Advaita and Christianity

Vaidya_Sundaram at I2.COM Vaidya_Sundaram at I2.COM
Tue Apr 4 18:19:48 CDT 2000

>>  To me, the link
>>  study of VedAnta--> Self-enquiry --> GYAna
>>  does not mean that Vedanta goes out of the picture after self enquiry
>   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>Let me just quote Apastamba dharma suutra (prashna 2, paTala 9, khaNDa 21)
>13. satyAnR^ite sukhaduHkhe vedaaniM lokamamuM cha
>parityajyaa.atmaanamanvichchet.h .
>  Renouncing truth and untruth, pleasure and pain, *the Vedas*, this world
>  and the next, he (the saMnyAsin) shall enquire into the Self.
>When one seeks the Self exclusively, the Vedas MUST be renounced.

The question is renounce the vedas *when*?
the same Apastamba dharma sutra states, immediately after your quote 2.9.21
13) , not even else where:
2.9.21 14) (some saye that) he (the sanyasin) obtains salvation if he knows
It (the universal soul).
2.9.21 15) (but) that (opinion) is opposed to the sastras.
2.9.21 16) (for) if salvation were obtained by the knowledge of the
universal soul alone, then he ought not to feel any pain even in this
2.9.21 17) Thereby, that which follows has been declared.
(Apastamba goes on here to state the rules of conduct for one who has
adopted sanyasa - and note here - these rules are to be followed **even if
the sanyasin has "knowledge of the universal soul" ** (**emphasis mine!)

 I have heard an other reason for the step I earlier enumerated after
gyana, namely, confirmation of vedantic teachings. The reason for this step
is that, during the process of self-enquiry, several intermittent and
transcient concoctions are produced my the residual vasanas and the mind,
and these being new, and initially blissful, one (the student) should not
be misled, and instead look for the confirmation from vedanta. If such
confirmation were not required, then every "new age" philosopher would
demand his weight in gold for he has "experienced" what he or she may think
is "THE" experience. Pardon the analogy, but first time drug users also
feel the same way, that their hallucinations are "the" experience!

Hence, jnana is not just "knowledge", but according to shankara Himself in
the vivekachUdAmani, jnana is "knowledge obtained from sruti statements
such as thou art that, under the initiation from the guru".  I hope this
clarifies my earlier position that the role of vedanta as the primary
source of knowledge does not go away until affirmation of "experience" by
vedantic teachings.

>The knowledge of the Self completely sublates the
>Vedas. On the attainment of GYAna, there is no such thing as the Vedas.
>Shankara says in his Brahma suutra Bhaashhya, "We admit the absence of all
>the shAstras on the attainment of GYAna."

The knowledge of the Self sublates the Vedas - does not refute it, or
disprove it, but only affirms it. Hence, it is important for students on
the path like us to bear in mind the important of  *On the attainment of
GYAna* part of your statement/quote. Until such time as one has not
attained this jnana, Vedas hold true and eternally so, for the statements
of sruti in the realm of atma vidya are eternally valid for the one who is
still ignorant of the atma vidya.

>If there are no Vedas on the attainment of GYAna, by your own definition
>of VedAnta, there can be no VedAnta either.

 Again, vedanta becomes redundant or absent only *on the attainment of

>Ramana's teachings in general: NOT VedAnta. He himself said that he was
>teachings from his own experience ONLY, but that his teachings *tallied
>with Shankara's*, and in that sense and IN THAT SENSE ALONE, he taught the
>philosophy of VedAnta.
>However, in order to avoid confusion on your part or others, any
>philosophy that is _in line with the essential teachings of Vedas_ I
>shall from now onwards call "S-Veda philosophy." I could give Ramana's
>teachings as an example of S-veda philosophy.

Thanks for the clarification. I hope Rama's and Anand's earlier mails
clarified the point that there is no substitue for the sruti statements.
S-veda philosophy is not vedanta.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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