introduction from VISWANATHAN KRISHNAMURTHY (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Apr 1 12:35:47 CST 1998

> My whole discussion will be based on what I deduced from what I know.  I am
> not well versed with our scriptures except Gita (english translation) and
> this I attribute to my lack of knowledge in Sanskrit.
> Now I going through a course in Sanskrit.

Bravo.  One should not be satisfied with insipid translations written by
people who more likely than not do not have a clue when with just a little
effort one can have the real thing.  Just reading is not enough though.
Not just because until recently 99% of people in India were illiterate and
few of those who were literate knew Sanskrit (even though that's true) but
also because we have always placed a great emphasis on oral transmission
of our traditions.  Often a lot of the context is left unstated in the
written shastras.  So to get a true understanding one also has to observe
and listen to the living sages and scholars and to study history.

> --My opening discussion-
> My whole discussion will be based on the fact that I don't believe on
> GOD(s)  who/whom we follow in our daily life.  I believe in only one GOD
> and that is SHIVAM.
> To me SHIVAM is the singularity from which this whole universe sprung.
> I believe that sages of our ancient times did find out that SHIVAM is the
> GOD and other GOD(s) where only the images of SHIVAM.
> GOD(s) will be henceforth referenced as IMAGES  in my discussions.
> As SHIVAM has no characteristics which could be understood by ordinary
> humans, sages did not want the people to believe in something that they
> cannot comprehend.

This is not the Vedantic view.  Despite the inadequacies of everyday
language, Brahman _is_ knowable and comprehendable.

> So they exploited the most important human factor hero worship.  So they
> imaged SHIVAM in human form so people could comprehend.

Well what about all the devatas that don't have nomal human form?

> People can now comprehend but will they follow.  So charm and character was
> added to IMAGES.
> But did anything good delivered by this.  So virtues were added to the
> Resultant - GOD.
> This aspect I strongly believe is only for society to function properly.

No it is for love of God.  That's it.  Any other benefits are purely
incidental. As you are not a believer it may be hard for you to understand
but the relationship between a Bhakta and Bhagawan is more than that of a
person and his reflection in a mirror.  For instance in the Vaishnava sect
of the Vallabhacharis, the bhakta often sees themself as Yashoda the
mother of Krishna Bhagawan--a naughty boy who is always stealing ghee and
butter! How is that concept of God explained by your theory?

>I believe that HINDUISM propounds that it should have two branches. They are
> 1.      PHILOSOPHER -  who's only duty it to realize his self.
> 2.      SOCIETY - Family - which is responsible in giving birth to the above
> category.

Your terminology is unusual but this is basically correct.  1. would
better be called sannyasi.  A philosopher is someone who thinks a lot.  A
philosopher is just someone who thinks a lot not neccessarily about
realizing the self.  A sannyasi is one who has given up all worldly
desires. Probably by thinking a lot but not neccessarily.

> So far so good now what role does advitam plays in this theory?
> As I mentioned that the whole universe sprung from one point (singularity -
> according to scientists) ie. SHIVAM, which only means that everything in
> this universe has a part of it.  To further simplify,  SHIVAM (GOD) is part
> of everthing.

Dubious science aside, this is not the Vedantic view.  Brahman is _more_
than the sum total of perceivable things.

> So we can't think about the fact that we are different and SHIVAM is
> different - it also means that IMAGES are our own images and only thing
> that we may lack is all the charm, character and virtues.

Actually the only thing that seperates us is ignorance.  Those virtues
etc. are also a product of ignorance.

> What other proof do we have to prove that we are part of SHIVAM?
> Pass the sunlight through a prism.  What do you see ? A spectrum.  To
> understand something we have to split it.
> To see what a cell is composed of we use magnifying lens.
> Similarly SHIVAM wanted to know what it was, so it started splitting itself
> or started magnifying itself.  Result is today's universe. Everything which
> is part of this SHIVAM ( the whole universe) has this curiosity embedded
> with itself.

Vedanta does not impute any desires such as curiosity to Brahman.  The
creation and destruction are only apparently real because of maya.

> But why is it that only humans think that they possess this urge?  Basic
> flaw here is that we are so arrogant to think that we are the only
> intelligent beings in this world.  Point is it is not true.  It is only
> that we have a communication gap between ourselves and
> everything around us.
> This argument should not impress upon the readers that whoever wrote this
> has a pessimistic view.  Views are relative.  BUT TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE.

At least one view must also be true otherwise we have no means of knowing
the truth.  Vedanta is the attempt to find this truth.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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