[Advaita-l] DukR~nkaraNe (was Re: Questions on Isavasya)

Shyam Subramanian shyamsub at gmail.com
Fri Aug 11 11:48:48 CDT 2006

On 8/10/06, Viswanathan N <vishy1962 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> When  I was going thru these discussions, I couldnt stop recalling the
> very first stanza of " Bhaja Govindam" of Adi Shankara.....
>   Pl excuse me
>   Viswanath
Sri Viswanathan,

If you are referring to my mail, we are in agreement (thanks for elevating
my question to DukR~nkaraNe though).
However, your usage of the plural "discussions" seems to indicate that this
was with reference to the previous
discussion, viz. Sri Vidyasankar's posts too (another literal
interpretation-I apologize in advance if you meant

This, by extension, seems to mean that a *thorough* understanding of Sri
Sankara's bhAshyas is not
useful. Now, swamI candraSekhara bhAratI [1] forcefully says that a study
of  the Sankara Bhashyas is
not necessary for moksha; pointing out that it would imply that his
predecessors, who couldn't have studied it,
didn't attain it. But  this argument is made  in the context  of elaborate
scriptural study not being
necessary for a uttamAdhikArI. Quoting him from the same passage,  " to a
perfectly pure and receptive intellect, a single teaching
given but once by a competent teacher may be enough". followed soon by  "if
we have no doubt about the truth and only
want to realise it in actual experience, all that trouble (study of several
books) is not necessary" (paranthetical inclusion mine).
I really doubt if there are many uttamAdhikArIs in advaita-l (I know for
sure I am not). and it hardly takes a really learned
dvaitin to confuse the ones whose faith(or knowledge) in the SAstras and
bhagavatpAda's interpretation of them is inadequate (try dvaita.org). If not
a uttamAdhikArI, jnana requires contemplation after a clear understanding of
the scriptures which needs a Bhashya, in our case Sri Sankara's- which needs
elaboration through a guru and in this posts like Sri Vidyasankar's really
So, *if you meant the comment and the implication about the previous posts*,
then  I would like to conclude otherwise.

[As an aside, another great saint, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, whose status
as an advaitin has
been debated endlessly in the list,  has said [2], quoting Totapuri (a
dasanami sanyasin and an advaitin),
that the essence of the gItA is got by repeating it ten times from which you
get tAgI- implying that
the essence is to ask you to renounce immediately and worship God. Sri
Ramakrishna also said that it is not
necessary to read the gItA completely. However, it should be noted that the
Ramakrishna math
is famous for its translations of the scriptures to either the vernacular or
English, which leads me to
believe that the monks either didn't take His comment literally, or thought
that it was applicable to the
uttamAdhikArI alone]


[1] Our Duty, published by Bharatiya vidya Bhavan
[2] Swami Nikhilananda, *The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna*

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