Most of the traditional Advaita Vedanta and direct path followers are against each other in a battle of words. While the latter interprets the former directly and "appears to have dropped" everything preceding it, this is my humble effort to show why it is not really so!

The direct path, as Bhagavan Ramana's or Nisargadatta Maharaj's path is often tagged with, is an interpretation of Advaita Vedanta's last step in nidhidhyAsana. Or a direct inversion of mahavAkya to lead to a Q. What is important to note is that the Maharshi didn't invent something that the tradition already didn't have. In many of Shankara Bhagavatpada's works, its obvious, especially for the uttama adhikAri. However, in spite of it, the Acharya recommended formal saMnyAsa, after the sAdhana chatushTaya and all that is possible for chitta shuddhi. The later advaitin acharyas have also opined that formal saMnyAsa is not necessary for moksha, so the direct path is not divorced from tradition that way either.

For the madhyama or Adhama adhikAri, practice is utmost important, that cannot be discounted. In AV, this practice is to remove avidyA; its an undoing. To do that, all the shravaNa and manana is necessitated to bring chitta shuddhi and gradually increase the adhikAraH. And the ones that disagree with this, in the direct path, are either realized or are deluding themselves to think that they are realized! Maharshi's "Who am I?" question when not resulting in immediate moksha means that the person is *not* an uttama adhikAri. He has much of his karma to burn to achieve chitta-shuddhi. And in the direct path, its no different than it is in traditional AV. When a person is inquiring, he is also questioning "whence am I?" which is questioning in the manner that avidyA is found! Its an effort to not do anything else and just be close to this question day in and day out, meaning an effort for chitta shuddhi! Its so very clear in the face, but people would still say: "no practice needed, I'm ever free". Sadly, these very people will do anything else but sAdhanA!

Coming to the final point of saMnyAsa, it would interest us to know how Maharshi reached the Arunachaleshwara temple and the things that *happened* to him to indicate a saMnyAsa vidhi that nature bestowed upon him! Why did he leave home and sit in a cave for near 20 yrs are other points to note and reconcile tradition! I've mentioned this earlier too, but again I recall the incident here: when Maharshi was asked by someone if its necessary to leave home and family, He said no. But after the person left, Maharshi's aide asked why did Bhagavan say that it wasn't necessary to leave home and family, while Bhagavan Himself ran away from home long back? Bhagavan Ramana just smiled and said: "I didn't go around the town asking everyone if I should leave home"!

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