Post-Shankaran Vedantins

Ashish Chandra achandra at WNMAIL.WNDEV.ATT.COM
Wed Dec 16 09:37:52 CST 1998


Shri Vyas says that Advaita is knowable and Shri Lakhani says it is
unknowable.  Correct me if I am wrong but I think what Shri Lakhani seems
to suggest is that what Advaita teaches is that the ultimate truth cannot
be talked of or cannot be told. It is to be realized. Shri Lakhani is
suggesting that truth(Brahma) cannot be, in its ultimate form, be ascribed
a property, something that makes it unknowable. It can only be realized,
that is what he seems to be saying. There is no knowledge that Atmavidya is
an object of. It is an experience that stands alone. Sastras can guide you
towards it but they will never say that "Now you know IT". As Rshi
Yajnavalkya says, Neti Neti. I think that is Shri Lakhani's purport.

Please let me know if any scholar of Advaita has said otherwise.

-----Original Message-----
From:   Jaldhar H. Vyas [SMTP:jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM]
Sent:   Tuesday, December 15, 1998 10:49 PM
Subject:        Re: Post-Shankaran Vedantins

On Wed, 16 Dec 1998, Jay Lakhani wrote:

> The most interesting aspect of Advaita is that by definition it is
> unknowable.

NO!!!  Sorry but this is a 100% wrong.  Vedanta may be somewhat
skeptical of everyday means of knowledge but it insists that ultimate
truth is knowable.  (This is what seperates it from nastika schools like

> Hence the only logic chopping is to confirm this aspect - full

Not true.  if Truth is knowable, then there must be a way to know it.
This way is through the analysis of the Vedanta shastras.  This is why
Vedanta is a type of Mimamsa or exegetical analysis.

> The same answer also covers the points raised about the value of
> truth and history.

But as we have seen, that answer is based on faulty premises.

> The grand thing about Advaita is that it cannot be a statement of
> It can only be a state - Here there is no subject - no object and no
> relationship is possible. Just a state - a state of first hand
> full stop.

Ah the well known problem of confusing the vyavaharik and paramarthik
states.  We have seen this mistake repeated on the list many times.  See
the list archives for details.

> So we come back to: - Who do we know in the contemporary times who is
> established in this state? Without this link we have no handle on this
> 'Advaita'
> What do you say :-}

I say you have a lot of history, language and logic to work on. :-)

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
List archives :

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
List archives :

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list