[Advaita-l] Jnana-karma samuccaya.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Nov 23 19:57:31 CST 2010

On Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 6:57 AM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Or perhaps in mocking the Acharyas like the present Sringeri
> Mahasannidhanam? At least the following is directly targeting them (November
> 23, 2010 from the same "poor taste" author):
> "And with regard to luxurious life of swamiji's...I dont see any of our
> present day Acharya-s/ swamiji-s/ vedAnta guruji-s using their 'pAda-s' to
> travel from one place to another and preferring 'kuteera' to stay...They
> have always posh cars (their own and devotees as well :-))  at their
> disposal and have well furnished cottages to stay and sumptuous food for
> the 'bhiksha':-))  I dont think we can evaluate the level of jnAna they
> have from their life style...if we do that nobody would qualify:-))"
> [..]
> Regards,
> Kartik

Here are some excerpts from a book 'Exalted Elucidations' published by Sri
Viidyteertha Foundation, Chennai.

A lesson in vairagya:

The Maharaja of Mysore had submitted a high quality, imported mattress for
Acharyal's use. At Secunderabad, Raja Limbekar too had offered imported
blankets for the use of His Holiness. It was the attendant's duty to make
the bed for Acharyal every night before Acharyal and myself entered the
room. Thereafter, the door would be locked. Acharyal would then remove His
upper cloth and roll it up. This, He would use as His pillow. A deerskin
served as His bed and, His lower cloth was the blanket! He would chant
'Shambho Mahadeva' thrice and go to sleep. In the morning, as soon as He got
up, He would slightly rumple the blankets to make it look as if it had been
used by Him as His bedding. This was going on for a few days. One day, I
asked His Holiness: 'Why is  Acharyal doing like this?' Acharyal clarified:
'I am a sannyasin and I don't require such comforts. However, those who
donate such articles to Me, expect Me to use them. If they come to know that
I am not utilizing them, they may come to the conclusion that the items
offered were not of good quality and feel bad about it. As a result, they
may trouble themselves further and get Me even more valuable objects. Why
give room for all these? That is why I give an impression even to My
attendants that I make use of the

blankets presented to Me!  (As told by Sri Rajagopala Sarma)

Sannyasa and Vairagya go hand-in-hand. Vairagya is the essence of
spirituality. Acharyal, Sri Abhinava Vidyateertha Swamigal, never failed to
stress the need to cultivate vairagya. He Himself led a life of supreme
contentment and dispassion. His life is a great lesson on the practice of

Late one night, Acharyal woke up from sleep, ate a small, shriveled plantain
that was kept on the windowsill, drank some water and went back to bed. I,
who was watching the scene, felt very bad that He ate the banana, which was
only fit to be thrown away. When I had the opportunity to talk to Him next
morning, I gave vent to my feelings and said, 'Why did Acharyal choose to
eat the fruit that was in such a bad state?' 'Why not?', asked Acharyal.
'There are boxes full of luscious grapes from Australia that were submitted
to Acharyal. Why did Acharyal have to eat 'that' banana?' I queried.

 Acharyal said, "It is advised that one has to eat something when he feels
pain due to peptic ulcers. The banana served the purpose adequately. Just
because better quality fruits are available

today, do I have to eat that? Do you know what 'virakti' is? It is not the
dispassion that you have towards an object in its absence. Even when the
object of desire is in front of you and is also rightfully yours, you should
not enjoy it. Even the thought 'I want it' should not be there in your mind.
That alone is true 'virakti' ". Acharyal continued, 'Even

though I may not attempt to procure the object, if I were to entertain a
desire for it, the very longing will remain in My mind as a residual
samskara. On a different occasion, such a samskara may impel Me to act even
without My being conscious of it. For instance, let us suppose someone comes
and places a delicious fruit in front of Me and I

too am in need of it. Let us also suppose that I had earlier entertained a
desire for it. In such a situation, I may at once consume the fruit without
a second thought. So, 'true mind control' is that state of mind, where you
do not even entertain the thought that you need something."
(As told by Sri Rajagopala Sarma)

My father once posed this question to His Holiness: 'At the Mutt Acharyal
could afford to have all the comforts. Why not Acharyal enjoy all comforts?
Why should You strain Yourself by getting up early in the morning and
working so hard all through the day and go to bed as late as eleven o'clock?
What do You get out of this?' Acharyal smiled at

him and said, 'Suppose you are offered jaggery and badam halwa both of which
are sweet, which one of these would you prefer?' My father said, 'Where is
the doubt here? I will choose the badam halwa'. 'Well said', remarked His
Holiness. 'Those who have tasted the bliss of the Supreme will not pine for
these mundane things', added Acharyal.

(As told by Sri S.Shivaswamy, son of Justice Somanatha Iyer)

Warm Regards,



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