Antiquity of advaita vedanta (was : an open letter to all)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Jun 22 00:06:37 CDT 2000

On Wed, 21 Jun 2000, nanda chandran wrote:

> Anand, I've to hand it to you for getting the most irrelevant support for
> your theories.

On the contrary I think this quite relevant and important evidence.  A
third party without a personal stake in the matter can provide a lot of

> Incase the readers have missed it, the only objective of the Vaishnava is
> but to imply that GaudapAda and Shankara only taught the bhakti path -
> "NArAyana bestowing brahma vidhya to GaudapAda!". By this the Vaishnava is
> totally undermining the jnAna and Advaita tradition which swears by the
> attainment of liberation by knowledge alone.

Then the Advaita acharyas are also guilty of undermining the Jnana
tradition!  Because with a single voice they have stressed the importance
of Bhakti as a complement to both the Karma _and_ Jnana margas.

> The greatest exponent of Advaita - ShankarAchArya - himself says that when
> he himself is the reality, whom is he to worship?

Have you been reading my translation of part of the Vasishtasangrah?  When
the self is worshipped as possessing the lordly attributes, that too is
bhakti.  To go the otherway and see ones self in the Lord is also
Bhakti.  Devotion to the Guru (Shri Narayana is the Adiguru) is also
Bhakti.  None of these things are in anyway incompatible with Jnana marga.

Please read the Gudarthadipika or Bhaktirasayana of Swami Madhusudan

>  JnAna and karma (which
> includes bhakti)

Only some kinds of Bhakti.

> are diametrically opposed and to endorse bhakti at a
> higher level in Advaita, is more harmful than it being prachanna bauddham,
> which atleast always taught that reality can be attained only by knowledge.

And knowledge is attained how?  Bhakti is one of the ways and it has the
approval of all the Acharyas.  Whoever the dvipadam varam is why is
Gaudapadacharya "saluting" Him?  Isn't salutation a form of Bhakti?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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