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

Kripa Shankar kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 10:21:47 CDT 2016

 Namaste Praveen 
I am a student of Vedanta and I want to study the authentic works. I see a lot of sources on this subject around me. RK Mission, Ramana, J Krishna Murthy, UG, Mooji, Nisargadatta 'Maharaj', some random muni, random paramahamsa etc. First of all I don't know how they lived their own personal lives. They are all stories and some even bordering on hilarious fiction. So I can't trust their words and so I lack shraddha. ‎On the other hand we have the good old orthodox school which has records of unbroken lineage. Everyone knows about their conduct. 

It's like a cell phone, say Sony. You can get an exact replica of Sony cell phone made in China. It does all the same things perhaps better than original :D but it's not Sony. That's all I am saying, there is an orthodox school and there is a school outside of it. This is undeniable. Now if any one wants to use this rule - A sampradAyavit..... selectively based on assumptions, that is merely a personal bias. Those who have no affiliation will obviously reject it. ‎Because there is no room for assumption when it requires faith. 

Secondly regarding the scriptures. Vedas are A paurusheya. It's not an individuals doctrine. The shruti is the unbroken lineage. This lineage is a parameter which safeguards the original teachings. Any one who is familiar with the scriptures will not accept anything outside of the lineage. Just as a bastard cannot ascertain the origin, those outside of the lineage cannot tell the source of their doctrine. Such a doctrine is Aveda, by definition. To assume that one could have learnt in previous births is not supported by Vedas. 

Sadashiva Brahmendra was a great renunciate. He was sky clad and roamed about as if he was dumb or mad. But he followed all principles of conduct before that. I hate my guts to do this but Ramana although wore a single piece of cloth he had quite comfortable seating arrangements within the Ashram atop the hill. He had many servants around him all the time. He used to have Mrishtanna bhojana and was always surrounded by people. How this is Atiashrama no one really knows. The British man Paul Brunton discovered Ramana in 1931. I suppose he was in his fifties then. But there is a picture of an adolescent Ramana posing for the camera, very calmly. Any explanation without assumptions?  

Most people said I didn't bring his teachings for discussions. I wish to drag that as well. But we should also consider this. The teachings should reflect somewhere.  We cannot altogether say that Ramanashram is irrelevant in this discussion. Now please keep in mind that I am not saying whether Ramana's teachings are right or wrong. I am contrasting it with Shankara's teachings and trying to conclude that both are in opposition. 

1) Ramana tries to reconcile his teachings with teachings of other popular names like Christ. Shankara reconciles his teachings with Shruti smriti Puranas.
2) Ramana does not emphasise on following the duties of order. In other words, Vedas are stripped from Vedanta. Shankara emphasises on following the duties of respective order. 
3) The terminology and definitions are different from the Vedic ones. A newbie will not be capable of reconciling his words which allegedly are always in Paramarthika calling everything as mithyA. Hence the basic tenets are lost. Without a foundation collapse is imminent. 
4) consider a new student of Advaita without traditional background approaching Ramana or his books in our case : that student will only get counter questions or silence as an answer. Such a one can neither comprehend nor reconcile because he / she would have only learnt to build castles in the air. 
5) I don't know if it is silly if I mention the language difference. But that is what distinguishes the orthodox from the other. 
6) A student of Ramana (who is ignorant of orthodox school of shankara) would relate to the stories told by Ramana about Christ, Buddha, some random Paramahamsa, some random Mahatma. Orthodox school has a rich history of Yogis of innumerable kinds. It is but natural that we emulate our ancestors. So this aspect should be kept in mind.
7) we have taken many assumptions into account. So I will assume as well. Tomorrow if Ramanashram says reincarnation was never mentioned in the Vedas but a creation of bigots, the devotees will be perplexed. It might be silly to assume so. But look at it this way, we have no idea who is running this international organisation which is self sustainable. What is their background, what happens within no one knows. So there is a lack of credibility. 


Vyasaya Vishnu roopaya Vyasa roopaya Vishnave 
Namo vai Brahma nidhaye Vasishtaya namo namaha ‎

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list