[Advaita-l] Importance of Ashram

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jan 1 17:24:54 CST 2008

On Tue, 1 Jan 2008, Dr. Yadu Moharir wrote:

> Namste Jayanarayan-Ji:
>  Dos this not mean that Swami Parthasarathy is utilizing the teachings 
> rather than locking himself in the Ivory Towers of Advaita?

If I see a rat in the kitchen and hit it with a big heavy Sanskrit book 
I may achieve a practical effect but I think we can all agree that is not 
how you are supposed to "utilize the teachings" can we not? :-)

>  If Advaita had no use in everyday life (vyaharika level) then one needs 
> to wonder why Archarya established school (Math) in all four corners of 
> India?

The Vyavaharic use of Advaita Vedanta is to prepare for the abandonment of 
vyavahara.  This is not to say that there is not room for vyavahara in 
life at all--after all we consider dharma, artha, and kama to be 
purusharthas as well as moksha but the prior three are addressed by other 
aspects of the Smarta tradition.

The job of the karmakanda is manage stress.
The job of the jnanakanda is to end stress permanantly.

When I worked on Wall Street I met a lot of "type A" personalities, the 
kind of people whose hair turned white in their 30's due to stress and 
overwork.  Sometimes those people would go to "biblical" retreats for a 
week or two (or have a heart attack and go to hospital for a week or two.) 
but after their "stress management", they would just go back to their old 
negative lifestyle.

It looks like "progress" has caught up with India these days and so 
entrepreneurs have arisen to meet the needs of the modern sufferer.  And 
because neither guru or shishya understands jnana, karma, vyavahara etc. 
but they've heard that Vedanta is some kind of spiritual thing so the 
whole khichdi is lumped together as "Advaita"

But educated people know better.

>  If someone uses the Advaitic principles why should that individual be 
> looked upon as being less ?  IMHO - It should be the other way around.
>  aj~nebhyo granthinaH shreShThaa, granthibhyo dhaariNo varaaH | 
> dhaaribhyo j~naaninaH shreShThaa, j~naanibhyo vyavasaayinaH || 
> manusmR^iti 12-103||
>  Meaning - Someone who has studied a little is better than totally 
> ignorant. Someone who has memorized them are better than someone who 
> knows a little. One who knows the meaning is superior to those who 
> memorizes. However, one who practices it (the knowledge) is certainly 
> the most superior.

1.  Manusmrti is a dharmashastra not a mokshashastra.  The context is
     different so the advice is different.

2.  The correct practice of Vedantic knowledge is vairagya.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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