[Advaita-l] Shortest Sentence in English is a Mahaa Vaakya?

sreenivasa murthy narayana145 at yahoo.co.in
Mon Mar 23 06:57:39 CDT 2015

Dear Sri Jaladhar Vyas,
         Will you kindly mind your language in your replies. It is most disgusting to see the words  are being twisted and meanings in the sentences being twisted horribly .  . What a tragedy !
one who has been hurt by your bad and virulent words,Sreenivasa Murthy
       From: Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
 Sent: Monday, 23 March 2015 12:28 PM
 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Shortest Sentence in English is a Mahaa Vaakya?
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 Brahmavidya
> 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 
> mumukshus.

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 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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