[Advaita-l] Mandukyopanishad for the Sanyasis

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 1 15:28:20 CDT 2011


The verisame Upanishad Itself puts the onus on a knower of Brahman to renounce.

Vid. Br.Up  4.4.22 "Desiring this Self alone monks renounce their homes"......  
etameva viditva munir bhavanti...

Shankara glosses - therfore desiring the  world of the Self monks renounce their 

home i.e. SHOULD RENOUNCE. Thus  it is an injunction and harmonieses with the 
eulogy that follows.  Because ancient Sages desisting from rites did renounce 
their homes  therefor people today also renounce them i.e. SHOULD RENOUNCE them.

Again vid. the Chandogya 2,23,1
There  are 3 kinds of virtue. First is sacrifice,study and charity, Second is  
austerity itself. THird is a brahmacharin living in the house of his  teacher - 
wholly dedicating himself there for life. All these become  attainers of the 
virtuous worlds. The man established in Brahman  attaines immortality. 
(Brahmasamsathoa mrtatvameti)

Here is how Shankara glosses:

Purvapakshin: Can  it not be said that whoever among the persons following the 
virtues  prescribed for their own stae of life remains established in Brahman 
attains immortality? [in other words, as a grhastha or a householder, by  
practicing a life of virtue and right conduct and at the same time  established 
in the idea of Brahman-oneness, can one not attain  immortality? ]

Siddhanta: NO, because knowledge required for  performance of rites and duties 
and the knowledge needed for the  realization of Brahman are opposed to each 
other....... ..because the  conviction arising from Knowledge and ignorance are 
opposed to each  other. This being so, whoever has got rid of the conviction 
about  differences based on which the injunction about rites and duties come  
into effect, he desists from all kinds of rites and duties becasue all  causes 
for this cease to exist as a result of the conviction of the  Oneness arising 
from the vedic texts....and he who has ceased from all  rites and duties is 
spoken of as one established in Brahman and HE MUST  BE A MONK because it is 
impossible for ANYONE ELSE to be so. For the  other has not got his conviction 
about differences removed. because of  his seeing hearing thinking and knowing 
differences he believes I shall  get this by doing this. In the case of such a 
man who is engaged thus  there cannot be any establishment in Brahman for he is 
possessed of the  ideas arising from his attachment to false transformations 
whihc have  speech alone as their basis.
....Because remaining established in  Brahman is possible for the monk alone. 
And we said he alone remained  unmentioned. Therefore the man of Realization 
alone who has ceased from  rites and duties is meant by the word parivrajakah( 
monk) .... And the  term parivrajakah is not used conventionally for the phrase 
one  remaining established in Brahman like the words barley and pig - this  has 
been rebutted since remaining established in Brahman is possible for  him(the 

In the same vein, Shankara makes his  position clear in the BSB as well :

“And then it has to be considered as  to whether that steadfastness is meant for 

anyonebelonging to any one  of the four stages of life or to the MONK 
ALONE?.....the conclusion will  be that the MONK ALONE can be STEADFAST in 


"How  can the term steadfast in Brahman, used in its derivative sense, 
and  possible application to people in ALL the stages of life be confined to  
the monk alone?"

{Here  the interlocutor takes the position that how can you restrict what is a  
generic term of being established in Brahman to one particular class of  humans 
i.e. the renunciates – why cannot people in all walks of life,  including those 
that are active as members of society, attain to  steadfastness in Brahman?} 

Vedantin's  Reply : The term steadfastness in Brahman implies a conusmmation 
Brahman a total absorption in Brahman which is the same as the absence  of ANY 

Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyoh namah

----- Original Message ----
From: Venkata sriram P <venkatasriramp at yahoo.in>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 2:07:54 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Mandukyopanishad for the Sanyasis

Namaste Jaladharji,
Traditionally, in-depth studies of the upanishads were only undertaken by 
those who had formally renounced
Infact, if you observe, upanishad vidyas are the dialogues between teacher & 
who propagated rishi parampara who were grihasthas (vAnaprasthAs). 

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