Buddhism etc.

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat May 20 23:20:24 CDT 2000

>I think even for the sadhaka, a comparative glance at the Buddhist >works
>can be useful simply because they give a rigorous and >challenging critique
>to our ideas and understanding that critique can >only make us stronger.

We've to draw a fine line between philosophy and practice. By the simple
assertion that Reality is beyond the intellect, shruti has invalidated all
common forms of knowledge, which also includes Advaita theory.

If Advaita theory is the means to effect liberation, then there would've
been no liberated souls before the GaudapAdiya KArikA, which itself is the
first systematic presentation of Advaita theory. Philosophy or in our case
Advaita theory cannot effect liberation. It is lower knowledge which our
AchArya confirms outright.

It's knowledge of the Self - Atma jnAnam - which effects liberation. All one
has to do is search for one's Self. The process is quite straightforward -
anything that you feel/sense/perceive is the object. That which
feels/senses/perceives is the subject. Search inwards - meditate and find
that subject which is the changeless Atman. To do this it is not necessary
to understand the subtle dialectic and speculation of Advaita.

So what's the use of Advaita theory?

Theory is needed because there're so many other theories not compatible with
the shruti, which could mislead you. In those days there were the various
Astika and nAstika schools which presented various theories of what's real
and what's not. Advaita dialectic is in main to refute the theories of these
schools, whose philosophy was neither logically sound nor compatible with
the Upanishads. Advaita speculation/philosophy presents a scheme of the
universe which is both logically sound and compatible with the Upanishads.

But again as said before learning the theory cannot effect liberation. It
can only prevent the sAdhaka going astray, put him on the right path and
with Atma vichAra can lead to liberation.
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