doubt on the role of shruti vAkyAs ( was Re: [Advaita-l] advaita and vedas)

Amuthan aparyap at
Wed May 10 22:16:19 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI jayanArAyaNan and shrI sa~njay shrIvastava,

--- S Jayanarayanan <> wrote:
> ... There is however one occasion where RM
> quite emphatically
> says that Self-realization can begin only after
> hearing the VedAnta
> vAkyas.

thanks a lot! this is very interesting. the talk that
you have quoted provides a very nice reconcilation,
but there are still certain aspects that intrigue me.
for instance, unlike bhagavatpAda who makes it a point
to state that vedAnta shravaNa is a sine-qua-non for
mukti in all his works, RM doesn't in most of his. it
seems that RM's position is not as rigid as
bhagavatpAda's. to RM, a guru's upadesha (whether it
is a shruti vAkya or not is irrelevant, but their
contents should match) carries as much weight as
vedAnta shravaNa. and even a casual reading of RM's
works would show that he discourages us from getting
into unnecessary manana based on the shruti vAkyAs,
but rather states that the ego creates all these
endless problems and that the solution is to find the
source of the ego. but bhagavatpAda does give
sufficient room for manana. on the whole, it appears
as though RM places lesser emphasis on shruti and
greater emphasis on a guru's / AtmA's grace. 

--- S Jayanarayanan <> wrote:
> RM would instead say:
> shravaNa, manana, nididhyAsana --> Atma-vichAra
> --directly--> GYAna

not exactly. RM agrees that a lot of qualifications
are required before one can start Atma vichAram. but
it can be inferred from his works that these
qualifications are very similar to the sAdhana
chatuShTaya requirements according to bhagavatpAda.
accordingly, RM's Atma vichAram is very close to the
traditional nididhyAsanam in spirit. but it is not
correct to state that RM presupposes a mastery of
nididhyAsanam to start Atma vichAram.  

--- Sanjay Srivastava <sksrivastava68 at>
> Atma-vichAra. It is not simply asking in vacuum "Who
> am I?" , which by 
> itself can't lead to anything. It is not simply
> repeating "Who am I?" 
> but constantly trying to understand the nature of
> "I".  And how do we 
> understand the nature of "I"? Through the only
> pramANa by which it can 
> be understood viz. shruti. 

while i agree with the fact that RM's Atma vichAram is
similar to traditional  mahAvAkya based Atma vichAram,
it would be a gross misreading of RM to say that they
are identical. Atma vichAram as taught by RM is very
similar to the analysis of the 'tvam' padArtha in
mahAvAkyAs like 'tattvamasi'. but the similarity ends
there. RM's Atma vichAram is the simple enquiry into
the source of the ego. nothing more, nothing less. the
lesser the number of other thoughts, the better.
according to RM, the understanding of the true nature
of the 'i' occurs when the ego vanishes and in it's
place, the ahaM sphuraNa manifests. there is simply no
room for the traditional shruti based manana here. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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