Raman Maharshi (was Re: RES: [Advaita-l] Newmemberintroduction:AsadMustafa Rizvi)

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 13:53:15 CST 2007

Namaste Sriram,

Its good you sent this mail. It gives us some idea of why you said
what you said.

I am sure our list member Sri Ramakrishnan will respond to your post
and clarify the whole matter. Indeed, I hope & pray he does, as it
would benefit all of us.

Anyway, beginner that I am, let me make a small attempt at responding
to your post. As far as the tradition of Advaita-Vedanta is concerned,
let us be clear that it is not a one-track tradition with fixed views
on each & every issue. Rather, the tradition enunciates some broad
principles, and then allows multiple approaches within the said

These broad prinicples are:
1. The Self alone is real. The world with its objects, words,
concepts, etc is only a set of conventions (mithya) and has no reality
apart from the Self
2. Seeing through this mithya, the seeker realizes that the Self alone
is, and this is moksha

It is clear from the above that advaita is a pure jnana marga.
Realization does not involve any action. It is not about creating
something that did not exist before, neither is it about going to
heaven or "merging" with some divine entity. It is about
*understanding* (not merely intellectually but as a fact) the
ever-existent truth that the Self alone is.

>From your mail, it appears to me that that you have grossly
misunderstood Advaita.
Now your points one by one. My responses after **

Sriram wrote: << this is news to me that advaita is pure jnana marga>>

** I am surprised that a member of this list is making such a
statement. If advaita is not a jnana marga, then what is? Anyway, I
have explained this briefly above.

Sriram: <<to say that Ramana taught only advaita is again a play of words>>

** Ramana taught that the Self alone is, that it has no 'other'. The
word "advaita" (non-dual) has various implications in different
contexts and can be a topic of debate in its own right. However, when
it is said that the Self is non-dual, what is meant is that **the Self
has no other**. This implies that the ego is not real (without the
'other' there is no ego). This is precisely what Ramana taught.

Sriram wrote:
<<Ramana wanted atma vicara.as much as it meant 'self' enquiry...he
wanted awakening and no search was requistioned to perform this

**AtmavicAra is precisely what advaita-vedAnta teaches. It is not an
external search but an enquiry into one's own being - to ask "who am
I". The result is indeed an awakening, as it is a realization that the
Self alone is.

Sriram wrote:
<<advaita has a goal to realise whereas Ramana felt that there was no
goal since seeker and sought where mere relatives that melted away
when reality confronted them>>

** AcArya gauDapAda says in his kArika:
na nirodhaH na ca utpattiH na baddhaH na ca sAdhakaH
na mumukShuH na vai muktaH iti eSha paramArthatA
"there is neither dissolution nor birth; neither is anyone in bondage,
nor is anyone a seeker.
There is nobody seeking liberation, nor is anybody liberated, this is
the supreme truth"

This is precisely what Ramana is saying. Seeker & sought have no
reality per se. They are mithya. When the Self is realized, all such
distinctions melt away. They never even existed in the first place, as
the Self has no other!

Sriram wrote: <<in fact Ramana used to say that the trinity of object,
beholder and time seem to hang on something and that when searched for
seems to come to naught is where in principle Ramana's truth differs
from the objective of advaita>>

** There is no difference at all. The trinity of object, beholder
(subject) and time hold on to the "I-thought" (the ego). Through
Atma-vicAra, the ego is found to be false. This is in perfect
agreement with advaita-vedAnta. This IS advaita-vedAnta.

In fact, the epistemological implication of advaita is precisely that
there is no real distinction between subject & object, i.e. subject &
object are not-two (advaita). The Self alone is real, so any
distinction between subject & object is also mithya.

Sriram wrote: <<Chapter 13 verse 30 of the gita avers to the concept
of oneness as one from the many and the many to the one...for the
Maharishi there was no passage or journey for the universe or the
unitary were together plays of one's mind force and through the source
of one's 'I'ness the Bhagwan felt that all relative would convert to

** It is not clear what you mean by the above. Please write in simpler English!
But let us be clear that Advaita Vedanta does not talk about any
"journey" from the many to the one or vice versa. The gItA can be
interpreted in many ways. The ego is the key to relative reality. By
tracing the ego to its source, one realizes that it is has no reality
apart from the Self. This is precisely what Ramana taught.

Sriram wrote:
> what Adi talked was in the context of atman, and that all atman was
> embodiment of the Supramental Being  and in a way espoused a unity in
> diversity, whereas Ramana said that the truth if searched for gave no cause
> for diversity and there being no diversity there was no need to conjure an
> unity!

** Again, it would be useful if you could write in simpler English. I
suppose by "Adi" you mean Adi Sankara. The Atman is not some
supramental being and neither did Sankara espouse any unity in
diversity. The Atman is the truth that gives no cause for diversity.
'Atman' is the Sanskrit word for 'Self' (or should I say that 'Self'
is the English word for 'Atman'! ). The Self alone is self-evident.
The Atman alone is. This is what Ramana taught and this is what
Advaita-Vedanta teaches.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list