[Advaita-l] Why should I believe in Adwaita vedanta over any other Philosophy?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 26 14:19:05 CDT 2010

Hari OM, Umashankar ji,

On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:37 PM, Umashankar V <urshankar at gmail.com> wrote:

>> Can you please answer this - was Veda, pramana for the six systems? Is
> there any pramana in the Veda for niriswara vada? It is wrong to claim that
> any one of the six systems including saankhya, denied Ishwara.

Its not a claim, its a fact within the teaching of Samkhya itself. If
you think it is wrong, you should have your reasons as to why they are
wrong and perhaps prove it out even to the wikipaedia
authors, which is your easiest lookup if in doubt.

> If you think any of the six systems denied Ishwara, please give me the Veda
> pramana.

This demand is as good as my asking you to give me a Veda pramANa to
prove that Samkhya acknowledges Ishvara. You will appreciate that
although all orthodox systems use Vedas as
pramANa, there are umpteen differences among them, including within
Vedanta branches! Will even a dvaita pramANa of the Veda that you're
different from paramAtman do you any good?

> Kindly quote the authority

It has been discussed many times on this list itself. That a Guru
needs to be shrotriya is a well known fact among all traditionalists.
That tradition is a quotation of authority. If still in doubt, pick up
any work of Bhagavatpada like Upadesha Sahasri or Vivekachudamani and
refer whom the shishya should approach for j~nAna after developing
sAdhana cAtuShTaya.

> What do you mean by strictest tradition, what is Samskrit equivalent to this
> term?

The strictest of tradition means those who follow the tradition
strictly and not for namesake as things have deteriorated today. The
sanskrit equivalent will have to be sampradAya or parampara.

and who said that there is the strictest tradition, stricter tradition
> and strict tradition?

Who needs to tell anyone when the pratyaksha pramANa shows differences
in following across various temples and maThAs? Do you think everyone
is following the same thing everywhere in India?

Are these these three traditions within the shrotriya
> tradition?

Why ask me when you have categorized yourself into three and restricted there?

Where is the Veda pramana for ochre robes??
Its included in the traditional saMnyAsa dIkshA. Why should I refer to
Vedas for everything when the sampradAya is the guideline?

> Sir, the same acharya has told in His Bhajagovindam that there are even
> folks who wear ochre robes 'udara nimittam'..

Using Bhajagovindam as a proof, are we to chant Govinda's name and
avoid all other sAdhana as prescribed by Shankaracarya?

Gurupurnima is supposed to be
> Vyasa purnima because Sri Vyasa Maharshi was Adi Guru and he was not a
> sanyasi but a grhasta and was not known to wear ochre robes.

Maharshi Vyasa was a vAnaprasthA.

Does your
> strictest tradition eliminate Sri veda Vyasa?

Why should it? Being shrotriya has to do with having studied what Veda
Vyasa categorized!

I know, this is what they
> teach out there in Rshikesh, its a pity..

To elaborate strictness further, Sringeri pITha has always been
occupied by someone who had not taken to gRRihastAshrama. In
comparison to other traditional maThAs, its stricter. I'd be
surprised if you disagreed. Similarly, the ashram I talk of at
Rishikesh is a reputed ashram that initiates and teaches only
naiShTika brahmacAris. Its a traditional process they follow and in
sense, its strict too. Its an insult to call such a paramparA as a
pity. Its not a pity, its sampradAya. What is a pity indeed is that we
are ready to throw away the entire traditional teaching today
for the sake of following what we deem fit and justified. Its not for
no reason that prasthAna trayA has the word prasthAna. One has to be
committed to *leave* this world of attachments for
j~nAna mArga.

> Sir, I beg to differ. Sri Bhagavatpada himself offered pranams to the
> chandala and said he is indeed guru who taught him a very important import
> of advaita. Did Sri Bhagavatpada violate his own norms that he laid down?

That cAnDAla was Shiva himself that Bhagavatpada saw.

> Many have attained Self Realization by the grace of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, by
> no standards of tradition can one lose such a Guru if one does get the
> bhagyam to be enveloped by His grace. Will you advise the contrary? Is
> Bhagavan Ramana not a Guru?

Bhagavan Ramana was an avadhoota and even the tradition recognizes it so.

What about the 24 gurus mentioned by Sri
> Dattatreya?

Interesting question. Dattatreya considered even a prostitute a guru.
Do you think thats acceptable to the tradition then? Mind you, she was
not considered a j~nAni either.

Do you acknowlede Dattatreya the Shrotriya, sir?

I think you're stuck on this keyword shrotriya. So I offer my
clarification herewith: its immaterial what I acknowledge or don't
acknowledge, I'm only mentioning what the tradition as set by
Bhagavatpada Shankaracarya says. If you have issues with that word,
you have issues with the tradition, not me. Else, the onus is on you
to prove from within_the_tradition that shrotriya guru is
not necessary at all. For what its worth, Dattatreya is an avAtara,
where does such a question arise there?

> Bhagavan Ramana has not advised anybody to read prastAna trya. He did not
> conduct classes, issue certificates or put any preposterous conditions for
> mukti. He did not, nor did he pack off any of his disciples to these schools
> or training centres run by the know-alls.  He did not even acknowledge this
> kind of institutionalized guru-sishya mechanism. How many muktas have come
> out of those groups that apotheosized reading of prastAna trya?

Reading? Where do you get this that the tradition recommends reading
the prasthAna trayA? Shankaracarya says that even if you're
well-versed in vyAkaraNa, you're not to approach the
shAstrAs yourself, without a Guru to teach. To me, all people in the
shrotriya tradition are sure to reach moksha and several are known to
be realized. Anyhow, the question is not whether the
guru is brahmaniShTA for the shishya, but whether he is eligible to
teach by which shishya can realize.

Are you
> aware of how many people got mukti by the Grace of Sri Bhagavan Ramana?

Why should that be of my interest? In any case, Krishna answers this
across the board: kascit dhIrA.

> you not aware of the story of Veda khyata ?

I'm not sure I am.

I can personally show you
> atleast 25 people who took to PrastAna Trya promoters seriously,

I don't know what "prasthAna trayA" promoters mean here.

spent their
> lifetime for it and not yet sure of their mukti.

So? Are you saying that they have studied the entire prasthAna traya,
understood it thoroughly through guru paramparA in a committed
lifetime and have no doubts whatsoever in their
manana? If they do have doubts, they are still walking the path. No
path is going to give anyone overnight results unless he is an
uttamottama adhikAri.

Reading PrastAna Trya is
> neither necessary condition nor a sufficient condition for mukti. If this
> statement is wrong, Sri Ramana is wrong.

Agreed. Reading is neither necessary nor sufficient. The path is made
up of shravaNa-manana-niddhidhyAsana.

> Who is the Lion in your analogy? How does a Shrotriya use the lion and how
> are others doomed to fail in using the lion? Where is the clue?

The lion is the lion. Its not an analogy with equivalent figures. Its
an analogy used in the traditional works to say that the way a person
in the dream can wake up with fear in this world though a
lion is chasing him in the dream world, so too this mAyA world tools
of duality can give rise to nondual j~nAna. That is the clue and the
story in its entirety. This was a comment in response to your saying
"A person in duality, in maya, can never PROVE non-duality with dual
devices at disposal wihtin this world." and has nothing to do with
anyone dooming to fail.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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