Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sun Jul 2 10:15:40 CDT 2000

Yajnaguhya <yajnaguhya at SKYNET.BE> wrote:

<<<In his large work on Indian Philosophy, S. Radhakrishnan states
that, in his opinion, (kevala)-advaita (S'rî S'ankarâcârya) and
vis'is°tâdvaita (S'rî Râmânuja) are complementary rather than opposed
to each other, but he does not develop this important point. I have
been trying to do it.  >>>

Radhakrishnan does not develop on this point because it's only in his
wild imagination that this complement exists. Note that Radhakrishnan
was not a traditional scholar and his knowledge of advaita was quite
poor. He was very much concerned in showing that different
philosophers said the "same" thing. It was also partially politically
motivated to show that there existed no difference between "Indians"
and there was indeed a united "India" before the British. My
suggestion is to completely ignore Radhakrishnan, if serious about
advaita. I was talking to one gentleman from the vishishhTAdvaita
tradition. He was a journalist and knew many of these personalities.
His comment was "Radhakrishnan did not have a solid grounding in
vedAnta like T.M.P. Mahadevan, he was merely a bridge between the east
and the west." For serious modern scholarship, I suggest the writings
of T.M.P Mahadevan and Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati. Personally,
I prefer the latter. Also take a look at "Some problems with the
epistemology and metaphysics of Ramanuja", a monograph by Prof R.
Balsubramanian, published by University of Madras.

The key difference between Sah.nkara and Ramanuja is the fact that
brahman has/does not have attributes and teh absolute identity of
"jIva" and brahman. This is in fact brought out very well when one
examines the avsthAtraya parIxa of both the philosophers.  It will
also bring out the differences in the soteriology of both teachers. In
my view, this approach brings out the fundamental differences much
better than examining Vedanta Deshika's writings, which is what
everyone does. BTW, identity cum difference is NOT accepted by
sha.nkara or Ramanuja. Ramanuja actually says bhedAbheda is a bigger
sin than even advaita. I'll post a more detailed message on the
differences of the two teachers later (really later, may be 2 months
from now). BTW, my approach will also be different from that used by
Prof R. Balsubramanian.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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