If advaita stands, all other systems(including dvaita) fall

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Jan 8 22:57:29 CST 1997

> From: M Suresh <msuresh at INDIA.TI.COM>
>   You have mentioned Vedanta in general. In advaita vedanta the
>   reality is non-dual i.e it cannot be known or experienced. One can only
>   be that.
>   Such a reality may well be called non-existence since when a reality is
>   spoken of it is spoken of in the sense that it can be known or
>   But the Brahman (=atman) of advaita is beyond all knowledge and
>   and may well be considered to be non-existent.

Of course Brahman can be known and experienced.  Even in Advaita.  It is
known through the Vedas which assign it qualities such as satya.  It is
experienced in the state of Samadhi.  You seem to think that any kind of
description is evidence of duality.  If that were so then you would be
correct that Brahman is unknowable and thus for practical purposes
non-existent.  However one can affirm the astitva of brahman for instance
without causing any duality.  Phrases of Shruti though ultimately
illusionary themselves can give indirect indication which point the way to
positive descriptions of Brahman.  This also does not involve any kind of

>   However I am not sure if Shankaracharya considered shastras to be the
>   valid means of knowledge. I remember someone ( Ramakrishnan most likely
>   think ) said that Shankaracharya considered that though advaita is what
>   that is taught in the shruti it could be arrived at independently by
>   alone.

I should clarify that the shastras are the only valid means of knowledge of
Brahman not knowledge in general.  I'm in favor of giving a prominent place
to the pramana of Inference but the presence of Brahman cannot be inferred
independently as it is not not something that can be apprehended by the

>   Yes it depends on what level you compare them. Both belong to the
>   kingdom for example, hence both are identical.

Equivalence of a part does not mean equivalence of the whole.  This is
basic logic.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at braincells.com]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
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