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Thread: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

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    A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Namaste.

    In an italian site I read that Sri Ramana Maharshi said that Sri Adi Shankara's commentaries about Vedanta are of little use to those that do not have the necessary erudition to study them,so the Maharshi recommended to read "Vivekacudamani" by Sri Adi Shankara.

    Please note that all works about Advaita Vedanta by Gaudapada and Sri Adi Shankara are available in my first language.

    My question is whether I should refrain from reading Sri Adi Shankara's commentaries about Bhagavavad Gita,Upanishad and Brahmasutra... should I focus on "Vivekacudamani" instead?

    I have no problem understanding Sri Ramana Maharshi's writings.

    Pranama

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Namaste,

    With all due respect to this forum, I want to share the observation that there no more exists members in this forum who are ready to answer profound philosophical questions or offer in-depth insights into mystical, esoteric or literary meanings and injunctions. Yajvan ji used to answer some of those formerly, but I never understood his profundity.

    Therefore, I think it is better to share one's somewhat-thorough observations from readings, research, etc, as essays rather than formulating questions when in the process of learning them.

    Personally I noticed you to be a seeker in myriad of philosophical works like Advaita, even Vishishtadvaida, and most recently your observation into 'Brahmacharya' via reading a book by HH Bhakti Vikas Swami of ISKCON made me very curious.

    I kindly urge you to share, if possible, your notes as I am very interested to learn.

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Dear Viraja

    It makes me so sad to read your posts.

    As far as I know you have your roots in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the origin of the Nayanars and the Alwars, true mystics, true saints. Why can’t you find your spiritual home there? Why are you looking for it in a new age organization/community founded by a gentleman who was raised by Christians? With rules and regulations that lead to frustration because they are mostly unattainable in today’s life. Rules and pressure do not suit the cheerful Krishna. Rules and pressure fit the suffering Jesus.

    The mystic Chaitanya left only eight verses, Shikshashtakam, and only in one verse he gives a kind of advice.

    We should constantly sing the names of Hari,
    with more humility than a dried grass,
    with more tolerance than a tree,
    and with a mind without false prestige. (3)

    The entire literature of ISKCON with all its regulations is written by men.

    Have you read the story of the Mudhal Alwars and the other nine Alwars, how they experienced Hari?
    Have you read Nalayira Divya Prabandham? The most beautiful bhakti poetry ever?
    Vairagya Sandipani of Tulsidas and Prabodhachandrodaya of Krishna Mishra Yati is spiritual knowledge at its finest.

    Why do you search for water instead of bathing in milk?

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    Dear Viraja

    It makes me so sad to read your posts.

    As far as I know you have your roots in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the origin of the Nayanars and the Alwars, true mystics, true saints. Why can’t you find your spiritual home there? Why are you looking for it in a new age organization/community founded by a gentleman who was raised by Christians? With rules and regulations that lead to frustration because they are mostly unattainable in today’s life. Rules and pressure do not suit the cheerful Krishna. Rules and pressure fit the suffering Jesus.

    The mystic Chaitanya left only eight verses, Shikshashtakam, and only in one verse he gives a kind of advice.

    We should constantly sing the names of Hari,
    with more humility than a dried grass,
    with more tolerance than a tree,
    and with a mind without false prestige. (3)

    The entire literature of ISKCON with all its regulations is written by men.

    Have you read the story of the Mudhal Alwars and the other nine Alwars, how they experienced Hari?
    Have you read Nalayira Divya Prabandham? The most beautiful bhakti poetry ever?
    Vairagya Sandipani of Tulsidas and Prabodhachandrodaya of Krishna Mishra Yati is spiritual knowledge at its finest.

    Why do you search for water instead of bathing in milk?

    Pranam
    Namaste IndiaLover,

    I too, am saddened to read your post above.

    For one, yours is not a valid question on several fronts:

    i) It is a personal question with personal remarks suitable for IM or personal mail. Asking it in public forum opens my response to be subject to criticism by the entire forum and I am not sure that is a correct procedure.

    ii) Your reply above assumes with authority, or rather dictates, that I should share the same bitterness you carry towards ISKCON. Whereas I don't have any such bitterness towards this organization and don't think I am entitled to any, by rule.

    "Being raised by Christians", "Founded by men", etc, are not valid reasons in my opinion. To me, something works, or doesn't.

    Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna himself, advised maha-mantra to be chanted by all men, which is a transcendental mantra from other worlds, which both purifies you, and over the course of time, brings joy to the chanter and engages him or her in loving prema-bhaava bhakti to Krishna. This is the end that I strive for. I have faith that maha-mantra would do these said things to me with sincere chanting........... and so I continue.

    Srila Prabhupada is not an ordinary acharya. Raising a worldwide organization at 70+ is no ordinary task. I truly see him a yuga-purusha, and the very incarnation of Karnamayi manjari from the spiritual world. He has not done anything offensive, rather lived a simple and austere life always chanting Krishna's name and propogated the same to others.

    I did not mention anywhere by the way, that I'm with ISKCON. I'm not even searching for a qualified acharya right now. When Krishna makes it possible for me to have an acharya, I might take diksha from an ISKCON guru, because all that matters to me is that the guru is qualified. It is so hard to find such a qualified guru.

    Coming to your question of whether I know about my birth-sampradaya, I'm on the verge of learning Gaudiya vaishnavism because Krishna-prema attracts me more than anything else and I want to know Gaudiya shastra well to meet with this end. Srivaishnava acharyas speak of Narayana-prema and that is not my goal. By the way, I do not have any ill-will or resentment towards Srivaishnava sampradaya and if you know it well enough, you can share your insights in the forum, and I will for sure, appreciate.

    I think that explanation sorta answers your question.

    Regards,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Well, Viraja, in a post you wrote

    Wow..... so many views although no one cares to post anything of value here.

    Now I post thoughts you seem not to like, that’s ok. Maybe I misunderstood your matter completely, but I didn't write anything offensive that would justify such an outburst.

    I do not have any bitterness against ISKCON/Gaudiya, in contrary, I donated the Krishna statue for the temple in a city nearby. I love to be there, but I am also aware of the problems people have with the pressure exerted by this organisation they cannot fulfill. And I cited one of the eight verses of Chaitanya’s only legacy. If you detect the Mahamantra in one of the other seven verses please let me know.

    Attributed to Voltaire: I disagree with what you have to say, sir, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    IndiaLover ji.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    Well, Viraja, in a post you wrote

    Wow..... so many views although no one cares to post anything of value here.
    Yes, I said it and still mean it. Look at that post of mine - "When will sadhana bear fruit?" - has over 1000 views but these 1000+ readers don't post anything here. Are they trolling?

    Now I post thoughts you seem not to like, that’s ok. Maybe I misunderstood your matter completely, but I didn't write anything offensive that would justify such an outburst.
    I request you to re-read my reply. This is why I said your question is not valid being too personal. Now you are saying my cool reply is an outburst! I'm out of words. I deserve some liberty for being asked personal questions, in my reply, IMO. (Written in a cheerful vein, btw)

    For that matter, Hinduism allows complete liberty to an aspirant to choose any among the multiple paths. He or she may even remain an atheist and call himself a Hindu. And I choose Gaudiya for the goal of attaining Krishna-prema. The heart, as per Hinduism, can melt for any of Shaiva/Vaishnava/Gaudiya theology, need not be a must it should melt for any said thing alone. (Replying again to your question of 'choosing water over milk').

    I do not have any bitterness against ISKCON/Gaudiya, in contrary, I donated the Krishna statue for the temple in a city nearby. I love to be there, but I am also aware of the problems people have with the pressure exerted by this organisation they cannot fulfill. And I cited one of the eight verses of Chaitanya’s only legacy. If you detect the Mahamantra in one of the other seven verses please let me know.
    I have not closely inspected the Sikshastakam. But I know for sure that Iswara Puri, the diksha guru of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the mahamantra to sri Chaitanya with the request to propogate it.

    Thanks and regards,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: A question about the difficult understanding of Sri Adi Shankara's works

    Hello Orlando,

    If you can understand, what can stop you from reading? You may be already qualified.

    My personal opinion is if you are equipped with rational power, you will get many questions while digesting the "Advaita" and may not find convincing answers to puzzles. If you are pushed to such situation, then follow what Shri Ramana says

    Hare Krshna

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