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

Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 2 11:42:45 CDT 2003

>  Short Explanation:
>  The premise that: because there are no such statements, abheda is the
>  proper interpretation requires that some statements are more valid
>  than others, ...

Not so. With all due respect to Vedanta Desika, or to his translators, the
above statement is itself a quite heavy misunderstanding of the advaitic
position. Sankara and his disciples never say that some Sruti statements
are "more valid" than the others.

The question rather is, "for what state is a particular statement valid?" A
Sruti statement that specifically applies only to the jyotishToma does not
apply to the vAjapeya rite. Similarly, abheda vAkyas apply to the state of
moksha and they always wipe out all bheda *in that state*. The only
statements that talk of bheda relate to the state of sRshTi and saMsAra.
True, there has to be a bridge from the bheda state to the abheda state,
and Sruti itself provides various means, in the vidyA-s or upAsana-s that
it describes at various places in the Upanishads. On the other hand, there
are no Sruti statements that uphold bheda in the state of moksha. (So long
as one discounts the "satyam bhidhA" statement of the mAdhva-s - and I
would imagine that the followers of Ramanuja would discount that as much as
the followers of Sankara do.)

So, to recapitulate, each Sruti statement is valid in its own sphere, and
what that sphere is, is revealed to us by Sruti itself. The statement "neha
nAnAsti kiMcana" has a referent, "iha", which is given in the same context,
so there is no special pleading from the advaita side about which Sruti
statement is "more valid" than the rest.


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