shUnyavAda and KShaNikatva (momentariness)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sat Jun 24 06:33:41 CDT 2000

On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Peetabasa Pati wrote:

> Dear Ritwik,
>         I am extending my full support to you.
>         I am the member of the list for quite some time now and experiencing the same level of frustration which you are undergoing.
>         I also had joined the group with a lot of expectation that the
> fundamentals of Advaitha and its implications will be discussed, we can put
> forward our doubts and discuss to find out the right things in the present
> day context.

What is this present day context you speak of?

> This might help the Advaithins get updated as according to the
> social and political age which is quite dynamic.

A chicken with its head cut off is also quite dynamic--until it drops

Some people may be under the impression that all these messages are being
sent from caves in  the Himalayas but it's not true!  I for one work in
New York City arguably the most dynamic place in the world, in the
Internet business arguably the most dynamic industry in the world.  I can
say without arrogance that work I've previously done has had a global
impact.  Yet I find the wisdom of our sages to be truer than any of it.  I
used to work on Wall Street but I no longer do because it is many ways a
sad and depressing place.  There were people I knew who engaged in all
kinds of frenetic activity, impressive on the outside but totally lacking
in any kind of inner life.  They ran around and shouted because they were
afraid if they didn't they would cease to exist.  If that's "dynamic" then
no thinking person should want a part of it.

I don't hate the modern world.  It has made me quite rich and
comfortable.  But the only purpose of material wealth is to improve our
spiritual lives.  Woe to th person who forgets this.

> But it seems, like any other fundamentalists, the so called learned
> members of this list prefer to fight amongst themselves

Note if we were to fight against other people they would say "oh those
wicked fundamentalists are trying to force their views on everyone."

So of course we fight (if you can call thinking fighting) amongst only
those who have freely chosen to fight.  It's called tolerance and we
consider it an important virtue.

> rather than
> struggling to find the right truth or modifying and updating the
> Advaithik philosophy.

Advaitins are fundamentalists.  A fundamentalist is simply a person who
believes the basic principles of his religion are eternal and not
subject to change.  (The problem is for many people fundamentalist has
unsavory connotations such as terrorist, irrationalist, reactionary
etc.  But this is just secular prejudice.)  For an Advaitin,
Advaita Vedanta is the truth.  So why does the truth need to be modified
and updated?  If their is some defect in the principles of Advaita Vedanta
then the onus is on YOU the complainer to describe it and come up with a
solution.  As far as many people are concerned, The principles are just
fine and provide a valid theoretical and practical basis for daily life
from the remotest village to the most cosmopolitan city.

If you have doubts you should put them forward.  But you can't sit around
and wait for someone to guess what you are doubting.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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