Advaita Vedanta in Indian Schools

Ravi miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM
Wed Oct 2 13:38:04 CDT 2002

Key problems I see are:

1. Goal of vedAnta

It is not mere knowledge that people can spit out in exams, but the goal
is  to end the cycle of samsaara.

2. adhikAri laxaNam

It has to be taught only to those who meet the qualifications. Our goal is
not just the ability to memorize and repeat these definitions, but to live
by it. Sometimes if the requirements are not met, results could be

Understanding whether one has adhikAri laxanam or not is very important.
For instance, I do not. Hence, I find sharaNagati a more appropriate
sadhaana for me. I use vedantic texts also to achieve the same.

3. Different interpretations

prasthAna trayii has few different readings or interpretation of
philosophy, such as advaita, vishishhTaadvaita, dvaita, etc. If you teach
all of these, then they will attain the status of hypotheses. You cannot
use logic and say this is correct and this wrong. And people who claim that
modern science shows advaita is correct, neither understand science nor

4. theory and practice

we emphasize more on practice and not much on theory. Think of this, when
you eat a plate full of curd rice, you need only a spoon on pickles.
Pickles is just there to make the rice palatable and delicious to eat. You
need only enough theory to propel your practice. Otherwise it will be like
eating a plate full of pickles with a spoon of curd rice.  Too much theory
without practise  will lead to arrogance.

It is the practice such as doing sandhya regularly makes our religion
solid, not reading translations of upadeshasAhasri. Latter is OK as long as
former is adhered to.

5. By example.

Teaching should be by example. Otherwise it will not be effective  and it
will also become detrimental. It is largely a parental responsibility.
Parents cannot shirk this responsibility away.


na j~naayate mama hitaM nitaraamupaayo
diino.asmi devi samayaacharaNaakShamo.asmi .
tattvaamananyasharaNaH sharaNaM prapadye
miinaakShi vishwajananiiM jananiiM mamaiva .. 32 ..

(this summarizes the state of most of us).

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