Relationship of Advaita Vedanta to other religions

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jul 12 09:44:34 CDT 2002

Namaste Vivek, Jaldhar and John,

I hope that this posting is not one out of line with
the aims of this site although I appreciate that it
become so. For that reason I would invite John to
contact me on my e-mail address if he would like to
take up the discussion further. I do have e-mail
contacts with people in India who may be of interest
to him.

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas"
wrote in reply to John:
> >   my name is John V mathew, and iam studying
> christian theology and
> > faith in a seminary in Pune. I have tremendous
> respect and admiration
> > for Sankaracarya for his profound philosophy. my
> interest in advaita
> > vedanta grew out of my own personal conviction
> that all reality is one
> > and is moving towards a particular cosmic power,
> First of all, let me say this is a very laudable
> cause and I hope what
> I have to say next will not dissuade you from it but
> if such endeavors are
> to be fruitful there has to be clarity so neither
> side is misunderstood or
> misrepresented.

This is a common theme on this site and I will be
repeating past conversations but my first request to
John would be to ask 'Whose is that enthusiasm that is
so clear in your mail?'
It is Spirit, it is Brahman and that enthusiasm of
both John and Jaldhar is Brahman.
Speaking from a purely personal, Ken point of view,
and to John particularly, may I say that I am
fortunate enough in my own life to present talks to
Christian groups particulary on the gospel of St John;
and to Indians in England who have lost contact with
their traditions I give talks on Vedanta.  Behind the
words which are spoken there is  a common vision but
the words used are relevant to each group. Through
grace I have  been given a particular interest in
Indian philosophy, Sufism and was born into the
Christian tradition; this has been my dharma but
ultimately all dharmas are to be 'sacrificed'.
With these different forms, inevitably expressed in
words as we rarely have the chance to sit before
Dakshinamurti, there is great delight but whose is
that delight?
If I claim that delight as 'mine' then I fall into the
trap of misunderstanding words like 'superior' and
'inferior' not realising that neither one can exist
without the other.  This is the world of duality; a
linear world of the clouded buddhi.
In Reality there can be no above without a below, they
each have
a part to play in that which transcends them yet
embraces and fills them both.
For example, each breath cycle is fundamentally the
same action but the time and place and precise purpose
is apparently different. I am now breathing in  order
to type, later I will breathe to speak or walk or all
other events of the day. That which enthuses the
breath is the same in each case; if attention is given
to the space between each breath, between each action,
then the limited form is transcended. Within the space
there will be observed subtle breathing and the
process can contine, always moving from form to that
which transcends form and that which transcends has no
interest in one form being superior to another; each
is correct in its place.
So in any one day I will spend most of the time locked
in the ignorance of seeing myself as separate; I may
also move from being a Christian to a Sufi to a
Vedantin and argue from each point of view, it may
become more subtle and such words will disappesr and I
may move from dvaita to vishistadvaita to advaita and
back again many times. One will be seen as better than
another at a different time but all this is linear
thinking and collapses into superior and inferior, and
therein lies destruction. There in such a place is
hell indeed.
 The only reality however is that which is consistent
behind all this change and which fills it all with
enthusiasm...that is brahman, that is spirit. Through
repeated meditation on this, in a moment of light,
comes ayam atma brahma, my father and I are one.

Just a few thoughts on this persistent theme,

peace be with all

Ken knight

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