Advaita and Christianity

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 3 16:36:54 CDT 2000


I just have a few questions. It gets quite tricky when we try and reconcile
religions because "in the end, all religions have the same goal".

>The verse speaks of the knowledge *produced* by the Vedas and not
>knowledge *of* the Vedas.
>It says:
>practising any religion --> purification of the mind --> study of VedAnta
>--> Self-enquiry --> GYAna

This statement begs the question as to how we would reconcile the views of
Buddhism and Jainism to that of Advaita, as these too have sprouted from
Vedanta. AFAIK, the majority of sects of these religions have rejected the
concept, or reality, of God.

>Here the "study of VedAnta" must be taken in a broader sense to mean the
>study of the *essence of VedAnta philosophy* and not literally the books
>that constitute the end of the Vedas. To make my point clear, it does not
>mean that one who knows only Tamil and not Sanskrit cannot achieve GYAna
>since he cannot study the Sanskrit books constituting the end of the
>Vedas. If he is taught by a Guru like Ramana who is essentially teaching
>the philosophy of VedAnta in Tamil, it is the same as studying the
>In this sense, if the Bible is read from the perspective taught by Ramana,
>I don't see how it is any different from the essence of VedAnta philosophy
>itself. OTOH, if one reads dualism into it, it's no different from the
>dvaitins' reading of the upanishhads (which can also be called "VedAnta").

Then we do conclude that any dualistic reading into the Upanishads would be
incomplete, maybe even wrong. All the refutations from Advaita acharyas of
other darshanas have taken this line, have they not?

>This is the same opinion that you had regarding Ramakrishna's teachings.
>I think you're keen on maintaining an exclusivity insofar as the VedAnta
>philosophy goes, restricting it to the study of the upanishhads and
>related works. If someone else has constructed the necessary framework of
>the philosophy of VedAnta in Hebrew quite independently from the Vedas,
>"it just cannot be because it cannot be."

If I understand this correctly, the exclusivity, as Anand had pointed out,
is not that what is in the Upanishads is not anywhere, rather its the four
tenets of Advaita that make it difficult for comparison. I guess my question
now is

Are there any philosophies from which we can draw advaitic conclusions,
besides Vedanta ?

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