Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi About Dvaita And Advaita  (Read 1731 times)


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Ramana Maharshi About Dvaita And Advaita
« on: June 02, 2010, 12:59:14 PM »

Devotee: According to the Vaishnavite teaching one must do kainkaryam or service to God.”

Bhagavan replied rather sarcastically: “So God can’t get on without their services? On the contrary, God asks: ‘Who are you to do service to Me?’ He is always saying: ‘I am within you; who are you?’ One must try to realize that and not speak of service.

Submission or surrender is the basic teaching of Vaishnavism, but it does not consist in paying a Guru a fee for initiation and telling him that you have surrendered. As often as one tries to surrender, the ego raises its head and one has to try to suppress it. Surrender is not an easy thing.

Killing the ego is not an easy thing. It is only when God Himself by His grace draws the mind inwards that complete surrender can be achieved. But such grace comes only to those who have already, in this or previous lives, gone through all the struggles and sadhanas preparatory to the extinction of the mind and killing of the ego.”

Bhagavan added, “In the old days these Vaishnavites used to come and advise me to undergo a samasanam but I used to keep silent.”

Bhagavan continued to speak of the Dvaitism of the Vaishnavites and quoted the Nammalvar song the gist of which is: “not knowing myself,I went about saying ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Then I discovered that ‘I’ was ‘You’ and ‘mine’ was ‘Yours’, oh God.”

He said: “This is clear Advaita, but these Vaishnavites would give it some interpretation to make it accord with their feeling of duality.They hold that they must exist and God must exist, but how is that possible? It seems that they must all remain for ever doing service in Vaikunta, but how many of them are to do service and where would there be room for all these Vaishnavites?”

Bhagavan said this laughing, and then, after a pause, he added, “On the other hand, Advaita does not mean that a man must always sit in samadhi and never engage in action. Many things are necessary to keep up the life of the body, and action can never be avoided. Nor is bhakti ruled out in Advaita.

Shankara is rightly regarded as the foremost exponent of Advaita, and yet look at the number of shrines he visited (action), and the devotional songs he wrote.”

Bhagavan then gave further quotations from the eighth decad of Tiruvoimozhi to show that some of Vaishnavite Alwars had clearly endorsed Advaita. He particularly emphasised the third stanza where it says: “I was lost in Him or in That” and the fifth, which is very like the Thiruvachagam stanza that says the ego got attenuated more and more and was extinguished in the Self.



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Re: Ramana Maharshi About Dvaita And Advaita
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 10:12:55 AM »

Yes. Prapatti or Saranagati is the main teaching of Sri Vaishnavism.
Surrendering totally to Narayana and seeking His grace through
various chantings of His glory is the only thing that a true Vaishnavite can do. 

One Azhwar sings:  Let me remain as a step in the inner sanctorum
and keep seeing your coral like mouth, for ever and let everyone step over me and see you. I do not want anything else.

Another Azhwar sings:  I do not have any town, I do not have any
piece of land to call me my own, I do not have any relatives, in this
whole world, my only wish to constantly hold you, O the Primordial,
with the hue of dark rain clouds.  There is no one else for me.
I am deluded. Please remove my anxieties.

Arunachala Siva.