[Advaita-l] Knowledge, renunciation and varNASrama rules

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Thu Aug 19 06:46:12 CDT 2010

praNAms Sri Praveen prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Since you gave examples from Upanishads of those who attained brahmaj~nAna 
and didn't take to 'formal' saMnyAsa, I wished to know if you could give 
examples of anyone who has taken to such formal saMnyAsa.

>  'yAgnAvalkya' comes to my mind who expressed his view to his wives in 
bruhadAraNyaka...and also janaka who continued to lead his kingdom despite 
being a jnAni.  So both examples are available in shruti & bhAshya 

The understanding I bring here is that we do *not* know if the Upanishat 
adhikAri of j~nAna, on acquiring j~nAna, took to saMnyAsa or not. To what 
purpose or if there is any purpose at all is a question I want to avoid.

>  IMO, upanishad does not stop at teaching mere jnAna, its purpose is to 
reveal the nature of our ever existing Atmaikatva i.e. mOksha...and if the 
mOksha is possible ONLY in saNyAsa Ashrama then shruti would have 
explicitly insisted the mandatory requirement of saNyAsa for all 
mumukshu-s or atleast for the dvija-s.  But neither shruti nor shankara in 
his bhAshya explicitly says : no saNyAsa means no mOksha..OTOH, shankara 
explicitly says jnAnamAtre yadyapi 'sarvAshrameNAM adhikAraH' (in mundaka 
bhAshya)..kindly note those who attain this jnAna would become brahman 
here itself and this mOksha rUpa brahma jnAna is NOT a deshAntara, 
kAlAntara sthiti to say mOksha can happen only in saNyAsa Ashrama. 

The crux of the question I want to dig in is if avidyA nivRRitti is 
possible, except in *rarest* of cases, be it vAmadeva getting j~nAna in 
womb or someone were to mention Ramana Maharshi in his childhood, without 

>  prabhuji, do you think practice of vairAgya is possible ONLY in saNyAsa 
Ashrama? vairAgya is a mental state, an antaranga sAdhana and as you know 
it is not formally wearing the orange robe, tonsuring head and holding 
danda-kamandala.  A viveki can practice this sAdhana amidst the 
cacophonies of this mundane samsAra. And with this vairAgya, with the 
sAdhana chatushtaya, with the shAstra vAkya shravaNa, manana, 
nidhidhyAsana he could achieve the ultimate even in saMsAra...and for the 
'gruhasta' of that order the pArivrAjya saNyAsam is 'artha siddhAm' 
clarifies shankara in chAdOgya : etena gruhastasya ekatva vijnAne sati 
pArivrAjyaM artha siddhaM...two things we will come to know from this, in 
gruhasthAshram also it is possible to get ekatva jnAna and for that jnAni 
in gruhastAshrama itself saNyAsa pArivrAjya by default artha siddhaM. 

Exactly the point, dussAdhyaM makes it very rare and we should talk for 
the masses of sAdhakas as I count myself to be in, not the rare ones or 

>  prabhuji, for the masses there is direct sAdhana prescribed i.e. 
sharvanAdi sAdhana and to do this, sAdhana chatushtaya is a 
prerequisite..We cannot make saNyAsa as the compulsory requirement in this 
scheme of entries.  Kindly refer shankara's bhAshya on very first sUtra of 
vedAnta sUtra. (athAtho brahma jignAsa). 

Before closing, may I also ask you at this point: why is it that you hold 
the view that saMnyAsa is not a must, be it as vividishA or vidvat, but do 
say that a brahmaj~nAni cannot involve in nisshiddha karma? 

> I am holding this view because bhagavatpAda himself talks about the 
possibility of ekatva jnAna in gruhasthAshrama as quoted above.  brahma 
jnAni cannot involve in nisshiddha karma is also the assertion of shankara 
as against the views you might have seen in this list that jnAni also can 
have krOdha, mOha due to his prArabdha and the duration of control of this 
depends on the set of BMI he has according to his prArabdha !!

>  And more importantly & finally, being a gruhasta who donot want to be a 
sanyAsi to do brahma jignAsa, I have to search for the justification of my 
stand :-))

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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