advaitam and Kashmir shaivam

Mon Jul 28 16:13:53 CDT 1997

Greg Goode wrote:

>The GK argues against causation roughly as follows (I don't have the book
>at hand, will consult it this evening and clarify tomorrow if someone else
>hasn't done so already):  An effect (E) either exists or it doesn't.  If E
>exists, then it cannot be brought into existence by cause (C).  If E
>doesn't exist, then C can't bring it about either.  The same holds whether
>cause C exists or not.  Therefore there is no causation.  If there is no
>causation, then Shiva cannot be said to create the world, since nothing
>creates anything.  Shiva is part of maya too.

 Any advaitin, if pressed hard enough, is bound to adopt the stance of
 ajaati-vaada of GauDapAda! Most of the differences/misunderstandings
 between Kashmir Shaivism and advaita, as presented, for example in
 Prof. Mishra's book, stem from a failure to realize this.

 Again, there might be some misunderstanding about how Kashmir Shaivism
 views the world. Abhinavagupta was reportedly vague and ambiguous about
 the question as to whether the world is real or not. There is a considerable
 amount of de-emphasis of this question in Kashmir Shaivism. Prof. Mishra
 opines that one of the main reasons for this de-emphasis could be to
 discourage a "negative" attitude towards life, whereas, according to him,
 advaita "encourages" such a negative attitude by dismissing the world as
 unreal. Now, this allegation against advaita is itself based on a
 misunderstanding! As you see there are several misunderstandings at
 work between the two systems. This situation has been caused by several
 factors. There has been very little of polemical debate between the
 the two systems. While advaita has a long and rich history of polemical
 literature starting right from Shankara and even upto the present age,
 Kashmir Shaivism starts perhaps 2-3 centuries before Abhinavagupta
 and virtually ends with him. Consequently, there was little debate between
 the followers of the two schools.

 Coming back to Kashmir Shaivism's view of the world, Prof. Mishra offers a
 detailed explanation based on various texts. And the explanation is similar
 to the advaitic view, but, as I said before, it has some crucial differences.


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