[Advaita-l] Logic and shastra

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 02:41:12 CDT 2005

[Mahesh-ji wrote:]
>  First let me take another example - that of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, since
> this list is about him. The famous story where is slightled a chandala as
> being of lower birth is well known. Now, this realized person seems to have
> created a "huge blunder of sorts" between what he did and what he taught.
> How is that possible? Why was his judgement coulded by avidya at the time?
> Was he being taught a lesson by Shiva (who took the *roop* of the chandala)?
> Then was Shiva more realized than him? How does Advaita answer this?

** Namaste Mahesh-ji,

I have been following this thread with great interest. I broadly agree
with what shrii Praveen says, but beyond that I feel you are missing
something very basic. Adi Sankaracharya or Sw. Vivekananda were not
born realized. They "attained" realization (jIvanmukti) in due course.
AFAIK, the incident of the chandala happened very early in the
Acharya-s "career", when he was an advanced sadhaka but not yet a
jIvanmukta. From what I can recall from his biography, after meeting
his guru Govindapada, he journeyed to Kashi and that was when this
incident happened. He was probably some 12-13 years old at that time.
But if you read the story fully, he realized his mistake and composed
the maneesha panchakam on the spot. It is also said that he fell at
the chandala's feet before composing the panchakam.

The same holds true for Sw. Vivekananda too. Many of the "sentiments"
that he expresses were probably before he attained jIvanmukti. I am
not sure if the RK Math even claims that he was a jIvanmukta, though
he might very well have been one (at least I am inclined to believe
so). But that was probably at a fairly late stage in his life (anyway
he died at 39). I have however come across several references of Sw.
Vivekananda having gone into nirvikalpa samadhi.

Hari Om

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