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

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Fri May 12 15:36:27 CDT 2006

On 5/12/06, Amuthan <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:

> IMO, there is a definite difference between
> bhagavatpAda's parisa~NkhyAna and ramaNa bhagavAn's
> Atma vichAram for reasons given below. (i know that
> you are very busy, but it will be very nice if you can
> find time to correct my understanding if it is
> flawed.)
> to state it briefly, RM's Atma vichAram does not
> necessarily presuppose the nature of the self. it is
> rather something to be found out directly at the end
> of the quest. bhagavatpAda's parisa~NkhyAna
> presupposes a knowledge of the self based on the
> upaniShad-s (and the gItA).

Dear Amuthan,

I suggest that you are mistaken in understanding RM. Take any random
page in the talks and it's a good bet you'll find that RM advising
someone or the other that a) the self cannot be rejected and b) the
self is already realized, realization is the very nature of the self,
the key is to *lose* the delusionary thinking. This sums up the
soteriology of sha.nkara also.

That being the case how can aatma vicaara be investigation into
something without presupposing its nature? Clearly the enquiry is
about the aatman which cannot be rejected. Perhaps some quote could be
misinterpreted this way (when taken out of context)? Can you tell me
why you came to this conclusion. I have read most book published by
the aashram multiple times and never thought of aatma vicaara in this

In fact, RM in may places defines aatma vicaara as merely "observing"
the origin of the ego. The object portion of the I is mixed up with
the subject portion of I and "separating" the two is only aatma
vicaara. That is what is meant by observing the origin of the ego.

In any case, the "nature" of the self is best described by the
neti,neti procedure as per shankara.


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