[Advaita-l] Permanence of the self

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 17 23:09:07 CST 2015

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
To: Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com>; Advaita List <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Permanence of the self

> 2) His second point was that if something did have true independent
> existence, it would be impossible to cognize it. That is, the very act
> of knowledge implies an observer and the observed, and then it no
> longer is a non-dual system. Without being able to cognise that
> existence, it would be as good as it not existing at all.

Yes, truly speaking, it is impossible to cognize Atman/brahman. Which is
why the upanishat asks, vijnAtAram are kena vijAnIyAt? However, it is an
unwarranted prejudgment, to say that without being able to cognize it, it
is as good as non-existent, and also to say, at the same time, that if some
thing has true independent existence, it would be quite impossible to
cognize it.

Except if a reliable third party can vouch to it. This independent means of making Brahman known is the Veda. The main difference between Bauddhamatam and Sanaatanadharma can be traced to the acceptance or otherwise of Veda as a valid means of knowledge. 
In my view this is what makes the Buddhist system systematically weak, because in the absence of a valid means of proof, anything can be posited (and other positions refuted). The Saadhana, or most of it at any rate, preached by Buddha should indeed be acceptable to Sanaatanis - in fact much of it is exactly the same. So we have to conclude that the intellectual basis for Saadhana is what is weak and that this ultimately is the reason why it did not flourish in its land of birth. 
RegardsN. Siva Senani

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