[Advaita-l] How to begin studying Advaita Vedanta: Post 3 of 3

sriram srirudra at vsnl.com
Sat Feb 20 08:17:00 CST 2010

Dear Yajvan
I find it difficult to read your posts which contain some symbols which 
denote samskrit pronounciations.You canvery well give the English 
pronounciation as done by others for easy reading.Thanking 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "yajvan" <yajvan at san.rr.com>
To: "'A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta'" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 4:58 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] How to begin studying Advaita Vedanta: Post 3 of 3

> hariḥ oṁ
> ~~~~~~
> Post 3 of 3
> Namasté
> A brief review
> In post 1 and 2 advaita as 'not two' . The non-difference of the 
> individual, the world ( universe) and brahman. This implies ekaṁ sva 
> advitīyam¹ , one without a second. This reality is sometimes viewed as 
> saguṇa and nirguṇa ( form and formless) brahman ; moving and Moveless.
> I also mentioned in post 2, the notion of avidya and māyā . This for lack 
> of a better term is a 'linguistic' device used to explain how this Unity 
> or ekaṁ sva advitīyam, is seen as multiplicity - all that we see and 
> experience.  The notion of ignorance (avidya) and that of māyā are the 
> concepts that are used, But these concepts are also an actual personal 
> experince. Do we not see diversity? Many-fold-ness of this world... i.e. 
> multiplicity.
> Here's the pickle
> We have this part of a world of diversity in our vision every day - what 
> is missing in our vision is the wholeness of Being, fullness ( bhūman) of 
> brahman. When this is missing, we are considered ( by the wise) living in 
> avidyā - ignorance. The ignorance of not knowing or seeing the total 
> picture of the world and its structure. When one uses the word illusion 
> for this , it is NOT suggesting the world and its view is unreal it is 
> saying you are deluded by what you see, as if the only thing to see is 
> diversity of creation. You are missing the wholeness ( pūrṇa or fullness) 
> of creation as a total unitary environment. This is māyā called out in 
> advaita vedānta.
> māyāvāda
> Because this whole māyā notion has gotten too much attention , it is 
> almost thought of as the theme of advaita vedānta. Those critical of 
> advaita vedānta tend to call advaita vedānta āyāvāda. Hence advaitin-s ( 
> those practicing this darśana ) are considered māyā-vādins.
> The critic's notion for this name? - explaining (vāda) why one experiences 
> diversity (māyā) is high on the discussion list of advaita vedānta, so 
> they say . This māyā-vādin epithet is not considered complementary as it 
> misses the overall theme of advaita vedānta, ekaṁ sva advitīyam.
> I am not in this camp of critical thinkers. suggest more complimentary 
> name, brahma-vāda and hence brahma-vādin-s, as Fullness (bhūman), sattā, 
> are always on the advaitin-s lips.
> A more advanced view would also consider ...
> Now some would add the concept of adhyāsa ¹(imposition) and vivarta-vāda 
> (illusory appearance discussion) to the mix of avidya. This helps explain 
> one's experiences in the world of apparent duality, but this again is 
> outside a thumbnails view of advaita vedānta brief.
> For me, the core of advaita vedānta
> Liberation while living - jīvanmukti. This is the core of advaita vedānta 
> i.e. That is, the sum total of all wisdom and practices one may engage in, 
> should deliver that person to the end (anta) state of non-duality 
> (a-dvaita), of Brahman, of the Supreme ( anuttara). For what else is the 
> veda engaged in, other then Totality ( Brahman).
> My teacher would always talk of living the wholeness of life. For the 
> listener still anchored in avidya, he would say experience 200% of 
> life…the fullness of nirguṇa and saguṇa Brahman.
> Words used in the 3 posts offered:
> pronoucing advaita - advaita is aud-vai-ta or uhd-vahy-tuh. Care to hear 
> this word? see this url: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/advaita
> advaita is composed of a + dvaita; a अ= not ( like 'un' in English) + 
> dvaita द्वैत= duality , duplicity , dualism = not (a) dual (dvaita).
> ekaṁ or eka एक- one and the same , solitary , single + sva स्व- one's own 
> + advitiya अद्वितीय- without a second
> adhyāsa अध्यास- imposing; the in vogue term is considered super-imposition
> vivarta विवर्त- 'the revolving one'
> darśana दर्शन- view , doctrine , philosophical system
> māyā माया is illusion one is familiar with; it also means two meters; mā 
> is measure
> * māya माय - is measuring; rooted in mā is measure, to measure accoss, 
> etc.
> * maya मय - is rooted in mī and mā; mī to lose one's way , go astray ; to 
> lessen ,
>  diminish , destroy ; mā is measure , binding ; ma is time
> For me, I keep this māyā simple - it is the notion that the infinite is 
> measured out, is metered out. As if one can divide Infinity into parts. 
> This is the illusion... that the Infinite (brahman) becomes finite in 
> things; as if the Infinite can be constrained to parts.
> jalpa - disputed banter; a kind of disputation (overbearing reply and 
> disputed rejoinder)
> End of Post 3
> -----Original Message-----
> From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org 
> [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of Jaldhar 
> H. Vyas
> Sent: Sunday, January 17, 2010 1:05 PM
> To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
> Subject: [Advaita-l] How to begin studying Advaita Vedanta
> Re: [Advaita-l] New members
> On Mon, 11 Jan 2010, Michael Shepherd wrote:
>> Jaldhar
>> In the absence of an index for this site -- though new members could
>> pursue much through the existing system -- what would be you personal
>> recommendations for study of Advaita Vedanta other than the obvious -- 
>> to find the apppropriate guru, or just to read Adi Shankara's chief 
>> writings ?
>> Any book or online info that stands out for you ?
> One should begin by getting atleast a little bit familiar with Sanskrit.
> I freely admit that mastery of the subject is hard work but even basic 
> knowledge reaps great profits.  As we often see on the list, translations 
> can be inaccurate.  Even if the translator is diligent (and alas not all 
> of them are.) it can be hard to capture all of the nuances of a Vedantic 
> concept in another language.  If you know some some Sanskrit you will be 
> better able to assess the quality of a translation.  Probably the most 
> easily available book is "Teach Yourself Sanskrit" by Michael Coulson, 
> McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 978-0071468527
> You will also need a dictionary. I suggest V.S. Apte's "The Student's 
> Sanskrit-English Dictionary", Motilal Banarsidass, 81-208-0044-1
> To get a handle on the history of Advaita Vedanta (Including the 
> controversies that have recently preoccupied the list) I recommend "The 
> Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies", edited by Potter et al., It has two 
> volumes of interest, "Volume III: Advaita Vedanta Up to Samkara and His 
> Pupils" and "Volume XI: Advaita Vedanta from 800 to 1200".  (a third 
> volume is planned covering 1200 to the present.)  There is a bibliography 
> volume but a more uptodate bibliography is maintained online at 
> http://faculty.washington.edu/kpotter/xhome.htm
> For shastras, I have previously mentioned the 10 volume "Complete Works of 
> Shankaracharya" published by Samata Books (http://www.samatabooks.com/) as 
> being the canonical collection of Shankaracharya's works but it is 
> Sanskrit only. The most readily available and generally good quality 
> translations are those published by the Ramakrishna Mission.
> As for online resources, why www.advaita-vedanta.org of course!
> These recommendations are for learning the "facts" of Advaita Vedanta.
> But moksha comes from "experience" not facts alone.  For that one should 
> find a guru.  It is not something you can get from books or the Internet.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> 
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