Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta

S. V. Subrahmanian svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 27 09:43:34 CDT 2000

Please do Shri Daveji.  I would love to read your work/views.  Also, in one
of your mails you made a reference to western authors misinterpreting the
word "deva" as gods.  It would be refreshing to read the scriptures in the
light of "BhAratIya" tradition (in its expansive meaning).

As you write along, could you also mention (even it be as a post
script/footnote) how some of the concepts might have been misunderstood, due
to thinkers who didn't think in the Vedic way (non-Vedic-way to be read as
partial to no understanding).

I am asking this only because, each one in the list (atleast beginners like
me) will be reading other books too.  It would be nice to be able to
identify the author's intention/background and whether his thought-process
was in conformity with the Vedic-way or not.

This is only a request.

>From: "H.B.Dave" <hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN>
>Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
>Subject: Re: Antiquity of Advaita Vedanta
>Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 17:20:55 +0530
>Re : Antiquity f Advaita :
>Recently there was a long thread of interesting postings on "Antiquity of
>Advaita" on our ADVAITA list, which is
>still continuing. In between, some branching off has also occured.
>It is my observation that philosophical streams like Advaita, Dvaita,
>Bhakti, Karmamarga, Vijnanvada, etc. are already there in RigVeda, with
>predominating, irrespective of what Western scholars of Nineteenth and
>twentieth centuries say (and try to make us believe).
>If one tries to look for terms like Atma, Brahma, Parabrahma, Avidya --
>typical of Vedantic discussions, one will not find them in RigVeda, at
>not with the same meaning. RigVeda has to be "read" (shrutam) in RigVeda's
>If the List members feel it would be useful, I would like to give an essay
>on the subject (i.e., "Advaita and other marga in RigVeda"), in form of
>several postings, with quotations from the most ancient text, with
>explanations, links with later Upanishads, etc.
>I am offering this with a hope that I shall be able to bring out that the
>seeming dividing lines between various approaches are rather thin. Right
>from the time of RigVeda, a debate between followers of SadVada and
>is going on. What we call Sankhya, Jainmata, Bauddhamata, etc. are very
>older then their respective assumed propounders like Kapila, Mahaveera or
>Gautama Buddha. (This I am saying without any disrespect to any one of
>great thinkers.) What they did was to crystalize the ideas of a particular
>stream of thought and explained them that way.
>One question may arise here. If RigVeda did have seeds of Advaita, why did
>Bhagavan Bhasyakar not mention quotations from RigVeda even at one place
>in his learned Bhasyas? I very humbly shall try to answer this as I
>The general outline of the series is :
>1. Introduction : nature of RigVeda; attitude of RigVedic Rishis;
>2. Mantras which contain seed of Advaita (some of them, giving all will be
>too much)
>3. Mantras which have concepts like Anirvachaniya, brahma, etc.
>4. Mantras containing seeds of VijnanVada;
>5. Mantras which have mention of BhaktiMarga, YogaMarga, Karmayoga,
>6. Mantras mentioning Self-realization :
>The preparation required from the readers would be -- an open mind,
>reasonable knowledge of Sanskrit (so that the etymologies given can be
>willingness for contemplation and a little bit of patience.
>Will the List members be interested? Your suggestions are welcome.
>-- Himanshu

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