[Advaita-l] RamaNa, Shankara and Krishna

Ramanathan P p_ramanathan at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 3 22:05:47 CST 2007

Sri Vishwanath, I can only say a few brief things 
according to my personal opinions.

First do we believe in God as a personal being/truth 
who would correspond to the devotee, etc? That is, do 
we accept the words of Sri Krishna in the Gita? We can

understand each other's personality; the brain 
accomodates for this. But definitely even this with 
regard to God is a big question mark. So your question

on incarnation comes later.

If you accept the personal aspect of God as true as 
yours at least, then why should it bother whether He 
who created this universe out of His will, etc, can 
also incarnate in response to His creation? 

So the real question is the former: to what extent do 
you accept God as a personal reality? Brahman as most 
use the term is rather an abstraction, and it is 
doubtful if many understand it as a spiritual reality 
and not as a material completeness.

The standpoint of the scriptures, etc. is that teh 
truth behind all observables is consciousness: a 
Self-operating Principle and not what appears to be 
merely law abiding. This is Brahman, more or less: by 
itself, it is nirguna; put our perspective in middle, 
it is saguna. The appearance includes you and me and 
earth and sky. So why not a Sri Rama and a Sri
That is, if you accept that it is more than just plain

material law and rather a Conscious Truth that
then leave open the possibility of something more than

what you can affirm through reason alone. That 
Conscious truth is at the back of all our
it need not reveal its true nature to one and all. 
Perhaps if you seek it within, more will be revealed. 
The scriptures are all founded on such revelations. 


--- Vishy <vishy1962 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Pranams
>   If you go very deep on lines of Advaitic thinking
> , I wonder, how the concept of 
>   " Incornations" could be explained !   If " you
> are that" and  ultimate is realising that fact, how
> come some one sitting somewhere taking birth or form
> to protect something or someone?
>   Many times I tend to think that even Rama/
> Krishna/ Shankara,  why even Buddha or Christ are
> the ones who reached mukthi/ realisation/ the
> possible height of any living being  in their own
> way. Likewise Ramana too.
>   Please dont mistake me as person with athiestic
> leanings, but I am person born in orthodox smartha
> family and continue to worship Rama/ Krishna as
> incornations of God. I request you to kindly throw
> some light on this thinking from advaita point of
> view, please.
>   Vishwanath 
> Krishnamurthy Ramakrishna <puttakrishna at verizon.net>
> wrote:
> praNAms;
> In recent days there have been several postings on
> Ramana with
> some comparisons in his advaitic teachings to that
> of Shankara
> or Krishna. I have summarized my understanding
> below.
> There are some reports that Ramana experienced
> samAdhi when he was
> in Madurai at the age of 16, but he did not know
> that it was samAdhi.
> He only realized it as a unique experience.
> He then went to aruNAchala at the call of his inner
> self to attain
> a lasting state of that samAdhi. I have also read
> other reports that one day
> he just left his home town in Madurai to aruNAchala,
> meditated in the
> caves there and realized the Self in the course of
> his meditation.
> It is not important which is closer to truth, but
> the message 
> seems to be that he is considered to have attained
> jIvanmukti in his life
> during the 19/20th centuries.
> If we read his teachings, as well as some of his
> compositions - upadESha
> sAra and sat-darshana among them, it is clear that
> he targeted his teachings
> to serious and advanced mumukShus or seekers. For
> example, he has said in 
> 30 verses of upadESha sAra, the message of gIta,
> which runs over 700 verses;
> Karma yOga in gIta is covered in 3rd plus some in
> 4th chapter, Ramana covers
> it in three verses. Sat Darshana in 40 plus verses
> is almost equivalent in
> message to that of chAnDOgya or BrihadAraNyaka
> upanishat. In the opening
> verse, he asks the rhetorical question - katham
> smarAmh tam amEyam Ekam -
> how then can we think of it, the one that is not
> available for thought? In
> light of this question, swami Brahmananda (of
> Chinmaya Mission, Bangalore)
> in his discourse says thus; we, engaged in rituals,
> invoke god and send him
> home after the puja, wishing Him to come back safely
> (kShEmAya
> punarAgamanAyacha). This appears to be the gap that
> needs to be covered by
> ordinary seekers to be able to fully understand
> Ramana. No wonder some
> people think his message is heretical! Even his
> typical responses to
> questions - either silence or 'ask who gets the
> doubt', are 
> targeted towards advanced seekers. Another possible
> reason why some people
> think Ramana's teachings are heretical may be more
> to do with his
> followers than himself. Some followers of his say
> that a guru is
> not needed for realization, pointing to the
> realization of Ramana himself
> without a guru. What these followers possibly ignore
> is that Ramana may have
> had lives before when he had a guru; for some reason
> he did not achieve
> fruition in that past life, which he achieved in
> this life ( anEka janma
> samsiddhah tatO yAti parAm gatim - having acquired
> perfection through many
> births, the yOgi attains supreme state, gIta 6-45).
> Shankara and Krishna are generally considered as
> incarnations, with a
> mission - lOka kalyANa or welfare of society ( yadA
> yadA hi dharmasya...
> gIta 4-7). They followed tradition and orthodoxy.
> Shankara, took
> disciple-ship with gOvinda pAda, just as Rama took
> tutelage under vasiShTa.
> Shankara
> covered the length and breadth of India four times,
> while Ramana stayed at
> aruNAchala, serious seekers visiting him. Shankara
> even prescribed
> panchAyatana pUja to unite followers of various
> deities, so that the
> ritualistic practices could help the people in
> preparing their mind for
> seeking realization. In other words, Shankara worked
> at the grass roots
> level also.
> So did Krishna. Though His apparent student was
> Arjuna, He targeted the
> entire human kind for ever to come in delivering the
> message of gIta.
> Krishna also went to sAndIpany to get formal
> training, to lead people
> in tradition and orthodoxy.
> This is my humble view. If I have overstated any, I
> will stand to be
> corrected.
> Om namah Ramana, Shankara and Krishna.
> K. Ramakrishna.
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