Unreality of the world: a further analogy

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Thu Jun 19 17:35:01 CDT 1997

> It seems most religions base themselves on some kind of scripture which
> gives valid epistemological status to "things that are not perceived
> or inferred" in any other way. Most religions feel quite certain that their
> scripture is correct and the other fellow's scripture is "make believe".
> I had hoped Advaita Vedanta could establish its truth independently of
> Sruti (if that means scripture) and perhaps it can although it seems
> a little doubtful to me at this point.

Historically, advaita as a system of vedaanta explicitly starts by
interpreting Sruti (yes that is scripture). There has not been any great
motivation for the teachers of advaita to establish its truth independent
of Sruti.

Besides, normally what happens is that even if one particular teacher does
not refer his teaching to a pre-existent scripture, over a few centuries,
his teachings take on the role of scripture for the followers. This is
what has happened in the case of Buddhism, no?

> When Sankara was asked how he knew he was Brahman he replied,
> "because my guru said I was". How lucky he was to have recourse to such
> a simple ending of doubt!

Once (and only once) Sankara also refers to a personal experience which no
one can doubt.


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