[Advaita-l] RE: Dasa Avatars(In response to Shri B. Shankar)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon May 19 17:29:58 CDT 2003

--- kalyan chakravarthy <kalyan_kc at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Namaskaaram,
> >Did you know that the GauDapaadiiya KArikA is
> >considered to be one of the most important works in
> >the Shankaran tradition, and that one of the
> accepted
> >theories in advaita VedAnta is that the locus of
> >ignorance is the supreme Self (KArikA 2.19)?
> >
> >Before you go about making absurd statements,
> please
> >try and remedy your ignorance of the advaita
> >tradition. Suggested readings:
> Can you show me where in the vedanta would you find
> the idea of brahman 
> being deluded? As evidence, you have to present me
> the original text of the 
> upanishad in sanskrit. That brahman is free from all
> sorts of misery is THE 
> vedantic idea. If you want to claim that brahman is
> being deluded, then your 
> idea has no support in vedanta.(That is my
> understanding of vedanta) You 
> cannot impose your subjectivity on brahman and claim
> it to be vedanta.
> If however you are able to show me *from vedanta*
> that avidya can affect 
> brahman Itself, then I promise you that I will
> accept defeat humbly and 
> unsubscribe from this forum.

Firstly, I used the word "advaita" as a descriptive to
"VedAnta". In this list, we are interested in
discussing advaita VedAnta as taught by Shankara, not
"Kalyan VedAnta" or any other kind. And there is
enough evidence in Shankara's treatises to show that
he accepts the Self to be the locus of avidyaa (e.g.

Secondly, even if VedAnta in general is meant, there
is indeed support for the vivaraNa theory of advaita,
in which the supreme Self is the locus of avidyaa. 
Of course, avidyaa is taken specifically to mean
*ignorance of the Self*. 

I will be using the aitareya upanishhad
(AU).(Translation by Swami Gambhirananda)

AU 1.1.1: AtmA vA idameka evAgra AsIt . nAnyat.h
kiMchana mishhat.h . sa Ikshata lokAnnu sR^ijA iti ..

"In the beginning this was but the absolute Self
alone. There was nothing else whatsoever that winked.
It thought, 'Let me create the worlds.'"

Note: It is clear that the Supreme Self is being
talked about. After a brief description of creation,
we come to

AU 1.3.11: sa Ikshata ... yadi shrotreNa shrutaM ...
yadi manasA dhyataM ... koahamiti .. 

"He thought ... if hearing is by the ear... if
thinking is by the mind ... then who (or what) am I?"

Note: The Supreme Self is Itself deliberating on the
question "Who am I?" -- clear ignorance of the Self!
After a deliberation of the Self, the answer comes:

AU 1.3.13: ... sa etameva purushhaM brahma
tatamamapashyat.h . idamadarshamitii ..

"... He realized this very Purushha as Brahman, the
most pervasive, thus: 'O! I have realized this.'"

> Best Regards
> Kalyan


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