[Advaita-l] RM and shaMkara - part 2 (was Re: doubt on the role of shruti vAkyAs)

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Sat May 13 00:09:23 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

(kindly excuse me for writing a long mail.)

dear shrI rAmakRShNan bAlasubrahmaNyan and shrI

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> I suggest that people stop looking for *exact*
> matches in teachings.
> This is a very Western notion and also a very
> Christian notion!  The
> definition of nididhyaasana by even Sankara and
> Sureshvara don't match
> and are vastly different. What is the point in
> seeing if it matches
> exactly with RM?!! The tradition is not a bunch of
> parrots each
> repeating the previous parrots sayings. There is
> considerable scope
> for "inventiveness" while still being restrained by
> the traditional
> "method".

1. this discussion is not irrelevant since it has
important consequences regarding the necessity of
shruti as the only means for the knowledge of brahman.

2. given the different ways in which bhagavatpAda's
siddhAnta can be interpreted (bhAmatI, vivaraNa, shrI
satchidAnandendra sarasvatI's interpretation etc.), i
sincerely feel that ramaNa bhagavAn's teachings may
help us arrive at the correct interpretation of
AchArya's bhAShya. the purpose of this entire
intellectual exercise is simply that. 

3. yes, you right in saying there is sufficient room
for inventiveness within the tradition. i'm not
denying that. but i feel that it is necessary to know
such differences in order to arrive at a definite and
consistent way of interpreting AchArya's works.  

--- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Therefore your claim that both
> shravaNa-manana-nididhyAsana and Atma-vichAra
> are *two* ways to GYAna will not be accepted by RM,
> because he teaches that
> there is no way other than Atma-vichAra leading to
> GYAna.

yes, there is a contradiction. but this contradiction
can be resolved if we reinterpret bhagavatpAda's
teachings consistently in the light of RM's teachings.

--- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I strongly believe in RM's teaching that AV is the
> ONLY WAY to GYAna. I'm going
> to implicitly assume that even if SMN is not AV,
> this still holds true! In
> other words, AV is the ONLY DIRECT ROUTE to GYAna,
> and everyone who has
> achieved GYAna has necessarily practised AV
> (including Sankara).

i too have similar ideas. i feel that RM's teachings
hold the key to the proper interpretation of
bhagavatpAda's siddhAnta. (i'm not stating that other
interpretations are wrong, but it just happens that i
have more faith in RM's interpretation of sha~Nkara
than in others'.)


ok. now to possible interpretations of bhagavatpAda's
siddhAnta in the light of RM's teachings. there seems
to be no problem in the case of an uttamAdhikArI. so,
let us consider the case of a mumukShu who is not an

(the following abbreviations are used below -- SCS:
sAdhana chatuShTaya sampatti, S: shravaNa, M: manana,
N: nididhyAsana, AGY: aparokSha tattva j~nAna, PGY:
parokSha tattva j~nAna, AV: RM's Atma vichAram.)

Intepretation A.........................
SCS --> S (produces AGY) --> M, N (for internalizing
the knowledge gained) --> mukti. 

Interpretation B........................
SCS --> S (produces PGY) --> M (clears intellectual
doubts) --> N (parisa~NkhyAna, produces AGY) -->
permanent chitta vRtti nirodha = mukti.

Interpretation C........................
SCS --> S (produces PGY) --> M (produces AGY) --> N
(parisa~NkhyAna, for vAsanA kShaya) --> permanent
chitta vRtti nirodha = mukti.

(if there are more possibilities, let me know :) )

regarding RM's Atma vichAram, the following
interpretations are possible

Interpretation 1........................
(S,M,N) = AV

Interpretation 2........................
S --> (M = AV) --> N 

Interpretation 3........................
S --> M --> (N = AV)

Interpretation 4........................
S --> ((M,N) = AV)

and finally, 
Interpretation D........................
SCS --> S (,M,N) --> AV --> permanent chitta vRtti

now, from RM's introduction to bhagavatpAda's
vivekachUDAmaNi, it is clear that His views match with
one of C1, C2 or C4. i would go for C4. 

my initial interpretation of RM, which was B3, is

shrI jayanArAyaNan's interpretation, which was D, is
also not what RM has in mind.
i guess svAmi dayAnanda sarasvatI's interpretation is
A1. RM may not agree with this. (if A1 is not svAmi
dayAnanda's interpretaion, please let me know.)

btw, does svAmi satchidAnandendra sarasvatI talk of
RM's interpretation anywhere in his works?


if C4 is taken to be true, then bhagavatpAda's works
have to be interpreted accordingly. according to C4,
the viduSha / vidvAn talked about in the
parisa~NkhyAna prakaraNa of upadeshasAhsrI is a
brahmavit who has residual vAsanAs left. if we call
such a brahmavit as a mumukShu (in the sense that he
makes efforts to destroy  the residual vAsanAs), then
there is no more argument. however, if this (unusual)
interpretation of who is a mumukShu is not accepted,
then it can only be said that RM does not consider
parisa~NkhyAna to be a direct means to AGY.

C4 also agrees with AchArya's bR.up. bhAShya (4.17)
that was discussed sometime back in this list.
accordingly, nididhyAsana would be what AchArya refers
in the portion 'yadyapyevaM sharIrArambhakasya karmaNo
niyataphalatvAt saMyagj~nAnaprAptAvapi....'. again,
the statement that this form of nididhyAsana which
involves a steady recollection of Atmaj~nAna finally
leads to chittavRtti nirodha is in perfect agreement
with AchArya's bhAShya 'na hyAtmavij~nAna
tatsmRtisantAnavyatirekena chittavRtti nirodhasya

i don't know if it clashes with AchArya's bhAShya at
other places. kindly clarify. 

the only place where C4 differs from the traditional
scheme is in shravaNa and manana. regarding shravaNa,
if it is agreed that a brahmaniShTha's upadesha is
equivalent to shruti vAkyAs, then there is no
contradiction. however, it seems to me that there is a
definite difference in manana. i'll elaborate on this
in a (forthcoming) reply to shrI rAmakRShNan's mail.


vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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