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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 08:24:22 CDT 2016

Namaste Kripa ji,

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 2:08 PM, Kripa Shankar <kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Namaste Venkatraghavan
> Yes there are some issues with my phone.
> I am not saying study of Shastras is futile because then I would be
> contradicting myself. A Vedantin considers Shravana manana and nidhidhyasa
> as an anugraha of ishwara. Otherwise it is just revelling in ahankara(I
> will study, I will be free). It is again for this reason that shAstra
> vidhis are central to orthodox Advaita. Because a sadhaka performs a‎ll
> actions because they are mentioned in the shastras and not moved by own
> will / obligation. Otherwise if the sadhaka deluding himself or herself to
> be intelligent, performs anything as per own inclination, is firmly bound
> within the confines of ahankara.

Good, we are on the same page here.

> ‎If we cannot identify Karma, then how can Akarma be achieved. Karma is
> not mithyA. Karma is the law of causality. How can * understanding * which
> is a kriya itself lead to the * conclusion / understanding * that Karma is
> mithya. ‎

You are sadly mistaken here. All the things you mention in this paragraph -
 karma, the law of causality, ajnAna and jnAna are ALL very much within the
sphere of vyavahAra, and therefore mithyA. If any of these were paramAtma
satya, then Atma would respectively be 1) kartA 2) the ultimate cause and
3) changing (it was ignorant, now it is knowledgeable). If anything other
than Atma were to be real, then that would be advaita hAni. How can
understanding get rid of the wrong notion that karma is mithyA? A mithyA
jnAna is necessary and sufficient to remove the mithyA ignorance and its
product, mithyA karma. My dream thirst can only be quenched by dream water,
not the water available in the waking state.

> Ramana taught what he taught. Those who want to believe it ‎believe it.
> Ramana, a true saint or not is irrelevant. The only contention is that his
> teachings cannot be considered as orthodox Advaita because :
> 1) By his own/Ramanashram  admission
> 2) His words are not shruti (paurusheya)‎
> 3) He cannot be considered a Guru in orth‎odox sense, for he was
> illiterate of Shastras, outside the lineage and mostly maintained silence
> when asked about anything. This is considering for the sake of argument
> that he was jnani.
> 4) Judging by the affairs of the Ashram

You are missing the most important criterion - is his teaching as
preserved, in line with shruti? A dispassionate analysis would reveal that
it most definitely is in line with shruti. If you believe it to be
otherwise, then it is your burden of proof to do so.

> I am not mentioning his teachings because then it will be a matter
> o‎pinion. In fact, his teachings matter the least in order to classify. But
> nonetheless I have already stated my opinion.

No it will be a matter of analysis open to scrutiny and unfortunately your
analysis is unlikely to stand up to that scrutiny -  as demonstrated in
this very email, your understanding of various advaita concepts are sadly
muddled. However, please do not take this as criticism, it is simply a
pointer to address those issues in your sAdhana.

My view is that Ramana Maharshi's teachings are not meant for the lay
reader - it requires a high level of sAdhana chatushTaya, and an
understanding of shAstra already. His teachings are really meant for those
that have already completed shravaNa (and maybe manana). The true value of
his teaching is for those doing nidhidhyAsana in my view,

> You have admitted that Ramana himself never claimed to be either shAstra
> vid or sampradayavid. Then why is it an issue to classify him as a great
> soul outside the orthodox school of Advaita?
> No issue whatsoever  - however it would be erroneous to use that as a
basis to classify his teaching as non-vedAnta or neo Vedanta.


> Regards
> Kripa
>> ‎---
> Vyasaya Vishnu roopaya Vyasa roopaya Vishnave
> Namo vai Brahma nidhaye Vasishtaya namo namaha

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