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

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Mon May 15 00:43:43 CDT 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI jagannAthan mahAdevan,

--- jagannathan mahadevan
<jagannathan.mahadevan_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> From the essay quote in your last email (part 1), I
> deduced that Atma
> vicArA (Self-enquiry) consists of shravanam, mananam
> and nididhyAsanam
> all three of them (the last sentence in the second
> para). Please point
> me in the direction of your thoughts.

yes, it can be interpreted like that. i mentioned this
possibility (C1: S,M,N = AV) in the other mail. the
reason why i prefer C4 (M,N = AV) is because Atma
vichAra in the form of searching for the source of the
ego, which is the crux of RM's teachings, is not done
during shravaNa (uttamAdhikArIs excluded). it is done
only during manana and nididhyAsana. 

it will be interesting if someone can point out shrI
chandrasekhara bhAratI's views on this. from whatever
i have read from His remarkable commentary on
bhagavatpAda's vivekachUDAmaNi, it seems He teaches B
(as compared to A and C). 

in some sense, B and C fall into one class and A is a
separate class. and i guess a statement like '*only*
interpretation X is correct' is not in the spirit of
the tradition as shrI rAmakRShNan clarified. however,
it is necessary to hold on to one view after examining
various views while at the same time appreciating and
respecting other views.

(A: aparokSha j~nAna is produced by mere shravaNa even
for mumukShUs who are not uttamAdhikArIs. B,C:
aparokSha j~nAna arises during nididhyAsana, manana
respectively (but not during shravaNa) for mumukShUs
who are not uttamAdhikArIs.)

--- jagannathan mahadevan
<jagannathan.mahadevan_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> One of the practices that mahAtmas have engaged in
> is penance-written
> in almost all biographical sketches such as that of
> ramaNa bhagavAn,
> paramahamsa, mAtA amritAnandamayi and also different
> traditional
> AcAryAs. I am unable to understand whether this is
> also something that
> is part of the traditional teaching in some form-
> something that the
> sequence of SCS, S, M, N includes. Coming back, what
> I am referring to
> as penance is based on my observation from the
> biographical sketches,
> namely continuous meditation in the caves or in
> nature, withstanding
> great physical pains to persist in the meditation,
> and even going
> without food in the process sometimes.

to know the truth, a steady enquiry is required. the
obstacle to this steady enquiry is a dull or restless
mind, physical pains, hunger, fear of death etc...
overcoming these either by abhyAsa or by j~nAna or by
bhakti is the primary characteristic of tapas. 

leading a life of tapas is certainly in tune with the
tradition. it is no exaggeration to say that one who
is aspiring to know the truth *should* engage himself
in some form of tapas (uttamAdhikArIs excluded). 

tapas can mean different things depending on the
maturity of the aspirant. for a mumukShu, bearing all
dvandvAs like heat and cold, pleasure and pain etc.
aided by nityAnitya viveka and vairAgya can be called
as tapas. this is necessary for acquiring sAdhana
chatuShTaya sampatti. shravaNa, manana and
nididhyAsana are also forms of tapas. for a brahmavit
who has residual vAsanAs left, parisa~NkyAna is by
itself a form of tapas which helps in achieving vAsanA
kShaya and mano nAsha. 

however, it is not the case that a mumukShu has to
starve himself to death or subject himself to extreme
physical austerities. that definitely is not a part of
the tradition. as shrI kRShNa teaches us in the gItA,
moderation is the key. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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