Sage Sankara’s Advaitic wisdom is nothing to do with his Advaitic orthodoxy.
The Advaitic orthodoxy is meant for the ignorant populace. The Advaitic orthodoxy has to be dropped if one has chosen the path of wisdom. Those who propagate the Advaitic orthodoxy as the means to ‘Self’-knowledge or Brahma Gnana are propagating ignorance. Those who chosen the path of Advaitic orthodoxy have chosen the path of ignorance.
It is time for the educated orthodox to wake up to realize Sage Sri, Sankara’s wisdom is the only wisdom in this world, which helps to get rid of the ignorance.
Bhagavata clearly says in 7.11.35 that: ~
yasya yal laks?an?am? proktam?
yasya yal laks?an?am? proktam?
ad anyatr?pi dr??yeta
at tenaiva vinirdi?et
~Means: - “Just because one is born to a Brahmin doesn’t automatically make him a Brahmin. But he has more chances of becoming a Brahmin by acquiring ‘Self’- knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. ‘Self’- knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is the only qualifications of Brahmin to become a Brahmin. If a person born to a non-Brahmin who acquires ‘Self’- knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana possesses he/she should be immediately accepted as a Brahmin.”
The orthodoxy is a great hindrance in pursuit of truth because it makes the inborn samskara or conditioning (I or I AM) stronger and deep rooted. Till this inborn conditioning prevails it is impossible to grasp, assimilate and realize the non-dualistic truth. The orthodoxy is egocentric and egocentricity is a great obstacle in the path of truth.
The orthodoxy indulges in all non-Vedic rituals and because of add-ons and adulteration and such rituals leads one nowhere and it is waste of time and effort. Thus orthodoxy is not for those who are seeking truth nothing but truth. Mixing orthodoxy and preaching non-duality is foolish venture. By worshipping Gods and chanting mantras of individualized God the ignorance becomes stronger. It is very difficult to get rid of the belief of person God which is deep rooted in everyone who accepted the Advaitic orthodoxy to get ‘Self’-realization.
Rituals and theories are not meant for those who are searching for the Brahman or ultimate or wisdom. All the orthodox Advaitins indulge and immersed themselves in ritualistic oriented life style and preach theoretical philosophies which are obstacle in realizing the Advaitic truth. Many chose these orthodox scholars as their Gurus. But these Gurus are good to learn the conceptual Advaita meant for those orthodox who believe their conduct oriented life style leads to liberation. But those who are seeking truth have to do their own homework in order to acquire ‘Self’-knowledge.
That is why Goudpada says:~ the merciful Veda teaches karma and upasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.
Thus, orthodox based Advaita is not meant for those seeking ultimate truth or Brahman but orthodoxy is meant for people of lower and middling intellect. Those who are seeking Advaitic truth have to drop orthodoxy in order to realize the ultimate truth or Brahman.
The priests preach indulge in rituals to chant mantras thinking theses mantras will yield fruits. Those who follow the priest’s blindly follow what priests and pundits prescribe will never be able to grasp the Sage Sri, Sankara’s Advaitic wisdom.
Advaitic Orthodox tradition and parampara are nothing to do with Sage, Sri, Sankara’s wisdom. Advaitic orthodoxy is meant for the ignorant populace. Thus, it is not a path of wisdom.
Sage Sri, Sankara page 482: On Gnani: ~ "The knower of Brahman wears no signs. Gives up the insignia of a monk's life…his signs are not manifest, nor his behavior."
Sage Sri, Sankara: ~ The Knower of the Atman or the knower of Brahman or Brahma Gnani.
When the knower of Brahman (Gnani) wears no signs it means he does not identify him’Self’ as Guru or yogi or teacher or Swami because a Gnani sees the form, the time and space are one in essence. Thus, there is unity in diversity in his realization.
Sage Sri, Sankara says the knower of Brahman wears no signs. Gives up the insignia of a monk's life then it is of no use of renouncing the worldly life, and become and sanyasi or monk or Sadhu to acquire ‘Self’-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Brahma Gnana.
Sage Sri, Sankara said:-~ Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many Gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness.
According to Advaita Vedanta, the Veda addresses it’Self’ to two kinds of audiences - the ordinary ones who desire the transitory heaven and other pleasures obtained as a result of ritual sacrifices, and the more advanced seeker who seeks to know Brahman. Thus, the purva mimam.sa, with its emphasis on the karma kanda of the Vedas, is meant for the first audience, to help lead its followers along the way. However, the Vedanta, with its emphasis on the Gnana kanda, is meant for those who wish to go beyond such transient pleasures.
Advaitic Orthodoxy is meant for the ignorant and ordinary ones who desire the transitory heaven and other pleasures obtained as a result of ritual sacrifices
The Advaitic orthodoxy follows the system of pancayatana puja, where Vishnu, Siva, Sakti, Ganapati and Surya are worshipped as forms of Saguna Brahman.
In some sources, the concept of the pancayatana is replaced by the notion of shanmata, which adds skanda to the above set of five deities. The worship is done both on a daily basis and on specific festival occasions.
Questions of who is superior, Vishnu or Siva, which are very popular among many groups of Hindus, are not relished by Advaitins. Some of the Gurus declared the accomplished jivanmukta, "you cannot see the feet of the Lord, why do you waste your time debating about the nature of His face?"
That said, Vishnu and Siva, the Great Gods of Hinduism, are both very important within the Advaita tradition. The sanyasis of the Advaita order always sign their correspondence with the words "iti Narayanasmaranam ". In worship, Advaitins do not insist on the exclusive worship of one devata alone.
As Brahman is essentially attributeless (nirguna), all attributes (Gunas) equally belong to It, within empirical reality. The particular form that the devotee prefers to worship is called the ishta-devatA. The ishta-devatas worshipped by Advaitins include Vishnu as Krishna, the Jagadguru, and as Rama, Siva as Dakshinamurti, the guru who teaches in silence, and as Candramaulivara, and the Mother Goddess as Parvathi, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Especially popular are the representations of Vishnu as a Saliagrama, Siva as a linga, and Sakti as the SrI-yantra. Ganapati is always worshipped at the beginning of any human endeavour, including the puja of other Gods.
The daily sandhyavandana ritual is addressed to Surya. The sanyasis of the Advaita sampradaya recite both the Vishnu Sahasranamam and the SatarudrIya portion of the Yajurveda as part of their daily worship. In addition, "hybrid" forms of the Deities, such as Hari-Hara or Sankara-Narayana and Ardhanarisvara are also worshiped.
There is another significant distinction between worship in the Advaita tradition and other kinds of Hindu worship. Dvaita insists that the distinction between the worshipper and God, the object of worship, is ultimately transcended, and that the act of worship it’Self’ points to this identity. This should not be confused with the doctrine of dualistic Saiva Siddhanta schools, which call for a ritual identification of the worshipper with Siva, for the duration of the worship. The identity of Atman and Brahman is a matter of absolute truth, not just a temporary ritual identification. Most Vaishnava schools of Vedanta hold that the distinction between the worshipper and God, the object of worship, is eternally maintained.
Sage Sri, Sankara:- VC~ Let erudite scholars quote all the scripture, let Gods be invoked through sacrifices, let elaborate rituals be performed, let personal Gods be propitiated---yet, without the realization of one‘s identity With the ‘Self’, there shall be no liberation for the individual, not even in the life times of a hundred Brahmas put together (verses-6)
Sage Sri, Sankara’s Supreme Brahman (God) is impersonal, Nirguna (without Gunas or attributes), Nirakara (formless), Nirvisesha (without special characteristics), immutable, eternal and Akarta (non-agent). It is above all needs and desires. It is always the Witnessing Subject. It can never become an object as It is beyond the reach of the senses. Brahman is non-dual, one without a second. It has no other beside it. It is destitute of difference, either external or internal. Brahman cannot be described because description implies a distinction. Brahman cannot be distinguished from any other than It. In Brahman, there is not the distinction of substance and attribute. Sat-Chit-Ananda constitutes the very essence or Svarupa of Brahman and not just Its attributes. The Nirguna Brahman of Sage Sri, Sankara is impersonal.
The ultimate truth or Brahman must be independent of religion, that in Sage Sri, Sankara him’Self’ the Saguna Brahman or a personal God is the only a part of the phenomenal (if not illusory) world, and the Nirguna Brahman is the only reality and has nothing to do with religion.
Sage Sri Sankara pokes fun at ascetics and points out that all their austerities do not cause desires to go (Altar Flowers" Page 205, v.2 P.207 v.4)
The Brahma Sutras together with Sage Sri Sankara's commentary thereon do not contain the higher wisdom. They are intended for those who are incapable of thinking rationally.
Sage Sri, Sankara's commentary on the Brahma Sutras is not on a philosophical basis, but on an orthodox and mystic basis, with an appeal to the Vedas as the final authority.
In Brahma Sutra Sage Sri, Sankara takes the position that there is another entity outside us, i.e. the wall really exists separately from the mind. This was because Sage Sri, Sankara explains in Manduka that those who study the Sutras are orthodox minds, intellectual children, hence his popular view point to assist them. These people are afraid to go deeper because it means being heroic enough to refuse to accept , and God's authority, in case they mean punishment by God. A Gnani says the scriptures for children, but the wise seekers will think rationally.
In Brahma Sutras Sage Sri, Sankara takes for granted, assumes that a world was created: He there mixes dogmatic theology with philosophy.
That God created the world is an absolute lie, nevertheless, one will find Sage Sri, Sankara (in his commentary on Vedanta Sutras) clearly says this! He has to adapt his teachings to his audience, reserving the highest for philosophical minds.
The text of Brahma Sutras is based on religion, dogmatism, but in the commentary Sage Sri, Sankara cleverly introduced some philosophy. If it is objected that a number of Upanishads are equally dogmatic because they also begin by assuming Brahman, only a few Upanishads do not, but prove Brahman at the end of a train of proof.
Scholars translation of Brahma Sutras in Sacred Books of East must be read cautiously as he has not understood its highest sense, e.g. for Advaita they wrongly put "Unity" instead of “Non-duality."
Sage Sri Sankara gave religion and scholasticism and yoga no less than philosophy, to the seeking world. He was great enough to be able to do so. His commentary on Mandukya is pure philosophy, but many of his other books are presented from a religious standpoint to help those who cannot rise up to philosophy.
Orthodoxy is the home of mysticism and deification that is why they are not keen the rational truth. Thus, Sage Sri, Sankara is Gurus to the religious followers and he is a great Gnani to the seeking world.
Sage Sri, Sankara says:~ The scriptures dealing with rituals, rewards are therefore addressed to an ignorant person.
Sage Sri, Sankara: ~"That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman (God)."
The Bhagavad Gita: ~ Brahmano hi pratisthaham ~ Brahman (God) is considered the all-pervading consciousness, which is the basis of all the animate and inanimate entities and material. (14.27).
When Bhagavad Gita says, God is considered the all-pervading consciousness which is the basis of all the animate and inanimate entities and material then nothing has to be accepted other than consciousness a God.
Lord Krishna Says Ch ~V: ~ “Those who know me in truth.". The last two words (tattvataha) are usually ignored by pundits, but they make all the difference between the ordinary concept of God and the truth about God.
The dualistic worship of "God” is only for the ignorant populace. The God in truth is only Atman, the innermost ‘Self’. In reality, there is no dualities, no differentiation. Only Atman exists.
The Vedas confirms God is Atman (spirit), the innermost ‘Self’.
Rig Veda: ~ The Atman is the cause; Atman is the support of all that exists in this universe. May ye never turn away from the Atman the innermost ‘Self’. May ye never accept another God in place of the Atman nor worship other than the Atman?" (10:48, 5)
Rig-Veda 1-164-46 and Y.V 32-1 clearly mention that God is “One”.
Rig Veda declares God is ‘ONE’ and God is Atman, then why to believe and worship in place of real God.
Brihad Upanishad: ~ “If you think there is another entity, whether man or God there is no truth."
When Upanishad it’Self’ declares: ~ Sarvam khalvidam brahma ~ all this (universe) is verily Brahman. By following back all of the relative appearances in the world, we eventually return to that from which it is all manifest – the non-dual reality (Chandogya Upanishad).
Lord Krishna confesses that the oldest wisdom of India (our true Advaita wisdom) has been lost: people misinterpret and falsify it today as they did then. It is not yoga but philosophic truth. But nobody knows it. The teachers of philosophy and leaders of mysticism or religion do not want to inquire into truth and have no time for it. (Gita ~ Chap ~IV~ v.2)
Why is the word Yoga used in so many different senses in the Gita? Because there are grades and the highest demands concentrated brains, not sitting mindless and imagining you are seeing God.
In Gita Chap.IV where Lord Krishna says: ~ “This yoga has been lost for ages" the word yoga refers to Gnana yoga, not other yogas: the force of the word this is to point this out.
Lord Krishna describes some of the other yogas, but devotes this chapter separately to Gnana yoga. So one sees even in those ancient days people did not care for Advaita; they wanted religion; hence Gnana got lost. That is why Krishna calls it "the supreme secret." Krishna points out that the yoga must see "Brahman in action."
Gita Chap.IV:~ “He who achieves perfection in Yoga finds the ‘Self’ in time." This means that after his yoga is finished, he begins the inquiry into ultimate truth and in due course this inquiry produces the realization of the universal spirit as the result.
Understanding what is God is a not so easy. Religious people can only imagine God based on their beliefs.
That is why Lord Krishna Says Ch ~V: ~ “Those who know me in truth.". The last two words (tattvataha) are usually ignored by pundits, but they make all the difference between the ordinary concept of God and the truth about God.
No dualities, no differentiation. Only Atman exists.
The Bhagavad Gita: ~ Brahman (God) is considered the all-pervading consciousness which is the basis of all the animate and inanimate entities and material. (brahmano hi pratisthaham, ( 14.27)
It proves that the all-pervading Atman, which is present in the form consciousness, is God. Thus worshipping the form based Gods is meant for the ignorant populace who are incapable of the realizing the truth, which is beyond the form, time and space.
Thus, truth realization is ‘Self’-realization. The ‘Self’-realization is God realization. God -realization is real worship.
Adhyasa Bhashya of Sage Sri, Sankara:~ (11) As regards the rituals, Sage Sri, Sankara says, the person who performs rituals and aspires for rewards will view him’Self’ in terms of the caste into which he is born, his age, the stage of his life, his standing in society etc. In addition, he is required to perform rituals all through his life. However, the ‘Self’ has none of those attributes or tags. Hence, the person who superimposes all those attributes on the changeless, eternal ‘Self’ and identifies ‘Self’ with the body is confusing one for the other; and is therefore an ignorant person. The scriptures dealing with rituals, rewards etc. are therefore addressed to an ignorant person.
Adhyasa Bhashya of Sage Sri, Sankara:~ (11.1) This ignorance (mistaking the body for ‘Self’) brings in its wake a desire for the well-being of the body ,aversion for its disease or discomfort, fear of its destruction and thus a host of miseries(anartha).This anartha is caused by projecting karthvya(“doer” sense) and bhokthavya (object) on the Atman. Sankara calls this adhyasa. The scriptures dealing with rituals, rewards etc. are, therefore, he says, addressed to an ignorant person.
Adhyasa Bhashya of Sage Sri, Sankara:~ (11.2) In short, person who engages in rituals with the notion “I am an agent, doer, thinker”, according to Sage Sri, Sankara, is ignorant, as his behaviour implies a distinct, separate doer/agent/knower ; and an object that is to be done/achieved/known. That duality is avidya, an error that can be removed by vidya.
Adhyasa Bhashya of Sage Sri, Sankara: ~ (12) Sage Sri, Sankara affirming his belief in one eternal unchanging reality (Brahman) and the illusion of plurality, drives home the point that Upanishads deal not with rituals but with the knowledge of the Absolute (Brahma vidya) and the Upanishads give us an insight into the essential nature of the ‘Self’ which is identical with the Absolute, the Brahman.
Sage Sri Sankara: ~ Atman, the innermost ‘Self’ is verily Brahman (God), being equanimous, quiescent, and by nature absolute Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss. Atman is not the body which is non-existence it’Self’. This is called true Knowledge by the wise.
Sage Sri Sankara, in Bhaja Govindam says:~ (Jnana Viheena Sarva Mathena Bajathi na Muktim janma Shatena) - One without knowledge does not obtain liberation even in a hundred births, no matter which religious faith he follows.
Thus, it proves that religion is not the means to ‘Self’-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.
The karma theory is mere religious and yogic fable.
Sage Sri, Ramana Maharishi, J. Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharajah, all died of cancer type illness. It does not make any difference if they died of cancer or not of cancer or any illness. Even Lord Krishna died a painful death.
The death is certain; cause of death is irrelevant to a Gnani. When the ‘Self’ is birthless then it is deathless A Gnani is unconcerned to the death because he is fully aware of that the illusion is only a passing show.
The last words of Sage Ramana on the deathbed:~ he says I am not going anywhere. He did not mean that his physical form, which was bound by birth, life and death, but the birthless ‘Self’, which is ever formless.
The karma theory is nothing to do with birthless ‘Self’. Thus, people’s painful death cannot be taken as evidence because the ‘Self’ is ever birthless and deathless because it is the formless, timeless and spaceless existence.
The karmic account is never ending because one has to be born again and again to reap his good or bad karma carried forward one life to the next. The karma theory is mere religious and yogic fable.