Buddhism etc.

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed May 24 22:16:29 CDT 2000

On Sat, 20 May 2000, nanda chandran wrote:

> 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.

Then Shruti must be an uncommon form of knowledge no?  At least it is some
form of knowledge.  The various types of nastikas are not prepared to
admit that.

> 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.

...that is still around today.  This thread has come around full circle to
my original point that Advaita Vedanta is a lot older than we think.  In
fact as Advaitins we believe that there never was a time when the
knowledge of Advaita Vedanta was not known.

>  Philosophy or in our case
> Advaita theory cannot effect liberation. It is lower knowledge which our
> AchArya confirms outright.

True.  Like rituals, logical reasoning cannot cause mukti, only remove the
impediments to it.

> 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.

I partially agree with you.  You are describing the polemic side of
Advaita theory.  But there is also the expository side.  This side
describes what the goal of atmavichara is.  It is through this aspect of
theory that Advaita Vedanta become a practice.  The utility of Advaita
Vedanta is not just that it is a good theory but a good practical way to
achieve mukti.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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