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

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 23:33:13 CDT 2016

Namaste Kripaji,

On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 11:15 PM, Kripa Shankar <
kripa.shankar.0294 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Kripa : Apta vakya:) Credible source of information, the main source of
> shraddha.‎

Even considering someone as an Apta is on shraddhA!

> Kripa : Please refer my earlier email stating that teachers conduct should
> be ascertained. ‎

In Taittiriyopanishad, the teacher asks the students not to follow wrong
conduct even if done by them. What does that tell us? Anyway, this is
besides the point in case of the Maharshi, since his conduct was beyond
doubt, despite your insinuations from whatever sources, supposedly Aptas
for you.

> 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.

As said above, even to consider someone as an Apta, you need to begin with
shraddhA, not doubt.

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

Investigation should be through the right sources too. Ganapati muni is
definitely an Apta for many in the tradition, so his statements about
Maharshi are more valid than Wiki, Bruntons, etc.

> Kripa : What is Shruti according to you?
Can it be anything different than Vedas for anyone?! I am surprised at the
question. Do you have a different definition?

>> 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??

That may be criteria perhaps, but that cannot be the only one. Else, all
uttamodhikAris who have chittashuddhi from birth would be ruled out.

> 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 :)‎

Good answer. Ditto about Maharshi for all who follow, including a huge lot
in the orthodox traditionalists. :)

> 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.

And it is, in case of Maharshi's teaching.

> Sometimes the samadhana is simply- shastras says so.‎

Not sometimes, at all times relevant.

> 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. ‎
So am I. कर्म in Upadeshasaram is what shows Vedic karma. Moreover,
Maharshi was atyAshramI by his own acceptance and the traditional following
itself. Why an atyAshramI, even a Paramahamsa sannyAsi has no rules to
follow in the tradition.

> 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?

Am I? No. There are many prakaraNa granthas in the tradition that deal with
one aspect of the mahAvAkya. They are self-sufficient for the purpose. Same
with Maharshi's teaching. Each teaching has anubandhachAtuShTaya, adhikAri
being one.

> Shastras consider even the most dull person.

So? No one says that each Vedanta teacher should consider the dullest
person also. Please understand the difference between Maharshi was not a
traditional Vedanta teacher versus what Maharshi taught is against
traditional Vedanta. You have completely erred the former to mean the

> Shastras are taught from vyakarana and not mahavakyas.

This is not an argument at all, since nobody claimed Maharshi was a teacher
of shastras. Nor is every traditional Vedanta teacher a teacher of shAstra.
vyAkaraNa is also shAstra. vyAkaraNaM mukhaM proktaM. vyAkaraNa is not the
only tool to learn Vedanta, many more are needed. Final Vedanta teaching is
from mahAvAkya only not vyAkaraNa, because Vedanta considers that all
shAstras have ekavAkyatA. One who is eligible for mahAvAkya needs nothing

> Hence the basic tenets are lost.
> Not true. Basic tenets are in self-inquiry.
> Kripa : Basic tenets like Karma. ‎

Already included in Upadeshasaram with the exact use of word कर्म itself.
What is the problem in understanding that?

> 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 are not for everyone for moksha. Some have to refer to prakaraNas and
purANas, albeit derived from Vedas, for moksha. Even with Vedas being for
ever, five more orthodox darShanas have all landed in dvaita! Being for
everyone doesn't mean that all followers are right or would get it.

> Vedas doesn't mix up things from other faiths.
Not the job of Vedas. Nor does Upadeshasaram do so. However, even HH
Chandrashekhara Bharati Swamiji told at least one Christian to continue in
Christianity since it is in his best interest towards moksha than
converting to Hinduism. I wonder what would you conclude from that.

Kind rgds,
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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