[Advaita-l] Permanence of the self

murali hr muralihr1977 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 17 09:06:34 CST 2015


On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Venkatraghavan S via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I work in an office where my boss is a Buddhist, of the Madhyamaka
> tradition of Nagarjuna. We tend to have several lively debates on the
> nature of reality, and one of the questions that we have recently engaged
> on is the concept of a permanent Brahman (self) onto which this universe,
> including the BMI, is superimposed due to avidya.
> Unsurprisingly, he opposes the very notion of a self, and more
> fundamentally, the idea of permanence itself (even on a parAmArthika
> basis). His view, coming from the Nagarjuna school is of shunyata, or
> emptiness (mutual interdependence of everything). And that emptyness itself
> is empty.
> What are the arguments that I can make to prove the existence of the
> Universal self to him?
> I am aware of Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada's argument in the Brahma Sutra
> Bhashya that to deny the self is illogical - the denier would have to have
> a self in existence with which to deny the self. And if he didn't have a
> self, then the denial wouldn't exist. However, and my understanding is
> limited here - How does this in itself establish the permanence of the
> self? At best, it seems to me that this argument proves that the denier's
> ego at a fixed point in time, not the universal, permanent self. I suspect
> he could also reject the idea of an individual self, instead saying that it
> is the momentary mind that denies, in that example.
> I can point him to shruti vAkya pramAna, but to someone that denies the
> prAmanyam of shruti, that wouldn't be effective. Any suggestions?
> Regards,
> Venkat
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