[Advaita-l] Question I

Ravisankar Mayavaram abhayambika at gmail.com
Mon Oct 18 19:20:18 CDT 2010

SrimAtre namaH

All support for this comes only from shruti. Hence, you should have firm
conviction in the authority of shruti.

Since your focus is on advaita-vedAnta, most appropriate place you will find
rigorous presentation of  the support for advaita-vedAnta is prasthAna traya
bhaashhya of Acharya*  This is also crucial because, all the different
sampradaya-s within uttara meemamsa resort to same prasthanatrayi
(brahma-sutras, upanishads, and bhagavad geetha) for their support.

Subject matter is quite difficult and even more difficult are the
prerequisites. Recently I was listening  one of lectures of Sri Mani Dravid
Sastrigal on brahma sutra (which was recently posted by Sri K. Sundaraman
and in Tamil) Sri Sastrigal shows support for advaita-vedanta in places in
the original sutra  where a casual reader may not find.  I do not think
there are printed books that highlight all these subtle things, which adds
to the difficulty.

Also, it is not belief that is required but shraddha. shraddha is described
in viveka choodamani as a firm conviction in the validity or truth of
shaastra and words of one's teacher (shastrasya guru vaakyasya satya buddhi
avadhaaraNam).  This is something you cannot force yourself on. It comes
naturally with chitta suddhi - which again will require you to do things
like nitya/naimittika karma with iishvaraarpaNa bhaava - which, however,
requires some degree of trust and shraddha to start with ... This is a
nonlinear and somewhat cirucular process.  But easiest thing you can do is
pray for guidance.

To come back to your original question, if was just by some pure logic by
which I can convince you in advaita-vedanta - I think it is not possible.
Handful of quotations from shruti will not be enough - as some very smart
people/traditions have been fighting over those for a millenium or more.

A rigorous approach would be is to study both advaita and vishishtaadvaita
vedanta; and the their take on prasthanatrayi. That may serve as a some
starting point.

With best wishes,

* Sri Sankara

On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 2:58 PM, Roshan Mandal <roshanmandal at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Dear sirs/madams,
> I am new to the realm of Vedanta. I have studied the basics. But as a
> beginner,
> I have many questions. One of the most fundamental questions that I have
> is:
> Why should I believe the Adavaita Vedanta philosophy over any other
> philosophy/religion? What evidence does Advaita have to back up its claims?
> Grateful if you could answer my question as thorougly as possible.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> Abhyudaya Mandal
> PS:
> My background -- I am 16 yrs old. Most of my Vendata "knowledge" consists
> of
> reading the Gospel of Ramakrishna, and Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda,
> and
> a few articles on the Divine Life Society site. (My knowledge is very
> limited).
> However, I have studied Christianity, especially, fundamentalist
> evangelical
> Christianity for several years formally (My school has mandatory Bible
> courses).
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