[Advaita-l] On Ramana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jun 25 00:51:46 EDT 2021

Here is one, extremely clinching evidence for the close adherence of the
'Ramana way' to the 'Shankara way':   Bhagvan Ramana would,
characteristically, pose a counter question to anyone who comes to him and
articulates a problem he is facing, either mundane or spiritual:  'Find out
to whom is this'.  In the Bh.Gita 13.2 bhashyam, Shankara, handles, rather
settles, the most crucial problem of 'For whom is avidya?' thus:  In this
deeply involved conversation Shankara leads the questioner to finally
realize that avidya is not for the Atman, the observer-aspirant,  but for
the anAtman:

अत्र आह — सा अविद्या कस्य इति । यस्य दृश्यते तस्य एव । कस्य दृश्यते इति ।
अत्र उच्यते — ‘अविद्या कस्य दृश्यते ? ’ इति प्रश्नः निरर्थकः । कथम् ?
दृश्यते चेत् अविद्या, तद्वन्तमपि पश्यसि । न च तद्वति उपलभ्यमाने ‘सा कस्य ?
’ इति प्रश्नो युक्तः । न हि गोमति उपलभ्यमाने ‘गावः कस्य ? ’ इति प्रश्नः
अर्थवान् भवति । ननु विषमो दृष्टान्तः । गवां तद्वतश्च प्रत्यक्षत्वात्
तत्सम्बन्धोऽपि प्रत्यक्ष इति प्रश्नो निरर्थकः । न तथा अविद्या तद्वांश्च
प्रत्यक्षौ, यतः प्रश्नः निरर्थकः स्यात् । अप्रत्यक्षेण अविद्यावता
अविद्यासम्बन्धे ज्ञाते, किं तव स्यात् ? अविद्यायाः अनर्थहेतुत्वात्
परिहर्तव्या स्यात् । यस्य अविद्या, सः तां परिहरिष्यति । ननु ममैव अविद्या ।
जानासि तर्हि अविद्यां तद्वन्तं च आत्मानम् । जानामि, न तु प्रत्यक्षेण ।
अनुमानेन चेत् जानासि, कथं सम्बन्धग्रहणम् ? न हि तव ज्ञातुः ज्ञेयभूतया
अविद्यया तत्काले सम्बन्धः ग्रहीतुं शक्यते, अविद्याया विषयत्वेनैव ज्ञातुः
उपयुक्तत्वात् । न च ज्ञातुः अविद्यायाश्च सम्बन्धस्य यः ग्रहीता, ज्ञानं च
अन्यत् तद्विषयं सम्भवति ; अनवस्थाप्राप्तेः । यदि ज्ञात्रापि ज्ञेयसम्बन्धो
ज्ञायते, अन्यः ज्ञाता कल्प्यः स्यात् , तस्यापि अन्यः, तस्यापि अन्यः इति
अनवस्था अपरिहार्या । यदि पुनः अविद्या ज्ञेया, अन्यद्वा ज्ञेयं ज्ञेयमेव । तथा
 ज्ञातापि ज्ञातैव, न ज्ञेयं भवति । यदा च एवम् , अविद्यादुःखित्वाद्यैः न
ज्ञातुः क्षेत्रज्ञस्य किञ्चित् दुष्यति ॥

The close correspondence between Ramana and Shankara is exemplified by this
all important aspect.  Even if there is deviation in the Ramana way from
traditional Advaitic method, this one example is enough to set aside, nay
dwarf, everything else.


On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 2:10 AM Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste
> For what it is worth, I have personally benefitted from Sri Ramana
> Maharishi's observations and have found no discrepancy between the ultimate
> object of his teaching and that of Shankara Bhagavatpada / the upaniShad-s.
> There are certainly many asampradAy-ic subschools, for the want of a better
> word, that have formed around Sri Ramana Maharishi which are clearly
> non-advaita despite proclaiming to be otherwise (ie claiming to be
> advaita).
> His presentation and emphasis are also slightly different to traditional
> advaita, but his observations on the nature of reality are unquestionably
> advaita.
> Regards,
> Venkatraghavan
> On Thu, 24 Jun 2021, 06:40 Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l, <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > 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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