[Advaita-l] Advaita and other philosophies

Kiran B R kiranbr at rocketmail.com
Thu Apr 22 00:19:45 CDT 2004

> Least of all by me.  But I personally have and 
> found examined the answers (Proof: see some other 
> things I've written on this list :-)

Jaldhar, what one calls as knowledge varies from
person to person. Everyone who is not in doubt thinks
he has complete knowledge. The intelligent ones close
all doors of doubt, for they know that there is no end
to this quest for answers. That doesn't mean that
their knowledge has answers to everything the closed
doors hide.

People outside your closed doors have different
questions, and different answers, and correspondingly
different knowledges.

You are perhaps right in claiming that your answers
are correct, but terribly foolish in claiming that
others' answers are incorrect and the authors, 
inferior. You neither know their questions nor are you
in a position to appreciate them. You simply are *not*
riding on their radii.

> Point of information: ahamkara means ego or sense 
> of "I" if someone is "programmed" they are not 
> acting from conscious volition so the question
> of ahamkara does not arise.

...except if the programming has been initiated by the
person in question like this: "MY AchArya is always
right. I shall accept as Truth everything he says".
All is well until a day dawns on which his learning is
not enough to explain one thing or another. And then
bubbles ahaMkAra and an attachment to the Guru and his
teaching which two he now starts looking at as his

> What if after all this my beliefs are wrong?  I'll 
> cross that bridge when I get to it.  One should be 
> flexible enough to admit when one is wrong.

I am happy to hear this!

> But to to keep wondering "what if I'm wrong?" is 
> just a rhetorical pose and not necessary.

On the contrary, you are advocating for something very
dangerous: "I am right".

> Acharya means one who shows achar or the right 
> way.  If one doesn't believe a particular person is 
> showing the right way either because one knows a 
> better way or because one doesn't care for it, then
> that person is not an acharya.

There is a famous subhAshita in this context:

AchAryAt pAdamAdattE pAdaM shishyaH svamEdhayA |
sabrahmachAribhyAh pAdam pAdaM kAlakramENa cha ||

One-fourth is obtained from the AchArya, one-fourth by
the shishya using his own intelligence, one-fourth
from fellow-brahmachAris and the remaining one-fourth
in course of time.

The question, as you might see, is not necessarily
that the student knows a better way than his AchArya.
The one-fourth one learns from the AchArya is not 
sufficient to walk on the path the AchArya walked. And
when one manages to walk on the path the AchArya
walked, he does not necessarily agree 100% with the
AchArya, for space and time will have changed. What
this shishya does, on the other hand, is what the
AchArya would have done in the new space and time.

The avatArapuruShas don't do the same thing in every
birth. If in 2004 kRuShNa comes with his obsolete
chakra, the George Bushes of this kaliyuga will blow
him into smithereens with nuclear weapons.

> If one believes there is such a thing as truth, 
> then one has to find a way towards it and just as
> importantly *away* from untruth.  What I'm claiming 
> is that Advaita Vedanta is that way.

It must be clear by now that Truth is a relative
thing. It is the negation of the falsity in one's
heart, which varies. The problem arises only when you
start with the stupid assumption that the falsity in
everybody is the same. Of course some falsities are
universal, but not all.

Advaita Vedanta is indeed what you say. For you. For
me. To claim that it is so for everybody is
foolishness. The nearest road to Mysore is the same
for people in Bangalore. Not to everybody in the
world. How foolish it would be to claim that it is the
same for people in Tirupati!

> Then "ultimately" that's what I'll do.  But in the 
> meantime it's time for Shankara Jayanti!

This too, I am happy to hear!! 

Happy Shankara Jayanti!!


achchakannaDigara guMpu!

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