[Advaita-l] Sri SSS Discussions

mc1 at aol.com mc1 at aol.com
Thu Aug 16 17:21:50 CDT 2012

Blessed Self,

I am pleased to read the several responses to my past inquiry. It is a bit overwhelming. Please forgive me for not addressing particular responses directly. 

1. Please read Dr. Doherty's dissertation itself. Her arguments are considerably more in depth than her article. It is available for purchase here:

2. Dr.D cites 3 places Sankara directly deals with the locus of avidya. In all three instances he is dismissive of definitive discussion: BGbh 13.2 - "the question is fruitless"; US2.2.62-5 - "what difference does it make?"; BSbh 4.1.3 - "to whom does avidya belong? ... to the one who sees it."

These answers seem to point to the vanity of seeking clarity on that which is by definition without clarity. Further, Sankara's admonition was to remove avidya not debate it. 

3. Paul Hacker in seeking to determine the causality of avidya lists almost 20 phrases in BSbh alone indicating the effects of avidya. He concludes Sankara attributes a greater efficient causation than material causation to avidya however terms such as avidyaa-biija and avidyaatmaka do argue for material causation. Hacker concludes in Sankara avidya causation is unique.

4.Is mulavidya simply existent or might it be existent though not real ... like a dream and thereby not untenable and still removal by tattvajnanam?

5. directly to one of Sri Subhanu's points: 
Sankara speaks of sadhana-chatushaya as preliminary to brahma-sutra study and undoubtedly tradition supports and expands the importance of this sadhana. I question however whether the jijnasu is to to dedicate himself to sama and dama etc. or to recognizing akarta/abhoktatva. In practice, it seems to me it's either or. Please forgive my hubris but I've observe too many Advaitins concerned with purity rather than knowledge. 

This is a quick response on a seemingly endless topic. I hope these comments will inspire some fruitful conversation and not, in the words of Sri Sundaresan raise, "more heat than light."

-michael c 

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