Ramana Maharshi on the Buddha (was Re: Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta)

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Mon Jan 28 21:19:38 CST 2002

Sometime ago in this list, the self-realization of the Buddha was under

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote on 15 May 2000:

> Sankaran Panchapagesan <panchap at ICSL.UCLA.EDU> wrote:
> >   A general comment -
> >         The other natural interpretation is that the Buddha did not
> > the Advaitic realization and whatever "reality" he experienced was
> > what Shankaracharya experienced.
> Bingo! Absolutely correct.

Actually, it is absolutely incorrect, at least according to Ramana.

>From "Spiritual stories as told by Ramana Maharshi" published by the


During a conversation on non-attachment, Bhagavan said, "In this part of
the country, one of our ancients wrote, 'O lord, thou hast given me a hand
to use as pillow under my head, a cloth to cover my loins, hands wherewith
to eat food, what more do I want? This is my great fortune'! That is the
purpose of the verse. Is it really possible to say how great a good
fortune that is? Even the greatest kings wish for such happiness. There is
nothing to equal it. Having experienced both these conditions, I know the
difference between this and that. These beds, sofa and articles around me
-- all this is bondage."

"Is not the Buddha an example of this?" asked a devotee. Thereupon Sri
Bhagavan began speaking about Buddha.

"Yes," said Bhagavan, "when the Buddha was in the palace with all possible
luxuries in the world, he was still sad. To remove his sadness, his father
created more luxuries than ever. But none of them satisfied the Buddha. At
midnight he left his wife and child and disappeared. He remained in great
austerity for six years, realised the Self; and for the welfare of the
world became a mendicant (bhikshu). It was only after he became a
mendicant that he enjoyed great bliss. Really, what more did he require?"

"In the garb of a mendicant he came to his own city, did he not?" asked a

"Yes, yes," said Bhagavan. "Having heard that he was coming, his father
Suddhodana, decorated the royal elephant and went out with his whole army
to receive him on the main road. But without touching the main road, the
Buddha came by side roads and by-lanes; he sent his close associates to
the various streets for alms while he himself in the guise of a mendicant
went by another way to his father. How could the father know that his son
was coming in that guise! Yasodhara (the Buddha's wife), however,
recognised him, made her son prostrate before his father and herself
prostrated. After that, the father recognised the Buddha. Suddhodana
however, had never expected to see his son in such a state and was very
angry and shouted, "Shame on you! What is this garb? Does one who should
have the greatest of riches come like this? I've had enough of it!" And
with that, he looked furiously at the Buddha. Regretting that his father
had not yet got rid of his ignorance, the Buddha too, began to look at his
father with even greater intensity. In this war of looks, the father was
defeated. He fell at the feet of his son and himself became a mendicant.
Only a man with non-attachment can know the power of non-attachment", said
Bhagavan, his voice quivering with emotion.


> Wishful thinking that the Buddha and
> sha.nkara experienced the same thing is just that: wishful thinking.
> It has no philosophical basis, we need not lose much sleep over such
> arguments.
> Rama

>From  Mon Jan 28 23:56:35 2002
Message-Id: <MON.28.JAN.2002.235635.0500.>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 23:56:35 -0500
Reply-To: shyam at realchip.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
Comments: Resent-From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com>
Comments: Originally-From: "Shyam" <shyam at realchip.com>
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
Subject: Re: Jnana and Bhakti
In-Reply-To: <OLELKHPKLDEKACPKKOAJKEIACAAA.shyam at realchip.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Nice to hear these conversations on Jnana an Bhakti. I would like to share
my views.

One may define Jnana and Bhakti differently and there could be varied
discussions over the definitions. The terms really do not matter and their
diffence is only apparent. In my view, the goal of Jnana and Bhakti is
experincing Oneness. Both reach you to that state and thereafter you see no
difference in both action or inaction(this is what the world is largely
composed of). One may argue that the goal of Jnana is impersonel and goal of
Bakthi is personel, but that again is only a play of words. If Shastras have
tried to emphasize on one more than the other it is only to seek the needs
of seeker for Oneness.

Hari Om


-----Original Message-----
From: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
[mailto:ADVAITA-L at ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG]On Behalf Of Raghavendra Hebbalalu
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 2:50 AM
Subject: Re: Jnana and Bhakti

namo namaH,
       That was a very good synopsis written by shrI
ravi. All the points have been written really well.
       Personally, I feel 'mutually exclusive' is
another good phrase to explain the relationship
between karma and jnAna. Where there is karma, there
is no jnAna and vice-versa. This has been brought out
very well in shrI shankara's rejection of the
jnAna-karma-samucchaya-vAda in the prologue of the

Do You Yahoo!?
Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!
>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Jan 29 11:24:54 2002
Message-Id: <TUE.29.JAN.2002.112454.0530.ADVAITAL at LISTS.ADVAITAVEDANTA.ORG>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 11:24:54 +0530
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: hbdave <hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN>
Subject: [Fwd: Tat tvam asi?]
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="------------7C6CC3844901502EB08ED673"

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Content-Type: message/rfc822
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list