[Advaita-l] On Ramana

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at hitachi-powergrids.com
Thu Jun 24 03:06:20 EDT 2021

sAshtAnga praNAms Sri Jaldhar Vyas Prabhuji
Hare Krishna

But he was not a systematic thinker and it would be a mistake to treat him as such.  He can be a source of inspiration and that is enough.

>   In my humble opinion, it is very bold and open opinion might as against the opinion of some traditionalists who have the firm conviction that bhagavAn's teachings are indeed in line with traditional Advaita teaching!!.  Kindly elaborate you above statement if possible prabhuji.  Are you of the opinion that his teachings are traditionally not valid one and not good for shravaNAdi advaitic sAdhana and  he is mere brahmanishTa and NOT shrOtreeya  and hence his teachings are NOT based on shAstra??  Like rAmakrishna paramahaMsa he can be an inspirational figure but not a traditional teacher ??  Please clarify.

Your humble servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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Every inch of punyabharata has been blessed by contact with the feet of saints from the mists of the ancient past to the present day.  Some of these have been great sages and scholars who poured their insights into works of both great beauty and great profundity.  They initiated disciples and built institutions to keep the flame of dharma alive. Others also set forth from their homes inspired by nothing more than the longings of their own souls and that was enough.  They did not form lineages, they did not write well-distributed books (if they wrote anything) at all and most of them never became known further than their own village or maybe a small region beyond.

Venkataraman Iyer was born in a time and place where both these types of saint were still common.  So he would have been immersed in an atmosphere where someone of a naturally spiritual inclination (as by all evidence he had from childhood) would have received great nourishment even without formal education.  We know he was an able poet in Tamil.  We know that he had enough knowledge of Sanskrit to be able to read and discuss stotras and philosophical works and even translate some of them.  And he had association with many people who were classically educated and could remedy any lack in those areas.

Because there was a lack as there would have been for any autodidact.  I compare him with another self-taught Tamil genius, his contemporary Srinivas Ramanujan.  Ramanujans insights into mathematics are still bearing fruit to advanced researchers to this day.  But as his biographer Hardy noted, he sometimes made simple mistakes or put things in unnecessarily hard to understand (for mathematicians) ways not due to lack of intelligence but simply because he had not been "initiated" into the standard academic culture of mathematics.  I don't think Hardy meant to belittle him by saying this neither should we think less of him for it.
It is just a fact. I feel we should look at Raman in the same way.  He never tried to recruit followers or build himself up as a guru but he impressed people and they asked him questions so he answered them out of love.  But he was not a systematic thinker and it would be a mistake to treat him as such.  He can be a source of inspiration and that is enough.
Ramanujans style did not replace the way Mathematics is done then or now rather it is through the lens of that way that his true brilliance could be discerned.  In the same way I suggest that if consider yourself inspired by Raman, if you think the most vital question is "Who am I?  It is even more incumbent upon you to learn the formal methods of Advaita Vedanta as no man is an island and noquestion comes out of a void.

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