Advaita and Christianity
jkcowart at CARI.NET
Sun Mar 26 15:28:49 CST 2000
Three points, if I may, and then and end to this on my part.
At 10:00 AM 03/26/2000 -0500, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>The issue here is whether any philosophical system other than advaita
>(say X) accepts the tenets brahma satya, jagat.h mithyA, jivo brahmaiva
>na paraH and how they come to this conclusion.
This thread began with a quote from one of my posts on a different topic
in which I simply said (and I state it here *a third time* in the hope of be-
ing properly understood):
>> There is a strong non-dual tradition in Christianity (Eckhardt and
Anyone else choosing to make another sort of "issue" of it is surely free to
do so, but it was never my intent to do that.
W/re: Ramakrishna's understanding of the "everywhereness" of Kali,
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>I don't see a connection between this and a comparative analysis of
>advaita and other systems.
Nor do I. As I indicated in my last post, I have not engaged in a systema-
tic analysis. I simply made some observations which stand on their own
I will now, however, suggest that anyone interested in the comparative
analysis in which I have *not* engaged should turn to the following
Boehner, Philoteus, O.F.M., ed. _Saint Bonaventure's *Itinerarium
Mentus in Deum*_ (Alternatively translated as: The Mind's [or
Soul's] Journey [or Road] to [or into] God). St. Bonaventure, NY:
The Franciscan Institute of Saint Bonaventure University, 1956.
Cloth, 132 pp. ISBN: 1-57659-044-5. $12.00
While not comparative in itself, this work will be inherently instructive to
those familiar with advaita. (Presents the Latin text on the left page and
the English translation on the right.) If this work is not available, several
other translations exist--but lack (in my opinion) something of Boehner's
sense of the one beside which there is no other.
Clooney, Francis X., S.J. _Theology After Vedanta: An Experiment in
Comparative Theology_ SUNY Series: Toward a Comparative
Philosophy of Religions. Albany NY: State University of New
York Press. Pbk., 265 pp. ISBN: 0-7914-1366-7. $16.95.
This comparison of the _Summan Theologiae_ of St. Thomas Aquinas
with both the Uttara-Mimamsa Sutras and Chandogya Upanishad is an
outstanding example of systematic analysis at its best. Clooney displays
deep reverence for the advaitan texts as well as the essential mystical
nature of Thomas' grasp of ultimate reality.
Panikkar, Raimon, S.J.. _A Dwelling Place for Wisdom_ [Weisheit Eine
Wohnung Bereiten]. Trans. Annemarie S. Kidder. 1st ed. Louisville,
KY: Westminster/John Know Press, 1993. Pbk., 177 pp. ISBN:
The author discusses his idea of a "Trisnagam," a threefold flow from the
traditions of the Jordan, the Tiber, and the Ganges. The work includes a
chapter titled "Dialogue Between a Hindu-Vedantin and a Christian Theo-
To forestall any further concerns, let me point out that none of these
works *equates* Christianity with Advaita Vedanta (and the first does
not discuss AV at all).
In response to my statement that:
>> I, for one, would not choose to make the claim that there is some
>>place where advaitan truth is not present,
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>Heavens gate cult. I claim eschatological properties of UFOs have no
>connection with advaita.
Yes, yes, of course. Quite so. I ought to have restricted my statement
to *the world's great religions*--all of which have some thread of non-
dual insight in them.
I have now done my best to be clear in all of this.
To avoid further misunderstandings, I shall at his point take refuge in
the wisdom of Nisargatta Maharaj and agree that all who disagree with
whatever it is that they believe I have said are absolutely right about
whatever it is that they think they mean ... and be done with it.
J. Kingston Cowart, M.S.
San Diego, California
<jkcowart at cari.net>
bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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