Various vAda-s in advaita (was Re: A few questions)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Feb 17 00:56:42 CST 1997

On Fri, 14 Feb 1997, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> Good point! It is quite clear that shrI sha.nkara has addressed two different
> classes of people in the BSB and the upadeshasAhasrI. That is also confirmed
> advaitins of today. Instead of realizing this, arguments like "gauDapAda was
> wrong" are quite ridiculous, and that too with nothing to substantiate such
> arguments.

Remember how this whole thing started?  An assertion was made that the
waking state and the dream were at the same metaphysical plane of reality.
(Actually non-reality.)  I pointed out that this cannot be right as shruti
enumerates them seperately and it would be guilty of redundancy if it
spoke of four when there were really three.  Gaudapadacharya was brought
into the picture to defend the idea that dream and reality are the same.
I then pointed out that even if he did believe that (which I don't believe
for a minute.) this view was discarded by the mainstream of later Advaita
tradition.  I see no evidence in the Upadesha Sahasri that Shankaracharya
supported the idea that is being ascribed to Gaudapadacharya and I think
the Bhashya on Brahma Sutra III. 2. pretty much says the opposite.  So to
sum up the position I'm defending.  Both the dream and waking states are
unreal but they are not the same kind of unreality.

> BTW, Jaldhar, Can you tell us who you learnt vedAnta from
and what
> authoritative text he was following and whether he had the gall to claim
> gauDapAda was wrong? Initially you claimed that you had read the GK and that
> it  agreed with you. When I gave relevant quotations now you are
> actually saying
> "gauDapAda was wrong".

What I'm saying is the reading of Gaudapadacharya that makes him say that
the world is literally a dream (i.e metaphysically the same as a dream) is
rejected by the mainstream Advaita tradition.  That idea is problematic as
it is redolent of Buddhism.  I don't believe that's what Gaudapadacharya
meant and it's possible to interpret his words differently.  In fact I
believe Shankaracharya did just that.  (I also think paranthetically that
Shankaracharya distances himself somewhat from the style, not neccessarily
the substance of his Paramaguru.)

If you say the waking world is like a dream I have no problem.  It is only
the idea the world is literally a dream I object to.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
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