[Advaita-l] the qualification to be an advaita guru

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 15:30:10 CDT 2011

It is possible for anyone to speak vedanta if he has the interest, reads and
discusses. If one s genuine in terms of not having selfish desires, then he
will attract admiration and dedication from others because these are rare
qualities. Also, one who is not awayed by desires tends to be equanimous and
hence blissful. In the presence of such a person, others also become
peaceful. If one has unshakeable faith in the words of his guru, then his
words carry strong conviction. This inspires others to listen to him. But
all of the above can be attributed to neurology. Many people accept another
person as a guru because they are convinced about the guru's mystic powers.
However, even if the mystic power is genuine it does not mean that the
concerned person has advaita siddhi. We hear about legends of mystic powers
across traditions.

Apart from the intellectual profundity, one thing that attracts me in
advaita is the qualification of a guru. In his commentary to BG 7.2, Sankara
says, "Thus, he who knows Me in reality becomes *omniscient*. This is the
idea". This is brilliant because if I dont know anything in the empirical or
transcendental realm, I will have fear of unknown. Madhsudana exposits, on
this verse "Everything is known when One is known (Mu1.1.3 & Br. 2.4.5)".
This is a pretty bold statement because if this is possible, then an advaita
guru, *if willing*, can solve problems beyond current human knowledge. For
example, he will be able to give solution for P vs. NP problem. One may say
that it is not the case because one will know the essence of all things
which is sat cit ananda brahman but not really become trikalajna or sarvajna
as no object caused by upadhi exists. But in his commentary to BG 6.15,
Madhusudana says,"To one who has only the realization of the difference
between the intellect and the Person comes rulership over all things and
knowledge of everything. From the renunciation of even that comes Liberation
following the destruction of the seeds of evil (P.Y.Su. 3.51)".

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