BASIC CONCEPT OF ADVAITA
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 10 15:56:23 CDT 1998
Krishna Viswanathan wrote:
>I have a basic doubt.
>I am curious to know what is the basic concept preached by ADVAITA.
>I would also like to know if there is any difference between the basic
>concept of ADVAITA and the teachings of ADI SHANKARA and why this list
>so specific in discussing only the teaching of ADI SHANKARA and not
>who advocated ADVAITA.
>I know it is too basic and I apologise for this intrusion to the normal
>flow of discussion.
As a reply to your question I am enclosing some relevant material
from an article of mine, written a couple years ago. I am also
including the advaita-paramparaa which might be useful information
to some here. I believe the last paragraph answers your question
on the basic concept(s) of advaita.
sha.nkaraM sha.nkaraachaaryaM keshavaM baadaraayaNaM |
suutrabhaashhyakR^itau vande bhagavantau punaH punaH ||
I offer obeisances again and again to shrii Veda Vyaasa, the author
of the Brahma suutras, who is none other than Lord VishNu, and shrii
Shankaraachaarya, the commentator on those suutras, who is none other
than Lord Shiva.
nArAyaNaM padmabhuvaM vasishhThaM shaktiM cha tatputraparaasharaM
vyaasaM shukaM gauDapadaM mahAntaM govindayogiindramathaasya
shrii sha.nkaraachaaryamathaasya padmapaadaM cha hastaamalakaM cha
taM toTakaM vaati.rkakaaramanyaanasmadguruun sa.ntatamaanato .asmi ||
These two verses honor the advaita paramparaa. The names mentioned
here, in order, are 1) Shriiman naaraayaNa, 2) Brahmaa,
3) VasishhTha, 4) Shakti, 5) Paraashara, 6) Vyaasa, 7) Shuka,
8) GauDapaada, 9) Govindapaada, 10) Shrii (Adi) Shankaraachaarya,
and his four disciples, 11) Padmapaada, 12) Hastaamalaka, 13) toTaka,
and 14) Sureshvara, and other Gurus.
Sureshvara is also known as Vaarttikakaara because he wrote the
famous vaarttika's on the BR^ihadaaraNyaka and taittiriiya
ShriimannArAyaNa instructed the Vedas to Brahmaa. The Vedas have no
author,and are hence called "apaurushheya." Veda Vyaasa authored the
Brahma suutra and other texts, such as the Giitaa, to expound the
knowledge of the Vedas.
Jagadguru Adi Shankaraachaarya is a unique historical figure of India
in that he combined within himself the characteristics of a poet,
logician, an ardent devotee and a mystic and at the same time was the
leading exponent of the system of philosophy called advaita. In his
commentaries on the Prasthanatraya, he exhibited a rare faculty of
relentlessly logical and concatenated argument and refutation, and
such subtlety of reasoning as has been unsurpassed in the
philosophical works of the world.
His main teachings may be summarized as the affirmation of Samsaara
or succession of births and deaths due to Karma and its significance,
the realization of the essential relativity of phenomena in
comparsion to the reality of the Supreme Self, the realization of
that Self not being a mere theoretical exercise, but in the nature of
the direct realization and actual experience taught by such
upanishadic sayings as, tattvamasi, "Thou art That."
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