message to my friends

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sat Aug 8 11:58:06 CDT 1998

On Thu, 6 Aug 1998, f. maiello wrote:

> There are at least two dozen references where Bhagavan RM supports
> mental over physical sannyasa.  Here are a few:

Please note the discussion wasn't exactly "mental vs physical".  Mental
renunciation is required in all cases.  The question is, is physical
renunciation essential too or just "a good idea."

I'd never heard of Raman before I joined the list so I don't particularly
care to include him in the Advaita camp or to throw him out.  But since
you mention some passages from him, let's see how well they conform to
Advaita siddhantas.

> Q. "Is it necessary to take sannyasa in order to attain moksha?"
> A. "Sannyasa means renouncing one's individuality, not shaving
> one's head and putting on ochre robes."  --Talks with RM, p.427

This is not actually in conflict with Vedantic teachings.  The shloka
Sadananda quoted from Bhagavadgita says the same thing.  Sannyasis do
interact with society so they have certain symbols which indicate to
society that they are sannyasis.  But they are not part of the sannyasa
itself.  Shankaracharya has written a stotra called kaupinyapanchaka which
extols the paramahansa who wears nothing but a loincloth and bhasma and
meditates on omkara as the ideal sannyasi.

> A. "Why should your occupations or duties of life interefere with
> your spiritual effort?  ... Nothing that the body does should shake
> you from abidance in the Self."  --Day by Day with Bhagavan, p211

If a person  claims to have renounced individuality and maintains worldly
posessions and life, then he is either a charlatan or a liar.  To say "it
is the body doing it not the self"  is just being irresponsible.  the body
doesn't drive a car by itself, or keep a job or post to the Internet.  All
it is capable of by instinct is a few basic drives such as sleep, hunger
etc.  Everything else requires mental effort and a sense of doership.

> A. "Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or
> solitary places or giving up one's duties.

The notion of duty is incompatible with the notion of renunciation.

> The main thing is to see
> that the mind does not turn outward but inward.

For the mind to turn inward isn't enough.  It does that in dreams too.
But we do not consider dreams to be some exalted state but rather the
ultimate illusion.

> It does not really
> rest with a man whether he goes to this place or that or whether he
> gives up his duties or not.  All that happens according to destiny.
> All the activities that the body is to go through are determined
> when it first comes into existence.  It does not rest with you to
> accept or reject them.  The only freedom you have is to turn your
> mind inward and renounce activities there."  --Day by Day with
> Bhagavan, p211
> Concerning Bhagavan RM's sannyas:
> Q. "Why then did you leave home in your youth?"
> A. "That was my prarabdha.  One's course of conduct in this life
> is determined by one's prarabdha.  My prarabdha lies this way,
> yours lies that way."  Talks p251

Sorry but this notion of destiny is baloney.  All that prarabdha is, is
the effects of your prior actions.  Those actions required free will and a
sense of doership.  Similiarly it is ones actions today which determine
the "destiny" of tomorrow.  Renunciation means the renunciation of
prarabdha karma as much as any other kind.

> It's apparent that most of the List members actively posting also give
> credence to Bhagavan Sri Ramana.
> Thus my point of contention remains quite in tact.

Perhaps or perhaps not.  It seems to me the informed members do not see
major differences between Ramanas thoughts and Shankaracharyas.  But they
have come out for the idea of renunciation being physical and mental and
for the idea of free will (see the archives.)  So it is not clear they
would agree with the views of Raman you have posted here.   In any case it
is the teachings of Shankaracharya which provide the yardstick for howm
much credence to give to whom on this list.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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