[Advaita-l] Re: Your membership in advaita-l

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed May 28 10:38:23 CDT 2003

On Tue, 27 May 2003, Jay Nelamangala wrote:

> I was also confused by some of the postings there which were neither
> buddhism
> nor advaita.   Some of them claim that Advaita and mahAyAna buddhism
> are similar.  Some others talked about "Pleroma" in the name of advaita.

You can make a claim that certain ideas are similiar to Mahayana ones
(though on closer examination you would be wrong :-) or even to other
systems of thought.  But the question is would that be based on facts or
on some foggy notion of "Eastern Mysticism" or something?

As Advaitins our first and foremost loyalty should be to truth.

> If people keep adding their own ideas and keep calling it advaita, soon
> we won't have an advaita, what we will end up with will be a
> heterogenous mixture of all these ideas.  The same thing is true of
> prasthAna-traya also, if we add our own ideas into prasthAna-traya then
> we will loose prasthAna-traya itself and end up with a heterogenous
> mixture of prasthAna-traya and all these outside ideas.

A common criticism of people who hold such views is that we are "living in
the past."  But this is a canard.  What we want is to harmoniously
integrate new ideas in a fashion that doesn't do violence to the old.
but A lot of people just want to use the name of Advaita Vedanta to push their
own pet theories.

> I think it is very important to find out where a particular idea is
> coming from. If an idea comes from outside of prasthAna-traya then we
> may be better off ignoring it completely in the beginning itself, than
> to go with that idea and end up loosing prasthAna-traya itself !!

True.  However it should be noted that it is equally a mistake to try and
reduce Advaita Vedanta to a narrow cannon.  It is a whole conceptual
framework and the prasthana-trayi is only the concentrated epitome of it.
For instance many references are made to the ritual portions of the Veda.
Although they are not a department of Vedanta per se, if you don't
understand them you can't claim to fully understand Vedanta.  That's why
we don't mind discussing general issues of Dharma here either.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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