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

Kripa Shankar kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 12:56:10 CDT 2016

This email has better formatting sorry for the inconvenience 

Namaste Praveen 

My answers are embedded in between. Hope it's easy to read. 
First of all I don't know how they lived their own personal lives.

How does anyone know that about anyone? The whole idea is the benefit of doubt unless proven otherwise.

Kripa : Apta vakya:) Credible source of information, the main source of shraddha.‎
They are all stories and some even bordering on hilarious fiction.

Maybe, maybe not, but what does that have anything to do with categorizing anything as Neovedanta is beyond me. Moreover, your reference of stories seem to be some author writing something about someone, saint or not. Why not read what the saint wrote to drive you to an unbiased conclusion of your own than someone else's that you anyway start by distrusting in the first place? What would you call someone who finds Bhashyakara's parakAyapraveSha story "bordering on hilarious fiction" and then saying that why bother reading what he taught?

Kripa : Please refer my earlier email stating that teachers conduct should be ascertained. ‎
So I can't trust their words and so I lack shraddha.
I think you got it the other way round! You lack shraddhA, that is why you can't trust their words. 

Kripa : No its because of lack of credible sources. Absence of apta vakya. ‎
Everyone knows about their conduct.

Who is everyone here? The people you trust I presume. 

Kripa : Yes, well wishers whom I trust. ‎
Now if any one wants to use this rule - A sampradAyavit..... selectively based on assumptions, that is merely a personal bias.

and vice-versa.

Kripa : There is no other way around. It's either yes or no. ‎
Those who have no affiliation will obviously reject it. ‎Because there is no room for assumption when it requires faith. 

No, in fact there is indeed an assumption in faith that there is no reason for a person to lie unless proven so. This is the fundamental basis on which a human being lives! When a kid is born, it has nothing but complete faith in the person holding. Till life cheats him of such trust, the faith continues. A normal person doesn't go around asking for directions and think that the director is lying! So as Venkatraghavanji said earlier, the onus would be on you to prove that something that you not only don't trust but call it outright against Vedanta teaching. And you haven't done so. Just pick up Upadeshasaram to know how wrong you are.

Kripa : There is a fine line between faith and blind faith. Blind faith is due to lack of investigation. ‎

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.
I have no clue why you bring this to the discussion table. I supported the idea in my earlier response, but you seem to be using "Shruti is unbroken lineage" to prove that "any statement from anyone who belongs to that unbroken lineage" is Shruti. If not that, then there is no argument about one teacher in the tradition against another not in the tradition if both teachings are inline with Shruti. 

Kripa : What is Shruti according to you? 
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.
What a weird example!  Still, if one can see that a doctrine talked of is traced in the Shruti teachings, it is the source.
Kripa : What is Shruti according to you? 
To assume that one could have learnt in previous births is not supported by Vedas. 
Pray tell how you land this conclusion. Shruti and Smriti both support that a student most likely goes through many lives of sAdhana before mukti. Gita's kalyANakRt is precisely such a person.
Kripa : this is the crux of the matter. Even if one were to be Dakshinamurty himself, an orthodox fellow like Shankara follows the Ashrama dharma of going through the phase of education first. ‎One who doesn't follow /honour these rules of conduct set forth by Vedas, how can he be regarded as Vedantin??

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.

A person in your shoes of shraddhA may rightfully counter you so: "by which trustworthy records"?  :)

Kripa : Apta vakya :)‎

1) Ramana tries to reconcile his teachings with teachings of other popular names like Christ. Shankara reconciles his teachings with Shruti smriti Puranas.
For the questioner's sake only, please read context there. He doesn't say Christ says so and so in Upadeshasaram! So what should a person do when a Christian asks a question with no background in Hinduism, let alone Shruti, etc? Do you think Bhashyakara deals with Buddhists and other non-Vedic opponents by quoting Shruti, Smriti and Puranas? The answer is based on the questioner's background.

Kripa : The final siddhanta is however reconciled with Shruti smriti Puranas. Sometimes the samadhana is simply- shastras says so.‎
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.
That sounds like an ignorant's opinion. I wonder if you even know of a work called Upadeshasaram, let alone referring to it even after quoting multiple times. Else, please explain where do you think ईश्वरार्पतं नेच्छया कृतं चित्तशोधकं मुक्तिसाधकम् stands in your so-called analysis.

Kripa : I am talking about the modes of life, respective orders. ‎
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.
Did he claim that he is teaching newbies? How will a newbie understand Vedic terminology even if he used them? Will a newbie understand tat tvam asi which is a vyAvahArika statement?
Kripa : So you are admitting that Ramana s teaching is not self sufficient? Shastras consider even the most dull person. Shastras are taught from vyakarana and not mahavakyas.
Hence the basic tenets are lost.
Not true. Basic tenets are in self-inquiry.

Kripa : Basic tenets like Karma. ‎
Without a foundation collapse is imminent. 
True, but out of context.

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.
That is the student's problem who reads things out of context meant for the questioner and not everyone.

Kripa : Hence it is not suitable for all unlike the Vedas. ‎Vedas doesn't mix up things from other faiths. 

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