Ramanuja's Summary of the Advaitin's Position - 1

M. S. Ravisankar ravi at AMBAA.ORG
Thu May 1 13:52:03 CDT 2003

Kartik wrote:
> The answer to the question, "If there is only one book
> that I should study, what would it be?" is, as per the
> shrI VaishhNavas, the VishhNu PuraaNa. According to
> the Shankaran tradition, it is the MANDUkya upanishhad
> (with GauDapaada's KArikA and Shankara's
> sub-commentary). The difference is rather telling.

It is one thing to say that we consider such and such book as the most
important one in our tradition. That book could be very difficult to
understand and may require a lot of prerequisites.  One may have work hard
and prepare himself to understand, appreciate, and realize its contents.

It is totally another thing to answer the question you posed: "If there is
only one book that I should study, what would it be?". That book should be
simple enough to communicate the entire philosophy and its practice without
confusing the reader. After all, (even though the question is hypothetical)
he is going to consider this book alone (which is not a good approach to
start with).

Given this context, vishhNu puraaNa answer given by SVs (according to you)
is a better and a useful one.  Look at the other majors texts: bhagavad
giita is tough and pretty confusing, then what can one speak of brahma
suutra-s and upanishads.  Probably, from our point of view vivekachuuDaamani
or upadesha saahasri may be  a better suggestion.

Also answer to this question depends on who asks it.


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