[Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?
srirudra at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 03:49:53 CDT 2016
What is this Neo Advaitam? Some thing like Neo Darwinism? I don't know who
coined this word. There is only Advaitam as enunciated by Sri Adi Sankara.
I think suddenly someone started asking about Sri Ramana Maharishi and His
teachings. And some Wikipedia reference was quoted as saying Sri Ramana
used tobacco and whether He is a gyani etc. I think this forum is being
used for discussing things which are not for advaitha. R. Krishnamoorthy.
OK, if you are willing to set aside bias, why don't you inquire into the
teaching, as opposed to the teacher?
The classification of the teacher as Vedantin and NeoVedantin is only
relevant if you think the teaching is suspect or if your interest is in the
history of Vedanta development.
If your interest is in the history of Vedanta, fine, but that is not of
interest to me.
If you consider the teaching to be suspect then it would be helpful if you
can identify where it differs from a philosophical perspective with
traditional Vedanta. You identified the denial of reincarnation as one
area, however as it has been pointed out, it was spoken from the
perspective of pAramArthika satya to a specific student at a specific time.
Extrapolating a statement made in one context as a general teaching is
The second aspect you questioned was if Ramana Maharshi was a jnAni. Any
answer given to that question is only speculation, as no one but the person
in question can know this.
The third claim you made was that his statements were vague and formulaic
in their responses. Firstly on vagueness, there could be several reasons
attributable for it, including your possible own lack of understanding of
traditional Vedanta. Only you can judge this.
The other reason why it may be perceived as vague is as follows.
Traditionally a guru in Vedanta is described as a shrotriya brahmanishTha -
that is he is well versed in the scriptures and whose identity is firmly
rooted in the self. Typically where the latter qualification is present and
the former is absent, the teacher while having gained the self knowledge
in some fashion, lacks the communication tools prescribed in shAstra to
teach it. The statements of such a guru appear mystical to a student new to
Vedanta. Ramana Maharshi not having studied Vedanta under a guru would fall
into this category - assuming we provisionally accept he is a jnAni for the
sake of argument. However, to a student who has studied Vedanta in the
traditional manner, his statements make a lot of sense and are in line with
the shAstric teaching. That is why you see so many members in this list
defend the teaching of Ramana Maharshi as being in line with Vedanta - it
is not out of respect for the man, although that may be present too, but
because of the underlying message.
On 21 Sep 2016 8:46 a.m., "Kripa Shankar via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Namaste Bhaskar
> I am willing to set aside my bias! You have admitted that he may not be
> following the orthodox school of Advaita, which is evident. This does not
> mean he was a fraud. This means that Ramana has given birth or adopted
> another school of Advaita. The term Neo Advaita was already there and
> defined. In fact, Ramana asram themselves say so.
> Everyone does not have to follow the scriptures. Yathecchasi tatha kuru.
> But in my sincere opinion, classifying the schools accordingly is
> so that we don't mix up things.
> I personally don't like to mix up our ancient Rishis/culture with people/
> culture from other faiths. That is my own inclination. Others may not
> an issue. My own parents have high regards for Ramana and they travel to
> Tiruvannamalai frequently. I try to argue with them but they disregard me
> Vyasaya Vishnu roopaya Vyasa roopaya Vishnave
> Namo vai Brahma nidhaye Vasishtaya namo namaha
> Original Message
> From: Bhaskar YR
> Sent: Wednesday 21 September 2016 12:52 PM
> To: Kripa Shankar; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta; D.V.N.Sarma
> Subject: RE: [Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?
> So it's definitely not personal. I started this query in true spirit of
> praNAms Kripa Shankar prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> Would it be possible for anyone to get his doubts clarified when he has
> his 'own' uncompromised opinions on the same subject already prabhuji?? I
> don’t think so. You are already doubting ramaNa's associates writings, you
> have already concluded that the 'image' ramaNa has been hyped by media and
> white skin Apta vAkya-s, you are already clear in your mind that ramaNa
> quotes only Osho, Tai etc. and never cared to quote shankara and his
> to any 'deep' philosophical questions was monotonous & vague :-) Under
> these circumstances and preconceived notions about a particular person how
> can your inquiry be objective prabhuji?? Just wondering.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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