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

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com
Sun Jun 20 02:15:38 EDT 2021

On Sun, Jun 20, 2021 at 1:59 AM Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 19 Jun 2021, Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l wrote:
> > Namaste,
> >
> > 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.
> Uh YOU suggested it.  You were responding to:
> n Wed, 16 Jun 2021, Ven Balakrishnan via Advaita-l wrote:
> >
> > Ramanamaharishi is entirely consistent with Sankara saying a jnani will
> > inevitably take up the life of a paramahamsa ascetic, since s/he has no
> > desires, no fear, no attachments, not even to body-mind - like a snake
> > that has shed its skin.
> Nothing in that quote implies it is being taken literally.  That is a
> strawman of YOUR creation.

Uh, no, actually, if you read a little later in the conversation, Ven says
to me of my position on this point that I am using

"verbal acrobatics to justify this position, arguing a phrase here is
figurative, whereas a phrase there should be taken *literally*."

> On Sat, 19 Jun 2021, Akilesh Ayyar via Advaita-l wrote:
> >
> > You suggest it means instead "to leave the web of social relationships
> and
> > the karma that powers them," but that's clearly equally untrue.
> There is a thing called society which is the support for people whos goals
> in life are artha, kama, and preferably dharma.  This is often referred to
> as the world.  For instance the materialistic hedonists of ancient times
> known as Charvakas are also known as Lokayatas, "worldly ones."  There are
> those who renounce this "world."  This is what we refer to as being "dead
> to the world."  You seem to be under the impression that if a word or
> phrase is not used literally it can mean whatever you want.  But in real
> life, human languages have idioms, customary usages etc. which may perhaps
> have fuzzy edges but in general are understood to have specific meanings.
> Everyone seems to understand what "dead to the world" means except you.
> I wonder why?

Funny, "everyone" seems to include only the people who agree with you. I
wonder why? Interesting how Ramana himself in all his discourses seems
perfectly capable of using the word sannyasa when he wants to, usually in a
way that you disagree with.

> > 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.
> We've been over this before.  Karma is intentional action motivated by
> desire.  Hunger, sleep etc. aren't karma because they are instinctual.  To
> know Brahman, to discuss Brahman and to pass on the knowledge of Brahman
> is not karma because it is not motivated by desire but by abidance in
> Brahman.  These are not "social relations."

No. Wrong. That's all prarabhda karma..

As Sankara says in Brahma Sutra Bhashya 3.3.32, jivanmuktas are continuing
their corporeal existence -- yes, that would include eating and also
speaking about Brahman, etc. -- only because of prarabhda karma.

Or as Ramana says in his Talks,

D.: From all this it looks as if a Jnani who has scorched all the vasanas
is the best and that he would remain inactive like a stock or stone.
M.: No, not necessarily. Vasanas do not affect him. Is it not itself a
vasana that one remains like a stock or stone?

So anything any body-mind does -- whether it be sitting like a stone or
discoursing on self-inquiry -- is a vasana; a jnani merely does not
identify with those.

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