[Advaita-l] Commentary on Ramana's Forty Verses
ayyar at akilesh.com
Fri Jun 18 15:00:12 EDT 2021
Yes, he says the sannyasa path *may* be regarded as helpful... but he never
says the householder path is inferior, and is a lower stage of maturity,
and he actively and often objects to that characterization.
Obviously, sannyasa *is* a good fit for some people. It would be absurd to
But what doesn't gel with Ramana's teaching is that is he regarded it as
*required* for the spiritual aspirant at *any *point... that he said it was
a necessary thing after a certain stage of maturity, or anything like that.
That's all total misrepresentation of his teaching.
That's why there is *zero* mention of physical sannyasa in 40 verses and
supplement, Nan Yar, or Upadesa Saram.
That's why you can find innumerable examples of him saying that the real
sannyasa is *not* the physical.
See this dialogue.
D: *How does a grihastha fare in the scheme of moksha? Should he not
necessarily become a mendicant in order to attain liberation?*
Again, a direct question. Let's not pretend Maharshi is lying to a direct
M: *Why do you think you are a grihastha? Similar thoughts that you are a
sannyasin will haunt you, even if you go out as a sannyasin.* Whether you
continue in the household or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind
haunts you. The ego is the source of thought. It creates the body and the
world, and it makes you think of being the grihastha. If you renounce, it
will only substitute the thought of sannyasa for that of grihastha, and the
environment of the forest for that of the household. But the mental
obstacles are always there for you. They even increase greatly in the new
surroundings. It is no help to change the environment. *The one obstacle is
the mind; it must be got over whether in the home or in the forest. If you
can do it in the forest, why not in the home? Therefore, why change the
environment? Your efforts can be made even now, whatever be the
Maharshi's answer cannot be any clearer.
On Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 1:28 PM S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com wrote:
> > There's no evidence that Ramana buys into Sri Vidyaranya's idea that the
> > so-called gyanimatra then requires physical sannyasa to complete things.
> > never says this *anywhere* and actively discourages the idea that
> > is some kind of requirement.
> > He never states or says that physical sannyasa is necessary to "steady
> > mind."
> Ramana Maharshi (RM) didn't need to say every single thing that is
> *already* ordained in the scriptures.
> He could have made the assumption that people are reading the standard
> scriptures like the
> Vedas, Puranas, Dharma Sutras, etc.
> Let me put it another way - did RM explicitly PROHIBIT a GYAni householder
> from taking up sannyAsa,
> which is called "vidvat-sannyAsa"? I'm sure that if RM had observed a
> GYAni becoming a sannyAsin, there
> would have been no objection to the effect of, "You should remain a
> house-holder, not become a sannyAsin!"
> There are many instances where sannyAsins approached RM for guidance, and
> he answered them normally - without
> the slightest hint that he disapproved of their sannyAsa. In fact, the
> very first sentence of "Talks" has
> such an instance!
> Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, # 1, 15th May, 1935.
> A wandering monk (sannyasi) was trying to clear his doubt: “How
> to realise that all the world is God?”
> Maharshi: If you make your outlook that of wisdom, you will find the
> world to be God. Without knowing the Supreme Spirit (Brahman),
> how will you find His all-pervasiveness?
> It is also a matter of fact that everyone - including Krishna in the
> Bhagavad Gita and RM as well - openly
> disapproved of anyone (householder or otherwise) taking up sannyAsa
> without vairAgya. This is clearly stated
> in the famous book "Spiritual Instruction" by RM Himself:
> 22. Is asceticism (sannyasa) one of the essential requisites for
> a person to become established in the Self (atmanishta)?
> How can bodily stations remove the attachment
> in the mind? As maturity of thought and enquiry pertain to
> the mind, these alone can, by enquiry on the part of the same
> mind, remove the attachments which have crept into it through
> thoughtlessness. BUT, AS THE DISCIPLINE OF ASCETICISM
> (SANNYASASHRAMA) IS THE MEANS FOR ATTAINING DISPASSION
> (VAIRAGYA), AND AS DISPASSION IS THE MEANS FOR ENQUIRY, JOINING
> AN ORDER OF ASCETICS MAY BE REGARDED, IN A WAY, AS A MEANS OF
> ENQUIRY THROUGH DISPASSION. INSTEAD OF WASTING ONE’S LIFE
> BY ENTERING THE ORDER OF ASCETICS BEFORE ONE IS FIT FOR IT, IT IS
> BETTER TO LIVE THE HOUSEHOLDER’S LIFE.
> Specifically note the phrases in ALL CAPS (emphases mine). RM obviously
> accepts that sannyAsa-ashrama is
> definitely GOOD for Self-realization. However, he also says that it is NOT
> a good idea if one is NOT FIT
> for sannyAsa! This is the key point - not everyone (I would estimate >90%)
> is eligible to take up sannyAsa.
> For most of us, better to stay in the householder path until one attains
> the requisite maturity.
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