The vedanta of vedanta

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jan 5 12:50:46 CST 1998

On Sat, 3 Jan 1998, Miguel Angel Carrasco wrote:

> As there do not seem to be many posts these days, I will write a couple of
> questions that Egodust^Òs latest mail aroused in my mind:
> A)  ^ÓLike wood or stone, remain free from thoughts.^Ô  This sounds to me
> like a very attractive motto. I wish I could follow it. Just a question:
> What is then the place of viveka? Aren^Òt we supposed to use our intellect
> to investigate and discriminate the false from the true? Can we do that
> without thoughts? Can we always remain in meditation? Is it really possible
> to live our daily lives with an empty mind? I^Òve been trying to but haven't
> had any success.
 It is easy to say be like wood or stone but you can't do it until you
first have viveka and you can't get this without an investigation into
truth and falsehood.  You cannot be like wood or stone and cling to "daily
life.  That's why the importance of sannyasa is stressed.

> B) A quite different question, which has nothing to do with the contents of
> Egodust^Òs post : On seeing the expression ^Óthe vedanta of vedanta^Ô, and
> his explanation of it, I wonder:  Isn^Òt ^Óthe vedanta of vedanta^Ô not
> properly vedanta after all? I mean, isn^Òt the essence of Advaita beyond the
> Hindu culture?


Is Vedanta necessarily based on the Vedas?


> This may seem an
> academic question, but it^Òs something I^Òve often wondered. Krishnamurti
> (and Nisargadatta) held that truth is a ^Ópathless land^Ô. That all religions
> and philosophies could help only in the beginning, by indicating the
> direction, but then they became burdens.

Rather you should say they are a help right up until the end.  After,
there is no need for that path but there is no need for other paths either
so the question is moot.

> I have the impression that in all
> religions there is an inner core which very few reach. This heart is free
> from cultural accretions, free from traditions and from scriptures. This
> essence is the same in all systems, or rather it is beyond all systems. And
> it can be expressed in very few words (if any).

So why do all these different paths exist?  We are all creatures of time
and space.  That's how we understand things and that's how we approach
paths.  We need to understand their different traditions, and histories
and beliefs and not just sweep it all under the rug.

 > That^Òs why I^Òve been
> searching for jnanis from different cultures, to see what they have in
> common. But outside the Hindu orbit there don^Òt seem to have been many.

Of course not because Jnani is a concept that arose in Hindu culture and
makes sense in that context.  It would be like saying "Outside of Spain,
there don't seem to be many cities called Madrid."  That wouldn't surprise
anyone would it?

> Maybe due to the traditional Western dogmatism and intollerance. Anyone
> knows any?

Dogmatism and intolerence are part of the human condition and no culture
even Hinduism can claim to be more immune to them.  And that's not always
a bad thing.  Moral principles are a form of dogmatism.  Standing up to
evil is a form of intolerance.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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