shrI shankara aShtottaram

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Mon Jul 27 12:28:29 CDT 1998


I am sorry for not completing the names so far. I posted upto
99th name on the list

The names posted and the remaining 9 names are compiled into a
single file and it is complete. After reviewing it, I will post
the file to the list in a day or two.

I am sorry for the delay.


devI mInanetrI brova rAve
  daya cheya brova rAvamma
                         shyAma shAstri

>From  Mon Jul 27 19:21:05 1998
Message-Id: <MON.27.JUL.1998.192105.0400.>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 19:21:05 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: Karma and Sanyasa
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
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Sankaran Jayanarayanan wrote:

> > tangentially
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >touched upon sannyAsa, only because I had to.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Are you sure? Here's what you had to say:
> -------------
> Suresvaracarya is very emphatic that one who dons the Sanyasi's robes
> alone can give up Karma in his bR^ihadAraNyaka Up. bhAshhya vArttika.
> -------------

Yes, I'm sure. The original question of Ravi had to do with performance
of pUjA. He paraphrased the priest's words which could be easily
(mis)construed as permission for not following vidhi or rules. So, I
wrote why the rules or vidhis have to be followed. After that there were
some posts which went something like: "karma is useless to gain GYAna
according to sha.nkara, it can be done in any way" etc etc etc. Please
note that the original question of Ravi was on how to DO pUjA and not
how to renounce it. When the EXTRANEOUS point "karma cannot lead to
moxa" was brought up I was FORCED to mention the view of shrI sureshvara
on sannyAsa, because his statements on physical sannyAsa does not gel
with what was suggested: "Renounce karma (as in ritual) and still get
fat pay checks (the latter being implied of course)" etc, etc. If
everyone had stuck to the thread it would have been OBVIOUS that Ravi
was asking about pUjA from the point of view of chitta shuddhi. In which
case the point that karma cannot lead to moxa (which everyone here knows
anyways) would not have been raised in the first place.

> IMO, it's not unusual for Maadhavan to find the above "absolute"
> statement about sanyAsa difficult to comprehend, especially when the
> example of Janaka given by Krishna is so apt:

Please read the pa.nchadashI 7.130. There he says:

janakAdeH kathaM rAjyamiti cheddR^iDhabodhataH |
tahA tavApi chettarkaM paTha yadvA kR^ishhiM kuru ||

(Doubt)How then the ancient knowers like Janaka administered kingdoms?
(Reply:) They were able because of their conviction about the truth. If
you have that, then by all menas engage yourself in logic or agriculture
or do whatever you like. (trans. by Swami Swahananda)

shrImad vidyAraNya proves that he has a good sense of humor here, but
also shows that there were people even those days going around claiming
bogus "mental renunciation"!!

I am quite surprised that you of all people are asking this doubt.
Hasn't this been answered about 25,625 times by Anand, Vidya and Giri?

> You also said in your earlier post:
> ---------------------------
> I see many in the list claiming karma is not of much use and one can do
> it however one pleases along with mental renunciation. I ask these
> proponents of "mental renunciation":
> How is it that
> 1. a fat paycheck is pocketed each month, but mentally renounced?
> 2. one lives in a house, but that is mentally renounced?
> 3. The car with AC is also mentally renounced?
> 4. The wife is present, but mentally renounced?
> 5. performances by ones own children, dance song etc are attended, but
> mentally renounced?
> ----------------------------
> The answer to every one of the above questions is "It was done by
> Janaka, and he's a role model."

Sure. We can also put our feet on every lingam and claim kaNNappa
nAyanAr as our role model. Your question has been already answered ad
infinitum by Anand.

> Why does Krishna give the example of Janaka at all?

The archives is a good place to figure this out also.


PS: Is it your intention to waste my time or were you serious in asking
these questions? I still can't believe that you are asking these

>From  Mon Jul 27 19:54:35 1998
Message-Id: <MON.27.JUL.1998.195435.0400.>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 19:54:35 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
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
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> I am grateful to Shri Giridhar for his views. I would like to make the
> following brief points.
> 1. I did not touch or did not even mention the word "free-will" in my
> post. It is Shri Giridhar who imagines my saying that and comments how
> "foolish" my article is.

This is yet another of those instances where people do not realize what
they are implying. You said that the prArabdha is "like an arrow which
has been released". Obviously the question then is, why cannot the
prArabdha be stopped. You very clearly implied that this sequence of
events is beyond our control and hence CANNOT be stopped. With your
history of postings on fate vs free-will I too interpreted it as Giri
only. That is why I did not want to reply to that part of your post.
Otherwise I would have asked "Why cannot the arrow be stopped?" In which
case we would have got into another of those fate/free-will discussions.
OK, let me ask the question now: Why can't the arrow be stopped? If you
have good enough aim, you can stop it by introducing a wooden board in
its path. Or if you are as good an archer as arjuna you can decimate the
arrow with another arrow.

> 2. My post is on prArabdha karma. If Shri Giridhar believes there is
> nothing like prArabdha karma (in vyavahArika), it is his privilege.

Please don't twist the tale now. We all know very well there is
something called prArabdha karma. According to shruti and smR^iti and
also sha.nkara prArabdha can be changed. Your previous post does not
convey anything if you accept prArabdha karma can be overcome.

> I do not want to comment on Shri Giridhar's mixing up my interpretation
> and giving it a flavour which he likes to put on it.

If you wish to believe that enjoying worldly things is prArabdha karma
and at the same time relenquishing duties is "Gods command" so be it. In
my original post this is exactly the kind of view I criticized. The
reason is obvious. That is what I was trying to explain to you. You may
really be a Janaka, but for the majority this is an excuse for being
lazy and indulging.

> (c) As I commented to Shri Ravi sometime ago, the debate is not a
> debate if the messenger is attacked rather than the message. It is
> unfortunate that it has become a modern debating practice; it takes
> attention away from the message and, distastefully, the messenger
> becomes the attention point.

What is all this? Giri clearly posted that the Swamigal has criticized
this "no free-will" view as foolish. Why are you getting so offended if
you hadn't said that in the first place? Why are you thinking that the
criticism of that view is a critcism of your "integrity"? It is quite
clear that you do not want any of your views criticized.

Let us be frank here. Most of us are not sarvaGYas. The first step in
learning is to realize that we may be mistaken. If you wish to present
your point of view logically with the aid of shruti and smR^iti please
do so.

> (d) Shri Giridhar does not know anything about me. He has not seen
> my face, nor known any personal details about me, nor my personal
> values. Yet, he quotes, (and by quoting, he assents), a long diatribe
> by The Hindu on NRI's (written in what context I do not know), putting
> all the NRI's under a very wide brush.

Please: if you do not belong to that category why are you offended?
Frankly I think that description fits many Indians in the US including
myself. The wide brush indeed applies very well. I am surprised that the
article echoed pretty much the same views I had formed after my stay

> (e) I am saddened that Shri Giridhar quotes such an article out of
> context and by quoting it, approves it in this context. I did not
> expect it from Shri Giridhar, for whom I have utmost respect.
> (f) In all my posts uptill now, I have never attacked the messenger's
> personal integrity and I would like to keep it that way.
> (g) I think the debating standards would be high if we do not attribute
> motives to the messenger of the message and if we do not make the
> messenger the topic of the debate.

No one attributed any motives to you. Please understand that. Now of
course the question begs itself: "Why are you questioning Giri's
personal integrity in discussions?" And how about claiming that he
"quoted it out of context?". The context is self-evident. It is a
criticism of people who give up duties and enjoy wordly benefits while
preaching to others. If you do not do that then obviously it does not
apply to you.

Let me make the intention of my original post clear: "mental
renunciation" and "prArabdha karma" should not be used as an excuse to
give up duties and enjoy wordly things. It was a general point and not
meant at anybody in particluar. Similarly Giri's post also (as per my
interpretation) voices this concern.

Aside: It's surprising to me that many people identify themselves with
their views. I think as advaitins we should realize that's a delusion


>From  Mon Jul 27 21:03:57 1998
Message-Id: <MON.27.JUL.1998.210357.0400.>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 21:03:57 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at
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 (fwd)
Comments: To: gmurthy at,
        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
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

> From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
> To: "Ravisankar S. Mayavaram" <msr at>
> Subject: retirement from the forum

I had planned to stop on this thread. I am hoping this will clear up
some misunderstandings.

> I have come to the conclusion that my thinking and interpretation of
> Shri Shankara in advaita is not suitable to other members, particularly
> those who post. Under the circumstances, I think I should retire from

Well such sentiments have been expressed about my posts also. But that
hasn't stoped me, has it? :-).

> the forum, rather than be a source of continuous uneasiness both to
> other members and to me also. Accordingly, I have written to the listserv
> to sign me off.

No one is uneasy having you here. Why do you think that everyone has to
accept all your views or that we are "uneasy" with you? Certainly some
of us may disagree with you, but why do you feel uneasy about that? :-).

> I have enjoyed my two years on the list and learnt a lot. I commend you
> for the excellent job you are doing as the list owner. I will try to clarify
> my own doubts about advaita either through personal correspondence with
> like-minded members or seek some other forum or through books (as I do
> continuously).

Please stay for more time and enjoy it further! Again, objections to
your views, even vehement objections, are not any sign of uneasiness
over your presence. I had very pointedly disagreed with Sri Sadananda in
many posts and he never got offended. We can certainly separate
disagreement with one's views and dislike or "uneasiness" of someone.
Please think about it.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list