Still Confusion regarding Shankara’s co

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sat Jan 25 21:28:00 CST 1997

On Sat, 25 Jan 1997, egodust wrote:

> If we make an inquiry into the nature of the pot, we'd realize that it
> is the entire universe.  Buddha illustrated this by holding up a clay cup
> of water and then emptying it.

What on earth does any saying of the Buddha have to do with Vedanta?
And from whence to do you pot is the entire universe?

> He then asked if there was water in the
> cup.  The disciples said it was empty of water.  He advised them to look
> further into its nature.  He said not only was it full of water, but also
> contained the earth, sun, the tools to make it, the stone that went into
> the factory that made the tools, the ancestors of the quarrymen, etc.
> Then, as we inquire further into its nature, we'd come to realize it is
> simultaneously transcendent.  Your "red herring" allusion to it being a
> holograph devoid of anything "objective" in existence is exactly what the
> inquiry reveals.  This is what's meant by the sages proclaiming that the
> world "disappears" in jnanadrishti (wisdom's "transcendental" perception):
> our ordinarily specialized focus on Particulars metamorphs into the
> *whiteout* of the all-engulfing Brahman.

First of all as you made clear this is a Buddhist view not a Vedantic one,
certainly not an Advaita one.  In Advaita the pot is *not* devoid of
objective reality.  Hit yourself over the head with a pot and see if it
disappears or not.  Maybe after you do that your perceptions will
metamorph into whiteout but whiteout is not the Advaita conception of

> So that, in jnana, there is simply one consciousness; here the aspect of
> the name/form becomes a non-consideration.  The very question regarding
> how or why it seems to exist is invariably dissolved by the inquiry.

It does not seem to exist.  It does exist.

> The
> stubborn refusal of the logical Mind to accept this is due to its inability
> to remain settled in its source of consciousness in the Heart (cidakasa).

I would hope your mind would refuse to stay settled in your heart.  I
don't think the average rib cage is big enough to fit a mind and a heart.

Or did you mean something else?  A little clarity in your thoughts
wouldn't be a bad thing you know.

> The inquiry--especially the Self-inquiry--has to be continuously applied.
> Why?  Because the Mind's capacity to deceive is infinite.  And our only
> hope for an effective counterattack entails getting at its root thought
> (breeder-reactor of *all* thoughts): the 'I'-thought;

Ahmamkara is hardly the source of all thoughts.  If this were so anyone
who managed to transcend the edo would be a vegetable.

> and, seeing that
> such thought has no separative reality apart from its substratum Absolute
> (Brahman), it retreats into its source like a drop resolving into ocean.
> We're told there are two ways of accomplishing this: either by devotional
> surrender of the 'I' (parabhakthi marga) or hunting down the truth of the
> source of 'I' by asking "Who am I?" (jnana marga).

This view may be acceptable to some of the other schools of Vedanta but as
far as Advaita is concerned jnana and jnana alone can be the path to
moksha.  The best we can hope to achieve from bhakti is rebirth in a world
where jnana will be easier to achieve.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

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