[Advaita-l] rAmadAsa Swami

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Tue May 6 08:44:14 CDT 2008

>It is known among the disciples of rAmadAsa Swami that he
>was sage yAjnavalkya of bRhadAraNyaka Upanishad fame in
>his previous birth.
>Assuming this to be true: 
Dear Shrinivas,

The key point is the "assuming to be true". Whatever message
one takes from this avatAra legend depends on that.

Historically, we see an evolution of the avatAra concept. We can
reconcile the varying emphases on karma, upAsana, dhyAna and
jnAna, as given by various saints, in terms of what was necessary
for the disciples that they taught. The fundamental principles are
not compromised though.

If you take the example of the contemporary SankarAcArya-s in
India, their discourses will typically lay a lot of emphasis on bhakti,
karma, etc. This does not mean that they are diluting Sankara's
emphasis on jnAna, but they are addressing a very different audience
today, and feel the need to reiterate and emphasize a lot of what
Sankara bhagavatpAda takes for granted. Also, many have been
considered to be avatAra-s of Sankara, but this has to be taken as
a matter of praise (stutyartham) and not as a philosophical or
theological principle that impacts the interpretations of vedAnta.


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