[Advaita-l] Ramana Maharshi - Advaitin or Neo Advaitin?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 04:49:22 CDT 2016

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 12:12 PM, Kripa Shankar <
kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste
> Yes, the article/author acknowledges Ramana as a saint.

That is enough to hold that he is an advaitin. That is what other
contemporary saints have seen in him and acknowledged. There is no rule
that an Advaitin, a realized soul, should conduct in a particular way.
Bāla, unmattha, piśāchavat can be their conduct. The shāstra accepts
Avadhūtas. Also, there is no rule that an Advaitin must be a Brahmin.
Shankara records the names of Dharmavyādha, Vidura, etc. as realized souls.
Dharmavyādha instructed a brahmin brahmachari on dharma sukshmas. The
Br.Up. has the King Ajatashatru instructing brahmavidyā to a brahmana,
Bālāki. These are all to be neo-vedantins for not following the rules!!

If you think Ramana was not following varnashrama dharma and therefore is a
'neo-advaitin', and is to be distinguished from 'rishi sampradaya', then
there are examples for such jnanis in the scriptures. Raikva in the
Chandogya Upanishad was a rishi who was not following any āśrama dharma.
He taught the ātma vidyā to King Jānaśruti.  In the Shankara Vijaya (if you
believe in it) there is the episode of Shankara performing his mother's
last rites which the vaidika sampradaya does not permit. So Shankara is the
foremost neo-vedantin who denounced and digressed from the 'rishi
sampradaya'!!  To add 'insult to injury' Shankara performed para-kāya
praveśa too.

Jaḍabharata was a Jnani but was not following any āśrama dharma.  As per
your parameters these are all neo-advaitins.

If having a small or large number of foreign followers/admirers is a sign
of the Guru being a neo-advaitin, we have the examples of the Acharyas of
both the Sringeri and Kanchi peethams (and the pontiffs of Madhva and
Ramanuja mutts) having such following.  Thus, all these Acharyas/Sannyasis
should be neo-vedantins!!  There are always a few westerners, both men and
women, staying in Sringeri, who visit the Jagadgurus for darshan every day,
devoutly. So, the Sringeri peetham and the Acharyas are neo-vedantins!!

Jagadguru Chandrashekhara Bharati Swamiji has guided a European devotee who
sought help in sādhana. Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha pointed to a
Kashmiri/Punjabi Jnani (not a sannyasi) as the 'Made-for-you' guide for a
brahmin disciple of himself. That Jnani was called Para Brahma and I had
shared the account of his disciple one this forum recently.  This Jnani was
unkempt, would not follow rules regarding food (source), etc.  The Br.Up.
says: 'that conduct of the realized one is what his conduct is'.
Nistraigunye pathi vicharatām ko vidhiḥ ko nishedhaḥ.
You said Ramana became popular by hearsay, foreigners, etc. Shankara had to
tour the whole country and debate with a variety of people to get across
the Vaidika tattva.  In fact non-advaitins charge that Advaita became
popular only because of the unpaid ambassadors  Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Swami
Vivekananda, etc.

In the case of Ramana, he never asked people to build an ashram; it just
happened. He came alone to Arunachala and remained so forever. Only others
gathered round him.He never asked people to popularize him or his
teachings. How can he be a neo-advaitin for no fault of his?

Of AnimalsOnce a little deer found her way to Bhagavan and would not leave
him. She would go with him up the hill and gambol around him and he would
play with her for hours. About a year later she ran away into the jungle
and some people must have pelted her with stones, for she was found
severely wounded with her legs broken. She was brought to the Ashrama.
Bhagavan kept her near him, dressed her wounds and a doctor set her broken
bones. One midnight the deer crept onto Bhagavan's lap, snuggled up to him
and died. The next day Bhagavan told me that the deer had died. I said:
"Some great soul came to you as a deer to gain liberation from your hands."
Bhagavan said: "Yes, it must be so. When I was on the hill, a crow used to
keep me company. He was a rishi in a crow's body. He would not eat from
anybody's hand but mine. He also died."

Once a garuda, a white-breasted eagle, which is considered holy in India,
flew into the Hall and sat on the top of a cupboard near Bhagavan. After
awhile it flew around him and disappeared. "He is a siddha (a saint endowed
with supernatural powers) who came to pay me a visit," said Bhagavan most


//D: Is not destiny due to past karma?
B: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.//

Talk 209.

Mr. B. C. Das, the Physics Lecturer, asked about free-will and destiny.

M.: Whose will is it? It is mine  you may say. You are beyond will and
fate. Abide as that and you transcend them both. That is the meaning of
conquering destiny by will. Fate can be conquered.*Fate is the result of
past actions.* By association with the wise the bad tendencies are
conquered. One's experiences are then viewed to their proper perspective.

Views of the sages and scriptures:
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
Sri Ramana Maharshi accepted the validity of the laws of Karma but said
that they were only applicable as long as a person imagined that he was
separate from the Self. At this level (the level of the ajnani or the
ignorant), he said that individuals will pass through a series of
pre-ordained activities and experiences, all of which are the consequences
of previous acts and thoughts. He said that every act and experience in a
person’s life is determined at birth and that the only freedom one has is
to realize that there is no one acting and no one experiencing. However,
once one realizes the Self there is no one left to experience the
consequences of actions and so the whole structure of Karmic laws then
becomes redundant.



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