anyone.  If I do, I fail to be an

My sincere apologies if I misunderstood contents and intent of your posts.
Since the topic of boutika sanyaasa was discussed before with reference to
karma and sanyaasa as what you called a dead horse, I might have raised
that issue my self, since this was what was talked about in the past.  That
is the reason I addressed in general not referencing to the contents of
your post.  My sincere apologies if I have specifically misunderstood the
contents of your post.

I have never undermined Karma. Please read my posts again.  Action has to
be appropriate and to ones best, and there is no question about that.
Karma is important and the whole of Geeta emphasizes that.  If I remember
the discussions started with reference to ritualistic karma and problems
one faces if there is errors in performance of karma - and what is chitta
shuddi and the importance of it.  I presented my understanding, without
considering it is as a non-sense.

May be I am sensitive to the fact that one of the strong criticisms of
advaita by dwaitins and vishistaadvaitins is that the advaita demands one
to take up sanyaasa ashrama for moksha. I am fully aware of Sri
Vidyaaranyaas discussion related to it.  If horse need to back to its
original state, let it be.

Let us address the issues and leave the personal stuff. My apologies again
both to Rama and to the public if I have woken up the dead horse

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

>From  Sun Aug  2 10:01:34 1998
Message-Id: <SUN.2.AUG.1998.100134.0400.>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 10:01:34 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: retirement from the forum
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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f. maiello wrote:

> Yes, semantics undoubtedly plays one of the major
> roles in failures in communication.  Someone once
> said that if we weren't psychic, we'd be incapable
> of understanding eachother at all!  So, in my view,
> the use of orthodox/unorthodox can be theoretically
> applied to anything, relative to its unique framework.
> orthodox = accepted tradition; unorthodox = controversial
> alternative or variation on the theme of the tradition.
> Whereas the polarity dharma/adharma wouldn't work with
> what I'm talking about here.  Let me explain.

Complete rubbish from egodust as usual. Acceptable tradition for who?
The "acceptable" varies for each person.

> My use of the word orthodox is applicable [to what
> I believe the List would interpret as] the philosophical
> guidelines established by the traditional institution of
> advaita from Gaudapada down through the lineage of
> Sankaracharyas, upholding the sruti of the vedic sastras
> and select smriti like Vivekachudamani, Yoga Vasistha and
> Bhagavadgita.  Whereas unorthodox would represent views
> that contain aspects that conflict with certain areas of
> this tradition.  For example, Jaldhar and Vidyasankar
> are evidently hesitant to endorse the teachings of Ramana
> or Ramakrishna, both of who critically veered from the
> doctrine of the orthodox tradition.  Both taught and
> honored shuddha and women, both prescribed mental as
> well as physical sannyas [depending on the individual

Complete rubbish again. Abhinava Vidyatirtha has even ordained women in
sanyasa and people in his line have instructed "shuddha" also. And what
the heck is shuddha? I presume you mean shudra. As for respect for other
religions honoring Christ and Buddha it has been done before. Why even
the great Kumarila Bhatta speaks greatly of the Buddha. You complete
ignorance of anything about India is quite remarkable.

> they were addressing], both honored Christ and Buddha,
> neither was formally initiated (I'm not sure if
> Ramakrishna was...don't believe so), among other
> things.  Theirs was an eclectic approach and, IMO,
> the most effective.  Because such wide approach is more
> inclusive, more wholistic, and thus a powerful catalyst
> for the mind to widen its berth, priming it for its
> potential imminent release.  It also encourages one to
> be more universal and amenable to cultural diversity.

Dear sir, please read the dialogues with the guru where Sri chandra
shekhara bhAratI shows what cultural diversity and respecting other
traditions means. Listen to what an Englishman says after talking to him

"I cannot sufficiently thank you Swamiji, for your kind words of advice.
Please allow me to confess that when I came here I had no idea that I
would be going away from you with a sincere desire to be a better

In another place he strongly _defends_ Tipusultan when someone
criticizes Tipu for converting Hindus to Muslims, that he must have done
it because of his faith in God. (Note: He also mentions that he is
personally opposed to forced conversion). Find out who has cultural
diversity and who doesn't. You utter ignorance of India would be OK
except for the fact that you try to pass yourself off as a guru to
Indians. Try it with some other folks.

> Re your mentioning unorthodox approaches in other areas,
> such as medicine: your example of prescribing arsenic is
> irrelevant because it has no curative value to anyone!
> There are plenty of unorthodox approaches relative to
> western medicine, that one could cite, such as acupuncture,
> chiropractic, or even ayurveda, which may prove more
> valuable than orthodox (AMA sanctioned) medicine.

True there are alternative approaches to medicine. But my point was that
embracing "unorthodox" points of view is not an _end in itself_ nor is
it necessary. Again that's the mentality of a 14 year old or a hippie
neither of whom can benefit from this forum.

> And this is my overview point, that it depends on the
> individual whether orthodox or unorthodox is appropriate.

This is a forum for discussing advaita vedAnta as taught by sha.nkara
not delusions of each and everyone who imagines it to be advaita. This
was made clear by Ravi sometime back. First off you have no clue of
sha.nkara or what his followers say and make no effort to correct your
monumental igonorance of multiple subjects. If you can adhere to the
rules please post, otherwise please pack your bags and leave. If you
feel you have something better than sha.nkara's vedAnta, please start an
alternative list and post your stuff there. It's common decency to
adhere to the rules of a list especially when it was made so clear. Read
the FAQ for guidelines on posting in mailing list which comes
periodically  in news.announce.newusers. I have no hesitancy in stating
this because I rejoined the list only after Ravi made this point very


>From  Sun Aug  2 13:41:56 1998
Message-Id: <SUN.2.AUG.1998.134156.0400.>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 13:41:56 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: retirement from the forum
Comments: To: Advaita-L <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
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Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> This is a forum for discussing advaita vedAnta as taught by sha.nkara

I felt later that I should have been more clear. I find it extremely
offensive when people come and talk stuff which is very denigrating to
the followers of sha.nkara. All the time this is done in a subtle
manner. Coming and talking about "multi-culturalism" and stuff like that
is clearly not suitable in this forum. The implication clearly is this
kind of stuff is better than sha.nkara's tradition (Actually there
doesn't seem to be any comprehension of what sha.nkara's followers are
saying in the first place). This is NOT the forum to discuss about how
some approach other than sha.nkara is "better". This has been made clear

For people who are new to this list: When it was started originally all
the people initially were interested in sha.nkara and the tradition
associated with him. As time went by, since the word advaita is being
bandied about in a very loose sense, many people with no interest in
sha.nkara joined. In particular, some members from some
so-called-lineage were creating havoc by posting nonsense all the while.
Initially I just ignored all these people hoping that they'ld stop.
Unfortunately that did not happen. Unfortunately, the side effect was
any meaningful posts got drowned in this type of stuff. My motive in
being in the list is largely selfish. What I am looking for is posts
like what Anand posted recently. I have read the post on the Rudram
quite a few times already. I am in no mood to let this kind of good
stuff drowned by stuff irrelevant to this list.

I request everyone to look at the header of the mail they receive:

List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>

This shows that the path we have chosen is that taught by Shri
Sha.nkara. If you can contribute based on this, please do. If not,
please listen. If you _have_ to post irrelevant stuff, please leave, do
so elsewhere.

The list is no different from any place of discussion. If a group of
poeple gather together to discuss about sha.nkara and someone keeps
piping in how some other so-called-approach is better it is going to get
very irritating. No one invited people not interested in sha.nkara to
the discussion anyway. Please keep that in mind.


>From  Sun Aug  2 16:55:17 1998
Message-Id: <SUN.2.AUG.1998.165517.0400.>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 16:55:17 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: retirement from the forum
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> to the effectiveness and eligibility of those who approach them. At
> least for Ramana, I think where he differed from what might be
> considered orthodox tradition was in peripheral details. The case
> of Ramakrishna is slightly more complicated.

Actually there is pretty much no difference from what Ramana Maharshi
taught and traditional sha.nkara's vedAnta. As it is, the latter is not
some monolithic unit. If not properly read, the yoga vAshishhTha may be
held to contradict sha.nkara's teachings. However as you know
sha.nkara's followers do not hold that to be the case. Not one, but 3
sha.nkarAchArya's have attested to Ramana's teachings as advaita. I
think we can safely trust their judgment! RM has also said that his
teachings are the same as that of sha.nkara, but from his own
experience, not from reading the works. In his entire life time,
everyone who came to Ramana sat on the floor. Only RM used to sit on a
couch. This was the case when many learned Swamijis, princes of states
like Travancore etc came. But ONLY when H.H Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha,
then the sha.nkarAchArya of Puri came, RM told his disciples to put a
special seat in view of his position and knowledge! That should show
something. But H.H just sat on the floor like everyone else showing his
true humility and sama dR^ishhTi. H.H also personally supervised the
kumbabishekham of the shiva shrine, the mAtR^ibhUteshvara temple which
we can find in the Ramanashram even today.

The case of Sri Ramakrishna is, as you say, more complicated. There was
a paper written by Prof Arvind Sharma in the Adyar library Bulletin
about this, where he shows how Sri Ramakrishna departs from sha.nkara's
vedAnta markedly on fundamental points, e.g, on nirguNa brahman,
avidyA/mAyA etc. If anyone is interested I can dig up the paper when I
visit the library the next time, but I haven't planned any visit in the
near future. So it may take me some time.

However, as the case may be, we are here to discuss sha.nkara's vedAnta.
So _if_ Sri Ramakrishna varied from sha.nkara, then his teachings are
not for discussion here (I have not read enough of Sri Ramakrishna's
teachings to make a judgment for myself), as per the rules of this list.
If it is not different, then we might as well discuss the works of
sha.nkara, since there is no difference between him and Sri Ramakrishna,
anyways! Followers of Sri Ramakrishna: please note _I_ am not saying Sri
Ramakrishna was not an advaitin.

An interesting side note on modern gurus: These days I see many books
about Sri Aurobindo and Advaita. But Sri Ramana Maharshi evaluated his
writings and told that it was vishishhTAdvaita with the names of the
usual terminologies changed to something else!!

Look at


for some interesting info.


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