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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Sat Jun 19 16:21:21 EDT 2021


I know they eat because they don't want to die, which is exactly why "dead
to themselves and their possessions" cannot be interpreted literally, as
had been suggested.

You suggest it means instead "to leave the web of social relationships and
the karma that powers them," but that's clearly equally untrue. Ramana and
Ramakrishna and Sankara all were very much in a web of social relations
with the associated karma. Interacting with devotees, talking about the
Self, being involved in ashram life... all of that is social relations.


On Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 2:34 PM Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 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
> themselves.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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