[Advaita-l] Shortest Sentence in English is a Mahaa Vaakya?
H S Chandramouli
hschandramouli at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 04:25:55 CDT 2015
Reg your observation
Something which often gets lost in this discussions is that there are two
basic kinds of sannyasis. Those who have taken it up a spiritual
discipline with a view to preparing to achieve jnana and those who have
already achieved jnana and therefore are in sannyasa by default because
there is nothing left in this samsara for them to desire. Both of them
will respond to the mahavakya in a different way.
I think there is another issue which clouds this requirement for sanyasa
ashrama in quest of jnana. This is concerning
Those who have taken it up a spiritual discipline with a view to preparing
to achieve jnana .
As per my understanding of the Bhashya , sanyasa ashrama can be taken at
two different stages of sadhana. First is to achieve the necessary
qualifications for taking to Brahma Vidya namely Sadhana Chatushtaya
Sampatti. This stage is what is exemplified in the Mundaka Mantra quoted by
parikShya lokAnkarmachitAnbrAhmaNo nirvedamAyannAstyakR^itaH kR^itena |
tadviGYAnArthe sa gurumevAbhigachchhetsamitpANiH shrotriyaM brahmaniShTam
For reaching this stage two sadhana margas are permissible, one is through
Karma Yoga and the other through Sanyasa Yoga. This is what is discussed
extensively in BG Ch 5 with Sri Krishna concluding that Karma Yoga should
normally be the preferred Sadhana Marga. Having reached this stage, either
through Karma Yoga or Sanyasa Yoga , according to my understanding of the
Bhashya Sanyasa Ashrama is compulsory for achieving Jnana. There is no
choice for the Sadhaka. Sri Bhagavatpada himself has clarified in Mundaka
Upanishad as well as in BS Bhashyas that exceptions to this rule which are
often cited by many do not in any way invalidate this general requirement.
I do understand that many post Bhagavatpada advaitins do not agree on this
point , but at least as far as Sri Bhagavatpada himself is concerned there
is no ambiguity on this issue. This is my understanding of the Bhashya. I
am specifically bringingup this issue here because there is quite a good
deal of animated arguments in this regard especially when interpreting Sri
Krishna's views expressed in BG Ch 5. I would like your specific response
on this point.
On Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 12:28 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Mar 2015, sreenivasa murthy via Advaita-l wrote:
> Is mahavakya upadesha has to be given only to sanyasins? Why ?
> Something which often gets lost in this discussions is that there are two
> basic kinds of sannyasis. Those who have taken it up a spiritual
> discipline with a view to preparing to achieve jnana and those who have
> already achieved jnana and therefore are in sannyasa by default because
> there is nothing left in this samsara for them to desire. Both of them
> will respond to the mahavakya in a different way.
> Are not the
>> householders entitled for Atmajnana?
> As part of a brahmachari's vedadhyayana he also learns the words of the
> upanishads and as a grhastha it will be part of his svadhyaya but at this
> point it is book-knowledge. Only by the threefold process of shravana,
> manana, and nidhidhyasana can that be turned into jnana. By that time he
> will no longer have any use for samsara.
> The Vedic Rishis were not sanyasins.
>> Yajnavlkya Of Bruhadaranyaka Upanishad was a gRuhasta
> And as Maitreyibrahmana shows, he settled all his vast wealth on his wives
> and left grhasthashrama.
> and he taught
>> Brahmavidya to Janaka who was a a King. Ajatashatru who taught
>> to Balaki was a king.
> Shankaracharya discusses Janaka in the bhashya on Gita 3.20. Such people
> only engage in "play-acting" so that their subjects who lack proper
> understanding might not unthinkingly imitate the vairagya of a jnani and be
> led astray.
> Saunaka who was a gruhasta was taught paravidya by Angiras. The very
>> first mantra of Mundaka Upanishad states : "sa brahmavidyAM
>> sarvavidyApratiShThAm jyEShThaputrAya prAha ||"
> The jyeShTaputra mentioned is atharva who is a mind-born son of brahma
> (i.e. prajApati not brahman.) and is not a grhastha. He taught it to Angih
> who taught SatyavAha BhAradvaja who taught a~Ngirasa. It was he who taught
> the great householder (mahAshAlin) shaunaka.
> So the Upanishadic tradition is that The Guru imparts Brahmavidya to a
>> shishya who approaches Guru with humility.
> What the upanishad says is that shaunaka vidhivadupasanna "approached him
> [a~Ngirasa] according to ceremony or in the proper manner." What is that
> ceremony or manner (vidhi)? Why sannyasa of course! If shaunakas prior
> state had been acceptable, there would be no need for a "proper manner".
> Interestingly Shankaracharya implies that there was no standard vidhi in
> ancient times and it is shaunaka who has formalized it. Be that as it may
> shaunaka despite his wealth and power chose to give it up for the sake of
> moksha. That is the point of that story.
> That is the true and genuine
>> tradition. Brahmavidya is not the monopoly of sanyasins . Any man who has
>> that intense desire for mukti is entitled for Atmajnana.
> He is entitled to desire it but the upanishad goes on to say (1.2.12)
> parikShya lokAnkarmachitAnbrAhmaNo nirvedamAyannAstyakR^itaH kR^itena |
> tadviGYAnArthe sa gurumevAbhigachchhetsamitpANiH shrotriyaM brahmaniShTam
> "Having examined the worlds won by karma, let a brAhmaNa be free of desire
> and think "there is nothing eternal produced by karma" and with that in
> mind approach with samidh in hand, a guru who is learned and immersed in
> By "free of desire" it doesn't mean "free of most desires except an iPhone
> and a fancy car." and when it says to approach a guru who is brahmaniShTa
> "immersed in brahman" it doesn't mean "mostly immersed in brahman except
> when making a powerpoint presentation in the weekly sales meeting."!
> On Tue, 17 Mar 2015, sreenivasa murthy via Advaita-l wrote:
> When Sri Shankara wrote commentary to Bhagavadgita , he wrote certain
>> teachings to suit the needs of the persons of that time. The> same may not
>> hold any water in the present times.
> And what time would that be?
> What was possible during the times of Upanishads is also possible during
>> the present times.
> Exactly. Sannyasa is just as possible in "present times" as ever :-)
> The social conditions, living conditions etc. have changed.
> And so? Vedanta is asking the mumukshu to give up "social conditions" Are
> you implying this can't be done now?
> It is absolutely necessary that the method of conveying the fundamental
>> metaphysical truths should change to suit the needs of the present day
> Any "fundamental truth" which is subject to the vagaries of fashion can't
> be very fundamental. The needs of the mumukshus of today -- to withdraw
> from maya and seek satya -- are no different than they ever were so the
> method of Vedanta is also no different."
> It is a matter of deep regret that the clinging to redundant
>> ideologies and obsolete sampradayas.
> Ha! You regret it so much you joined a group of people learning about
> Shankaracharya and his "obsolete" sampradaya. That sampradaya which if it
> had not cling to redundant ideology, today Suleiman Murthy would be
> discussing the fine points of the koran on Islam-l. If as you say humility
> is the entry-point to Brahmavidya, you have just disqualified yourself.
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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