role of rationalism

Steve Wray steve.wray at PARADISE.NET.NZ
Tue Oct 29 12:56:47 CST 2002

I am reminded of the passage in Isa Upanisad
(I am unsure as to the transliteration method
used on this list so I will do my best...)

Verse 11:
Vidyam cavidyam ca yas
tad vedobhayam saha
avidyaya mrtyum tirtva
vidyayamrta asnute

I have no Sanskrit as such, but I've been over this
with a glossary and various translations and the true
meaning of this passage is of particular interest to me.

But it appears to say that with non-intellectual
pursuits (I imagine faith alone?) one can transcend
repeated death and by pursuit of intellectual understanding
one can enjoy the state of deathlessness.

It would appear that in order for the exercise to be fruitful,
one would need to combine these (apparent) contradictories?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
> Vaidya Sundaram
> Sent: Wednesday, 30 October 2002 07:32
> Subject: role of rationalism
> Namaskaram.
>  I cannot but help highlight yet another aspect of our
> Acharya's speech in
> the recent posting from Weekly page from Hindu Dharma:
> Rational Way to Know
> God.
> Please note that HH mentions:
> "It is indeed commendable to have faith in the Lord and in
> the sastras even
> without carrying out any intellectual inquiry. But are we
> able to have such
> complete faith that will take us across worldly existence?
> Instead of idling
> away one's time, without making any intellectual effort to
> discover the
> truth, would it not be better to keep thinking even if it be
> to arrive at
> the conclusion that there is no God? A person who does so is
> superior to the
> idler who has no intellectual concern whatsoever. perhaps the
> athesit, where
> he to continue his inquiry, would develop sufficient
> intellectual clarity to
> give up his atheism. But the idler has no means of advancing
> inwardly."
> There have been some in our list (including myself!) in the
> past who have
> defended the role of faith and faith alone when it was
> pointed out that even
> the best of teachers need to be subjected to rational
> criticism. I only wish
> to use our Acharya's words as a means of prodding all of us
> to not take
> everything on mere faith but to question every thing. When
> doing so, one
> must also observe that HH mentions " This means that Nyaya
> takes every care
> to see that reasoning does not take a course that is captious
> (remember what
> I told you about the Acarya's view that tarka should not
> become kutarka )
> and that it leads to the discovery of truth."
> And to add some words from a discourse by Sri Krishna Premi,
> even the great
> Madhusudhana Saraswati, a great Krishna Bhakta, wrote a
> tratise on advaita
> called the advaita siddhi. Sri Krishna Premi says that Sri
> Madhusudhana
> Saraswati actually prepared his mind and intellect and churnned it
> repeatedly with vigourous analysis to get the clear and crisp
> butter that is
> perfect understanding and offered this butter to Krishna! So,
> why are we not
> doing it too? Is it not a show of true devotion to actually
> take effort in
> preparing the delicious dishes that Krishna really wants!!
> May Shankara help us and lead our understanding forward in
> the spirit of
> true enquiry and offering to Him.
> bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
> Vaidya.

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