ahudli at APPN.CI.IN.AMERITECH.COM
Fri Jan 31 10:18:58 CST 1997
After reading the various vaadas on creation, here is one of my initial
thoughts. The key point is that not all vaadas are suitable for
all people regardless of their current capabilities.
As HH Abhinava Vidyatirtha himself says, according to
the excerpt posted by Ramakrishnan, the dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi-vaada
will _not_be_suitable_ for many people. If you belive what he says
about the tenability of dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi-vaada, you should believe
this too. This point that various disciplines are suitable for various
people with differing current capabilities is completely ignored in
academic discussions and books on philosophy. So I feel this point can
be hardly overemphasized. This is the approach of the Vedas/Vedaanta.
This approach is for the benefit of aspirants, and certainly not to
A concrete example will make things clear. Consider the teaching of
the Giitaa. Krishna tells Arjuna about the Knowledge of the Self,
as early as Chapter 2, and again describes it in glowing terms in
the latter part of Chapter 4. But then Krishna asks Arjuna to take up
karma yoga. Now Arjuna is confused and at the beginning of Chapter 5,
he asks Krishna to tell him which of the two is better, sannyaasa or
karma yoga. Now as Guru, Krishna's duty is assess the capability of
his disciple, Arjuna, and then prescribe a suitable discipline. If
Arjuna should take up sannyaasa, he will do so simply because he wants
to avoid war and his duty as a Kshhatriya. So if Arjuna renounces the
world, it will be with an incorrect approach. In other words, Arjuna is
not yet ready for sannyaasa. With this assessment, Krishna asks Arjuna
to take up karma yoga, and later Bhakti yoga, as a means to achieving
the final objective, which is the Knowledge of the Self. Perhaps, Arjuna
will be perfectly capable of taking up sannyaasa at a later time, after
getting his mind purified through karma yoga. But the notable thing is
Arjuna accepts Krishna's advice and acts accordingly. He does not get
into an academic argument with Krishna, saying, "If the Self alone is
real, why should I worry about my duties? They are, after all unreal.
What you are prescribing to me will be a colossal waste of time!"
No, Arjuna does not do that because he is too intelligent to confuse
mere "intellectual or academic" understanding of concepts with actual
experience of those concepts.
Coming back to the various vaadas, both sR^ishhTi-dR^ishhTi and
dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi are sublated in the final paaramaartha state.
In this case, it is perhaps more sensible to accept the one which
appeals to commonsense of the vyaavahaarika level. According to the
dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi vaada, there is only a single jiiva, trying to
attain liberation. All other jiivas, Ishvara, Guru and Shruti are all
objects imagined by this jiiva. The jiiva must listen to an imaginary
Guru's instruction, and follow imaginary scriptures. So the jiiva
must cheer itself on toward the final goal of emancipation. This theory
looks so absurd from the commonsense viewpoint that it can only be
practised by advanced students, as HH Abhinava Vidyatirtha implies.
I must also add that the dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi-vaada is as logically
unassailable as it is absurd. The sR^ishhTi-dR^ishhTi view is,
in this respect, less absurd, and fits well with commonsense
notions of God, jiivas, and the world.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list