[Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means'

Ger Koekkoek gerkoekkoek at wanadoo.nl
Thu Apr 13 10:55:02 CDT 2006

For me, as a European, I feel a bit a contradiction at this moment. Adwaita 
cannot be traditional for me, course I am no Hindu.
Or do you mean that I should stick to questions about:
"Who am I", from Sri Ramana Maharshi,
a translation from sayings from Sri Shankara, from the "Ashtavakra Samhita", 
from "Advaita Bodha  Deepika",
"Jnana Yoga" from Vivekananda,
or your website about Vedanta?
These are the texts on Vedanta I have.

Or am I also allowed to write texts as the following, which are, as far as I 
think to understand this all, related to advaita:

I once said to someone: "It 's impossible to think anything in the present."
He started to laugh and responded a bit rough: "But I am answering you here 
and now, isn't it, you fool?"
I replied: "And immediately, in no time, your answer is history. At the very 
same moment you say or think something clear enough, the thought is history 
He said nothing anymore for 10 minutes.
The mind is a reflection between the past and the future, and the past and 
the future are a reflection within the mind, but the present is always 
empty. But this means no rejection of the mind. Without the mind I couldn't 
have had this talk with that person, and I couldn't write this mail. So the 
mind is a shadow over the truth, but also the possibility to realize the 
truth again, by carefully studying on itself and on everything that is 
appearing in it.

A main point is to converse a basic idea. Mostly we think that we ARE a 
person who HAS consciousness. If this was the matter then consciousness is 
nothing more but an instrument to deal with the world. This is an illusion 
in the literally meaning of the word. It is the other way round: We ARE 
consciousness in which APPEARS a personality in reflection with an appearing 
Once you conversed this, then you can suddenly realize that pure 
consciousness, as being witness of it all, has an unfathomable depth in 
itself. And this unfathomable depth is Brahman, timeless happiness (isn't 
But realizing this is not liberation. You realize that liberation exists, 
and this in a way that is indestructible, but old customs for instance can 
be very powerful. It is very difficult to point your whole attention and 
your whole will to it. No, once you realize this you cannot simply put the 
mind aside, but in the contrary a long study on what is the nature of mind 
begins. (Isn't it?)

Until now I found, as long as we talk about India in the modern times, 
Vivekananda, Krishnamurti and Mahatma Gandhi inspiring religious people, but 
only from Sri Ramana Maharshi I can believe that he became completely one 
with Brahman.

But I am a bit doubting. Perhaps I don't belong in this mail-ring. I cannot 
study the Vedanta like a Hindi-person. I don't mean this in a negative way, 
you are doing a good job together. Perhaps this contradiction has been a 
problem more often. You think in your own tradition, but only very 
untraditional thinking European people can become interested in advaita, and 
those kind of people have quite often a very active meaning by themselves.
But, all those means don't have to be such a great problem, as long as we 
realize it are means and don't become angry. All those means together can 
also function as a kind of cooking pot for our illusions. We make each other 
unsure, and once we are unsure we become very alert and very active.

Perhaps I also could be a silent member, just reading what you all are 
saying. I have red already some good stuff that was interesting.

With greetings,
And sincerely respect,
and hoping for some reactions,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:04 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means'

> On Wed, 12 Apr 2006, Viswanathan N wrote:
>> Parnams to all memebers
>>   May I request everyone to concentrate more on the " end" rather
>>   disucssing about just " means" like this.(women & vedas...etc)
> The ends are the most intensely personal things you can imagine.  What
> would be the point of discussing them on a list at all?  You could just
> sit at home and do it.  The ends cannot be refuted; they are beyond reason
> and words themselves.  What would you have us do?  Write endless messages
> congratulating ourselves about how mystical we all are?  But the means are
> varied.  all the theories about means are not equally valid and do not
> lead to equal results.  We can however judge them based on reason.
> Thus means are a problem an Internet discussion group can actually do
> something about.
> Also let me add this is a list about Advaita Vedanta.  It says so in all
> the web pages and welcome messages.  We go to elaborate lengths to ensure
> that new subscribers understand this is a list for Advaita Vedanta.  Not
> generic mysticism.  Advaita Vedanta.  So we make no apologies whatsoever
> in sticking to the topics which have been the traditional concern of
> Advaita Vedanta.
>>   Let us discuss what is ultimate and how to acheive that goal,
> Brahman is the ultimate.  Jnana is the way to acheive that goal.
> All done.  Discussion over.
> But an intelligent person would want to discuss: what is Brahman?  How is
> jnana acheived?  In fact this is exactly what we are doing on the list.
>> I feel one need to quote any authority or scripture as long as they
>> believe in advaitic philosophy.
> And how do you know what is "advaitic philosophy?"  You know, I am a jnani
> and I think jnana consists of stopping random people in the street and
> punching them in the face.  In fact any so-called saint who doesn't punch
> people in the face is not advaitic.  Do you accept my authority
> and philosophy?  Why?  Why not?
> I understand why to you things like pramanas might seem obscure or 
> irrelevant.
> But how we know what we know, what is truth, what is authority etc.  These
> are all essential questions for any philosophy worth the name.
>> As some one was mentioning neither " Ramana" or " Ramakrishna" ever
>> attained expertise in scriptures nor discussed them, but even today they
>> are still milestones in this advaitic route and swami Vivekanada is no
>> lesser.
> Actually it is quite clear from the writings of Ramana that he had
> expertise in classical Advaita Vedanta.  That he chose to keep that
> knowledge hidden is a different matter.  It is not an excuse for other
> people to remain ignorant.
> And based on my knowledge of the history and doctrines of Advaita Vedanta,
> I consider Ramakrishna and Vivekananda to be marginal figures in the
> "advaitic route"  Other people disagree and they have their reasons.
> Whether people decide to believe them or me depends on their rationally
> considering the arguments not just "because."  Again, mysticism should not
> be confused with ignorance.
>>    I always felt that the bane of our people is taking the means more
>>   serious than the end itself. Though some learned memebers has objected
>>   for my suggestion looking into ones innerself (ofcourse after basic
>>   understanding of the tatva) for answers, I still feel thats more
>>   beneficial than mere theoritical discussions.
> No please continue looking into yourself.  There is no objection to that
> at all.  But what is the point of telling us what you found in yourself?
> It is personal and private.  It will not clarify anything for us and we
> cannot imitate it.
>> After that kind of
>> explorasions ,we can discuss our experiences and seek clarifications/
>> further guidance from the forum.
> What guidance?  Your innermost self shines forth without externalities.
> They cannot be added to or taken away by any God or guru or shastra and
> certainly not any internet mailing list.  This is way even at the same
> time Shankaracharya affirms that women etc. have no right to study the
> Vedas, he also affirms they are able to be jnanis.  Because Brahman is the
> core within all beings.  But when we talk about how to access that core,
> again we come into the public realm, where logic, shastra etc. are the 
> guide.
>>    See one of the members stated talking about Maundukya upanishad and
>>   another one about some verses of Geetha....These are could be really
>>   helpful.
> Ok, now I'm confused.  After a big long argument against theoretical
> knowledge you are now saying shastras are helpful?  That's fine with me.
> -- 
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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