[Advaita-l] Commentary on Ramana's Forty Verses
ayyar at akilesh.com
Fri Jun 18 17:25:24 EDT 2021
This is silly. If he was saying that aspirants should renounce when they
are mature and not before, he would have said that.
But ok, let's look at your quote from Spiritual Instruction, and include
the part that you interestingly left out... I will comment on it.
*22. Is asceticism (sannyasa) one of the essential requisites for a person
to become established in the Self (atmanishta)?*
So note here... this is saying not just a glimpse of the Self... this is
talking about ESTABLISHMENT in the Self. Full jnani-hood.
*The effort that is made to get rid of attachment to one’s body is really
towards abiding in the Self. Maturity of thought and enquiry alone removes
attachment to the body, not the stations of life (ashramas), such as
student (brahmachari), etc. *
So an ashrama like sannyasa does *not* remove attachments.
*For the attachment is in the mind while the stations pertain to the body.
How can bodily stations remove the attachment in the mind? *
Consistent with the Q&A I posted earlier.
*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. *
"may be regarded"... "in a way"... the most reluctant, guarded statements
here are given... hardly any kind of requirement. Yes, of course sannyasa
suits some people & helps them gain dispassion. That doesn't make it
necessary for anyone.
*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. In order to fix
the mind in the Self which is its true nature it is necessary to separate
it from the family of fancies (sankalpas) and doubts (vikalpas), that is to
renounce the family (samsara) in the mind. This isreal asceticism.*
So this clearly, Bhagavan says sharply, is what matters. This is the real
asceticism... *not* the physical kind.
Now, in case there was any doubt, let's look at the next Q&A, directly
following this one:
*23. It is an established rule that so long as there is the least idea of
‘I-am-the-doer,’ Self-knowledge cannot be attained, but is it possible for
an aspirant who is a householder to discharge his duties properly without
*As there is no rule that action should depend upon a sense of being the
doer it is unnecessary to doubt whether any action will take place without
a doer or an act of doing. Although the officer of a government treasury
may appear, in the eyes of others, to be doing his duty attentively and
responsibly all day long, he will be discharging his duties without
attachment, thinking ‘I have no real connection with all this money’ and
without a sense of involvement in his mind. In the same manner a wise
householder may also discharge without attachment the various household
duties which fall to his lot according to his past karma, like a tool in
the hands of another. Action and knowledge are not obstacles to each other.*
And to remove further doubt let's look at another in the same series.
*25. How can cessation of activity (nivritti) and peace of mindbe attained
in the midst of household duties which are ofthe nature of constant
*As the activities of the wise man exist only in the eyes of others and not
in his own, although he may be accomplishing immense tasks, he really does
nothing. Therefore his activities do not stand in the way of inaction and
peace of mind. For he knows the truth that all activities take place in his
mere presence and that he does nothing. Hence he will remain as the silent
witness of all the activities taking place.*
Can it get any clearer than that?
On Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 4:04 PM S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com wrote:
> > 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
> > question.
> > 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
> > 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
> > the mind; it must be got over whether in the home or in the forest. If
> > 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
> > environment.*
> > Maharshi's answer cannot be any clearer.
> Yes, Ramana Maharshi (RM) clearly says that for *THAT PARTICULAR*
> aspirant, taking sannyAsa is not
> the right decision! Because RM's reply starts with, "Why do *YOU* think
> *YOU* are a grihastha?"
> The personal pronoun "YOU" reveals that it was addressed to a specific
> individual, who was probably
> unfit for sannyAsa! As already discussed, the majority of the population
> is not eligible for sannyAsa,
> and this questioner was evidently among the ineligible.
> That's why the earlier quote from "Spiritual Instruction" is more general:
> > > 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
> > > a good idea if one is NOT FIT
> > > for sannyAsa! This is the key point - not everyone (I would estimate
> > > is eligible to take up sannyAsa.
> > > For most of us, better to stay in the householder path until one
> > > the requisite maturity.
> > > Regards,
> > > Kartik
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