Ekajiiva vaada

Anand Hudli 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
   mislead them.

   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.


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