[Advaita-l] Commentary on Ramana's Forty Verses

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Sat Jun 19 14:33:44 EDT 2021

On Wed, 16 Jun 2021, Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l wrote:

> If so, why would they eat?

Your argument isn't nearly as clever as you think it is.  The concise 
answer is they eat So they don't die, same reason at the heart of why 
anyone eats.  The aim of a sannyasi is moksha not suicide.

So what then does it mean to be "dead to the world?"  When my son had his 
upanayana my wife and I spared no effort to make the vidhi conform to 
dictates of shastras.  A hall capable of housing the couple of hundred 
guests who would attend was found, sattvika catering for that many people 
was arranged and not only a photographer but as we are modern uptodate 
people, a video cameraman was also hired to record the proceedings. 
Everyone who came especially the elders exclaimed their satisfaction at 
how the function was conducted.  A couple of weeks later we gathered to 
watch the DVD that this cameraman had produced.  To my dissatisfaction, 
there were only some shots of the beautiful vidhi and most of it was 
closeups of various uncles, aunties and cousins being given saris, or 
shirts or small envelopes of money or the same being given to us.  I 
remember I made a disparaging remark about the competance of this 
cameraman and my mother said to me, "on the contrary this shows how 
professional he is.  He knew exactly what people will want to see."

The Gujarati word for this gift exchange, vevar, comes from sanskrit 
vyavahara.  When Vedanta talks about vyavaharik satya as opposed to 
paramarthik satya it is this web of transactional relationships, 
batuka-acharya, parent-child, husband wife, employee-employer, 
citizen-ruler, upto bhakta-deva, sadhaka-guru and so many more that is the 
"world".  Satyajit Ray directed a film which is considered a world classic 
of cinema entitled in English, "The World of Apu."  But in Bengali it is 
Apur sansara "Apus' samnsara."  Is the subject of this film the geography 
of north-east India?  No it is about a man named Apurbakumar Roy (Apu) and 
his employment problems, marriage, troubled relationship with his son etc.

When a mumukshu literally becomes dead to the world by performing his own 
shraddha, removing the external marks such as yajnopavita, shikha etc. he 
is not signifying his desire to leave planet Earth (or he would have 
become an astronaut for ISRO instead) but to leave the web of social 
relationships and the karma that powers them.

It is typical of the narcissism of new agers that they make it all about 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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