[Advaita-l] RE: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 37, Issue 11

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri May 12 09:20:49 CDT 2006

>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.

Personally, I see a pretty close similarity between the Atma vicAra that we 
read about in Ramana's talks and the thrust of Sankara's works. Of course 
the externals are different - Sankara writes in the context of traditional 
sannyAsa-based vedAnta vicAra, while Ramana sits outside the sannyAsa 
tradition. We must also remember the differing contexts of the two - 
Sankara's emphasis on Sruti is a consequence of the fact that his written 
works are primarily commentaries upon Sruti texts, while what we know of 
Ramana has a different flavor, in the form of conversations with different 

In this context, I would pay especial attention to the third prose chapter 
of upadeSasAhasrI, where Sankara teaches parisaMkhyAna. It is all about 
analyzing the "I" and rejecting various mis-identifications in stages. The 
only sentence to directly connect this analysis with Sruti is the one 
sentence at the end of this chapter. Also, there is hardly any place outside 
of this prakaraNa where we can get an idea of the active teaching that 
Sankara might have given regarding nididhyAsana.


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