[Advaita-l] RE: References for Atma vichAra in shruti/smriti

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 17 13:13:27 CST 2003

>Thanks for pointing out that the term "Vedaan" can refer specifically
>to the Karma KANDa, but there is the additional exhortation of the
>renunciation of Truth and Untruth, which has to necessarily include all
>statements. Also, Apastamba actually permits the study of the Veda to a
>parivrAjaka-saMnyAsin, for three verses before (, he says
>that svAdhyAya -- self-study (obviously of the Veda) -- shall be done
>by the saMnyAsin.

svAdhyAya involves recollection of what has already been learnt. What is
intended is that no new adhyayana is to be done after saMnyAsa.

On the other hand, if one takes Apastamba very literally, then there arises
a contradiction between first allowing svAdhyAya and then saying that the
veda should be renounced. It would not arise if we restrict veda to mean the
karma kANDa.

>If I'm not mistaken, shravaNa, manana and nididhyAsana are all
>concerned with the upanishadic statements alone. Self-enquiry that RM
>teaches is not concerned with statements at all, but is "location of
>the I-thought", which according to him, is THE WAY. "Everyone has gone
>this way only".

Indeed, there is no way to properly know "I am brahman" without the location
of the I-thought. Inasmuch as the process of locating it involves words, 
will naturally arise. In that sense, manana and nididhyAsana on upanishad 
are exactly the same as the location of the I-thought. It is not as if one 
merely keeps
chanting "I am brahman" repeatedly. Surely, the final realization transcends 
words, but
the traditional advaitic view of the upanishad statements such as "The Self 
is brahman"
is that they embody the path of Self-enquiry, as realized by rishis such as 
vAmadeva etc.


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