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

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Wed Jan 29 14:56:49 CST 1997

Ramakrishnan wrote:
> IMO, dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda is preferrable over the other for the following
> reasons:
> 1. dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda leads to ajAti most naturally.
> 2. Note that this vAda _implies_ the eka-jIva vAda also. So the Ashraya
> (locus) of avidyA is the self itself.
>  [...]
> 3. Most importantly, for me at any rate, dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda follows the
> tenet of gauDapAda that "what is known by shruti _and_ reasoning is alone the
> truth" (paraphrased from the kArikA). OTOH, the other vAda does not use this
> strategy.
> 4. sR^ishTi-dR^ishTi vAda leads to theories of creation.
>  [...]
> 5. dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda is more natural in interpreting the passages on
> dream, waking etc in the bR^ihadAraNyaka, kaivalya, nR^isimha pUrva tApanIya
> and most importantly the mANDUkya upanishhad-s. In fact I believe, on the
> basis of the kArikA-s, that this vAda is the one being used in these
> upanishhad-s.
> Finally, for the sha.nkara maTha aficionados I'll throw in the following as a
> bonus. Recently, when I went to India I happened to read a book which my aunt
> had, titled "jagatguru pathilaLikkirAr" (The Jagatguru answers). The book is a
> feast of reasoning and H.H abhinava vidyAtIrtha mahAsvAmigaL has answered in
> his inimitable style questions ranging from the dowry problem to nirvikalpa
> samAdhi! The answers were collected by HH's press secretary.
> _begin excerpts
> D:  Then what is creation?
> HH: Perception alone is creation. There is no other creation other than the
> perception. The perception that a thing exists indeed is creation and nothing
> else.
> D:  Then is it not a waste to consider that other living beings also exist?
> HH: Yes.
> D:  Then what about Ishvara?
> HH: He too is a part of your "dream". In reality there is neither the cause
> nor the effect. One has bondage as long as one considers that one has bondage.
> One who feels that one is free is indeed free. That is why it has been said:
>         muktAbhimAnI mukto hi baddho vaddhAbhimAnyapi |
> That is one who considers oneself as a mukta is a mukta. One who feels that he
> has bondage does have bondage. Therefore one should remove the wrong
> impression that one has bondage.
> D:  Is the removal of the wrong idea that one has bondage itself a quicker
> means of attaining moxa?
> HH: Yes. So far I was speaking with dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda in mind, but this
> will not be suitable for many people because their minds will not be pure
> enough to understand this philosophy. Everybody will accept that the dream
> state alone is unreal. If it is said that the waking state is also unreal they
> will be frightened. For some people it may appear that the dream state is
> also real from the statement "The waking state is akin to the dream state".
> That is why the sAstra-s do not speak much of the dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda.
> Seldom do they speak about it.
> _end excerpts
> shrii ramaNa maharshhi has also expressed similar opinions about the vAda-s as
> can be seen in "Talks with Ramana Maharshi".
> Ramakrishnan.
> --


Yes.  I agree that the drishti-srishti vaada seems to make the most sense
from the vyavahrika level.  It's more plausible due to the immediacy factor
unique to the creative process of the Mind, where what it instantaneously
conceives it consequently witnesses in the form of [its very own nature,
being the sensibly] 'objective adjuncts.'  It seems important that from
the vyavahara perspective the more consistently logical the paradigm [to
explain the workings of prakrit], the better; regardless of whether or not
such paradigm is arbitrary or even false.  It's needed as fire fighting fire
to diffuse the powerful world-hungry Mind.

However, if within the vaadas given in the maanasollasa vaartika--as
Anand points out--, the supporting idea is that Brahman is active, puts
a confusing spin on the vaada, and technically shouldn't be referred to as
drishti-shrishti, IMO.  This is also the big reservation I have regarding
Kashmir Shaivism.  *However*, I think it's almost as misleading to conclude
that Brahman is nishkriya!  In this regard, I think in Sankara's emphasizing
this point, He was strictly addressing entry-level vyavaharikas; whereas
the more advanced would be ready to understand that *any* affirmative
or negative characteristic applied to Brahman is grossly misleading,
including Satchidananda Itself!  As it has been explained, the *only*
indirectly [deductively determined] upadhis associated with Brahman can
only be communicated in the double negative: that It is not without Sat,
not without Chit, and not without Ananda.  To speak of it as being active
or not, willful or not, or even compassionate or not, is to deliver It
back into the sphere of relative limitation.  If this is not in fact what
Sankara had in mind, I would entreat Him to reconsider!  (Regardless,
from the paramarthika level, it's all academic anyway.  I just think it'd
be more effective to approach the final threshold with the least trace of
ideological sophistication possible.)

BTW, where can I get a copy of the book: "jagatguru pathilaLikkirAr"?



Frank Maiello
"Who am I apart from Thee?"

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