[Advaita-l] Shankara and Madhusudhana

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Jul 30 00:40:08 CDT 2011

On Thu, 28 Jul 2011, Bhaskar YR wrote:

> After reading above, one more striking name comes to my mind that is Sri
> bhagavan ramaNa maharshi, who also has not taken any formal saNyAsa or not
> cared about any formal saNyAsa at that point of time and in front of
> aruNachaleshwara temple he has taken his own decision & threw away his
> yajnOpaveeta, shaven his head & has not worn kesari clothes.

True but he never claimed to be an authority of any kind.  Some devotees 
convinced him to speak about adhyatmic matters and through those 
communications he became a guru to them and many others but he never went 
looking for followers.  He never founded an institution or named a 
successor.  He did not even travel much by the standards of a typical 
sadhu remaining on the holy mountain for the rest of his life.  In all 
these things, his approach was the polar opposite of Vivekananda.

On Thu, 28 Jul 2011, Satish Arigela wrote:

> Let us also add the prevailing story of how shankara did funeral rites
> to his Mother even after taking sanyAsa?

We have previously discussed this on the list.  Although the act took 
place after sannyasa it was the result of a promise made earlier.  Far 
from being an idiosyncracy it was a deliberate decision made on 
principle.  So I don't see the relevance to the current discussion.  If it 
means anything it is a reminder of the great importance of injunctions in 
orthodox thought, importance which both Vivekananda and Ramana rejected in 
different ways.

> While I am no fan of vivekAnanda... I believe he did what was good to
> the Hindu society at that time.

Certainly one could make that a legitimate argument.  Perhaps without 
people like him the "Brown Englishmen" might have left Hinduism 
altogether.  But this is the 21st century.  The Brown Englishmen don't 
have the influence on Indian society that they used to have.  The 
colonialists have none at all.  Science and modernity are no longer 
foreign intrusions, we are active participants even leaders and creators. 
Are Vivekanandas ideas still relevant?  I have my opinions but this list 
is probably not the right venue for them.

> He might have some idiosyncrasies which
> may or may not go against the dhArmic injunctions, but why make big
> issue about it?

Why make a big issue of Shankaracharyas attitude towards Tumburu? :-) 
It's a search for truth and understanding that's all.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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