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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Jan 10 14:12:39 CST 1997

On Fri, 10 Jan 1997, M Suresh wrote:

> I know  that according to  you these  people are not  Brahma Jnani's
> because they were not experts in shastras.

A person does not neccessarily have to be an expert in the Shastras
(though for all practical purposes he would be.)  What is neccessary, is
that his behavior and teaching measure up to the teaching of the Shastras.
The Shastras provide a neutral and objective yardstick to measure the
claims of someone who purports to be a jnani.

> The question of  "who is a jnani" came up in this mailing list and
> the conclusion seemed to  be that there is no hard  and fast rule to
> prove someone to be or not to be a jnani.

Perhaps this means that ascertaining a persons degree of shastric
knowledge is not 100% effective in actually determining the validity of
their claims. However it is far, far superior than a "feeling" or their
own say-so.

> But I hope that shastric knowledge is not a necessary and sufficient
> condition for jnana  according to you.  In that case we will have to
> have  examinations   in  shastras   followed  by  handing   over  of
> certificates to successful people saying that they are jnani's :-).

Such a certification would be of benefit to other people so they don't get
taken in by charlatans and con-men (just as high standards for doctors
have reduced the number of quacks.)  But much more important than that is
the aid study of the shastras can give to the sadhaka in the rigorous
self-examination, much tougher than any college quiz, he must undergo in
order to reach his goal.

Is this study neccessary?  Yes.  Sufficient?  I think not.  There are
obstacles which even study of the shastras cannot get rid of.  But even
their they will be of some help.

> My point  in giving these  examples was  that however  great the
> vedic philosophy may be the ultimate truth  cannot be locked up with
> shastras  as  the only  key.  It  must  be something  universal  and
> accesible and applicable to all.  Otherwise it does not make sense.

In theory anyone can buy a fancy limousine, a palatial home, and fine
jewels.  In practice very few people have these things for different
reasons.  Similiarly the ultimate truth is available to all but very few
actually possess it.  A person desirous of having the car, home, jewels
etc. can acquire these things by working hard and amassing wealth etc.  He
is not guaranteed to succeed but he can try.  Similiarly for the person
who desires truth, there are paths he can try and follow which one hopes
can lead him to his goal.  But just as we do not call a beggar a
millionaire just because he likes the idea of being rich, we should not
call an ignorant man a jnani just because he like the idea of being a

> The goal  is one's essential  nature.  Hence it is not be  learnt as
> something new to be acquired.  All practice and study of shastras is
> only to remove the bonds of mAya due to ignorance and reveal what one
> already is.

I agree.

> > > I was not talking about the equivalence of the whole of Buddhism and
> > > advaita.  I was only saying  that the highest teachings  of buddhism
> > > and advaita, namely emptiness and Brahman are equivalent.

Even with that qualifier the assertion is false.  Buddhism asserts nothing
is real. nothing = 0 things.  Vedanta asserts Brahman is the sole (i.e. 1)
reality.  You are asserting 0 = 1.  I don't think any further proof is

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