[Advaita-l] Recent discussion with a seeker on line-2

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 24 09:21:59 CDT 2016


There are obviously manydifferent schools of thought when it comes to Vedanta and non-duality, one canreally only ascertain truth through their own direct & immediateexperience. I've briefly read up on Mahayana Buddhism, which is extremelysimilar to Advaita philosophy, but believes in no-Self. How did youdiscriminate between the different philosophical positions and arrive at theconviction that Advaita is correct for you? This is something I struggle with alot, if there is one absolute truth, why so many different positions on thenature of it. Or is it that the nature of the absolute truth is manifold egempty/void (Buddhism), Bliss/Pure consciousness (Advaita)

I come from science background and logic becomes theessential tool to determine which is the right path; even though the absolutetruth is beyond the logic. First – the truth is that which cannot be negatedanytime. Analysis of the waking, dream and deep sleep states provides apowerful tool to eliminate many philosophical positions. Mandukya Upanishadprovides a systematic and scientific analysis of what should be the absolutetruth – particularly the mantra 7. Hence although I come from VishishTaadviatatradition (my father was in fact offered the position of Parakaala maTaadhipatiwhich he declined), my questioning mind could not accept the absolute freedomthat is limited by space, time and object (desha-kaala-vastuparicchinnatvam).  The adhyaasa bhashyaof Shankara provided the logic I needed to accept Advaita – non-duality inspite of the apparent duality as the correct understanding of the absolutetruth, while living in the relative truth. All contradictions are resolved bythis philosophical position.  In myspiritual path – I went through VishiShTaadvaita and studied JK analysis and ultimatelylanded in Advaitic tradition. I consider Vedanta as a science of reality incontrast to the objective sciences which are valid in the objective field. Ihave no confusion in my mind about the limitations of each in terms of wherethey are applicable. I present in all my talks and writings of Vedanta what Iam convinced and understood, and is logical too- which may not be agreeable tosome traditionalists. At the same time I am aware of the limitations of myintellect, and am open for learning if it appeals to my logic.
Hope I have addressed your question. -------------------------------------------------
Finally, I want to know if you can recommend any good books to deepen myunderstanding of the philosophy of Vedanta. Based on your lectures, it seemsstudying Nyaya-Vaiseshika logic may help in understanding some of theintricacies of the Advaita philosophy. -------------------------------------------------------------Sada:
First I recommend the study Vedanta under a competentteacher rather than any book. Competent teacher is one who himself studiedscriptures under another competent teacher. Self-study comes only afterintensive study of the scriptures under proper guidance. 

No. Nyaaya Vaiseshika is not needed, but helpful – hencestudy that only when you find that you need that to understand intricatelogical arguments and counter arguments. 

The study first Geeta and Upanishads with bhaashyaas tounderstand the truth indicated by them. Geeta is also yoga shaastra – providesa means to prepare the mind. Practice what you learn – to prepare the mind tomake it more and more subtle. ---------------------------------Hari Om!Sada

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