viprataa (was Re: Sadhana)
WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Wed May 13 09:46:33 CDT 1998
On Tue, 12 May 1998, sadananda <sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL> wrote:
> While I endorse your views on Advaita from my own scientific background, I
> am sure you are aware that parallel systems of philosophy were also
> developed in India by great acharyaas using the same Prastanatrayam as the
Yes, but it is advaita that resonates (/vip :-) with this vya.s.ti,
whereas dvaita the others inbetween seem flat.
> Frankly I learned more about Advaita by reading the criticism
> of Advaita. The greatest tradition that our fore-fathers have established,
> while I take pride that I am born in that tradition, is the methodology of
> vedantic discussions that they established. Before any one ventures to
> propose another explanation, Bhaashya or commentary on the scriptures, he
> has to present the purva paksha, the prevailing interpretations, stating
> where the problems are in those interpretations (using both shastra and
> anumaana as pramaaNa-s) and then propose a new siddhanta that can address
> the short comings of the previous explanations. I am amazed at the depth
> of analysis and their scholarship and some times even mind-boggling
> hair-splitting logic. When we read these, we cannot but bow down with
Yes, indeed. I have always read Shankara's commentaries as exposition
of advaita rather than discrediting other views (although that no doubt
played its part historically in re-establishing the tradition).
> But again, study of these help pacify ones questioning mind, but it is not
> necessary nor sufficient for moksha.
The W's always get me into trouble -- Who? Which? What? Where? When?
Whence? Whither? And the all-time favourite: Why? :-)
> Hence an unqualified respect to Veda Vyasa Bhagavaan whose vision was far
> beyond which helped preserve the system.
I take that as an epithet for Shankara, in which case I must agree.
> >the wisdom of a family-based caste system is obvious.
> True. But system that is well intended or justifiable, is also prone to
> abuses if there are no checks and balances,
I was referring to the ancient causes of the system. Checks and balances
only become necessary when the underlying wisdom no longer governs.
> But in Vajrasuchi Upanishad the caste system was discussed extensively.
> Clearly the caste classification is scientific and is based on the guna the
> mental qualities rather than janma.
I don't have that one: sounds like it will settle my concerns about the
caste system -- but your posts have already done that quite effectively.
> It is intended for ones own growth and not for judging others.
Ouch! That's worth remembering!
> Anand's sloka from Munu justifies that.
Yes, that was an eye-opener for me.
> Krishna's declaration in B.G. - chatur varnyaam mayaa sR^ishhTam is often
> used by the orthodox, ignoring the next paada, to justify the prevailing
> caste system.
Thanks for the pointer (4:13). It was useful to re-read that with
Shankara's commentary pointing to the caste karma (18:42-44).
I confess that the quality that I associate with the vociferously
orthodox is arrogance (darpo vidyaadhanasvajanaadi nimitta utseka.h
is Shankara's commentary to 16:4) -- but that just illustrates that
this mind is unduly influenced by such agitation, and all too easily
misses the underlying gentleness in measured responses such as yours.
> Krishna being a Universal Personality, the teaching has to be universally
> applicable. Hence should be interpreted and understood correctly.
It is indeed a privelege to be on this list and to have my limited
interpretations refined and misunderstandings corrected. This is
especially so for one working on his own, as I am.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts, both in tone and content, which
have illuminated an area that has been dark and troublous for me.
Thank you very much.
Kind regards, Charles.
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