Neti Yoga

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 12 08:58:08 CDT 2002

On Wed, 11 Sep 2002 18:56:00 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

>On Wed, 11 Sep 2002, Ashish Chandra wrote:
>> What makes you think that they are really looking at Adi Shankaracharya's
>> philosophy to say what they talk is Advaita?
>Advaita is an adjective as you well know.  If they are talking about
>Advaita Vedanta then necessarily they are talking about Shankaracharyas

No. They are talking about Advaita - There is no two, there is one. As you
well know, this is the teaching of the Upanishads and since we know the
Vedas to be eternal, this knowledge is also eternal. It cannot be that it
has stemmed from Adi Shankara, as he himself has said that he is not the
originiator, "merely" an asserter.

I am not even sure why you would use Advaita as an adjective. If it is,
then what you are saying necessarily means that Advaita is that teaching of
Vedanta which concludes in the Oneness and Unity of All. However, I am not
using it as an adjective that precedes the words Vedanta. *I think* any
teaching that says there is only One is Advaita (a-dvaita).

>>  I mean what are your grounds
>> for even thinking that people "want" to jump on the Advaita bandwagon?
>Because they use the word Advaita...

...As in there is no Two, only One, as I have put forward above.

>> Even
>> today there are saints who have said that they do no completely agree
>> Adi Shankara's philosophy in toto and yet their experiences, as well as
>> their teachings, are Advaita (that of Unity of all - Brahman is one
>> a second and the world is a misapprehension, not unreal).
>> What will you do with names anyway? But here goes
>I want to determine the truthfulness of your assertion.
>> Sri Sri Sri 1008 Neem Karoli Baba, Hariakhan Baba, Anandamayi Ma, Deoria
>> Baba, Sombar Giri Baba, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Swami
>> Sivananda, Sri Swami Krishnananda. These are only a few that I can think
>> of.
>All post-Shankaracharya (and relatively recent I see.) We can presume they
>heard of Advaita Vedanta through Shankaracharya.

We are not talking about presumptions. I doubt Sri Sri Sri 1008 Neem Karoli
Baba ji maharaj ever used the term Advaita. But he always said "Sab Ishvar
Hai" "Sab Ek". That is Advaita even though it may not be technically to
your liking. After all, we do have the Advaita Vedanta school of Adi
Shankara that has painstakingly set forth the technicalities :-)

None of these saints is more or less than Adi Shankara. A saint is a saint
is a saint. They have no need to parrot what "they have heard". They are
Brahmajnanis so what is hidden from then that they may have "heard"?

>> What does it matter if they referred to themselves as Advaita Vedantins
>> not? They taught that God is one and that He is not different from you.
>> that is not Advaita, then what else is?
>You are the one who was insisting that they did.

No I never did that. What I am insisting is that their teching is of
Advaita (non-duality and Oneness of all) even though you may not consider
it as being so because it is not technically stipulated.

They have no need to claim that their teaching is Advaita Vedanta. It is
fairly obvious to their followers that they have taught the Unity of
everything with God.

>I respect some saints
>who are not Advaitins but as I believe Advaita Vedanta is the pinnacle of
>spiritual acheivement, those saints fall short in various ways.


Saint = liberated. How can there be any falling short?


>> What does a
>> saint have to prove to and who? If you would like to quiz him, fine. He
>> or may not take your test. But if you stick to his passing the test being
>> the sole criteria for his being liberated, then what can one say?
>We are talking about the word 'advaitin'.  We can test for the validy of
>that.  And since we believe those who were Advaita Vedantins were
>liberated, we can infer that those who claim to be Advaita Vedantins
> now are also liberated.

My mother told me when I was a kid that Paras is a stone that turns to gold
anything it touches. I went and told my friends that Paras is such and
such. None of us had seen Paras but my mother had. Then I ran into a
Professor who had researched the stone and called his line Paras Science.
When I studied Paras science, I realized that it(Paras) has properties that
turn anything into gold through a process called Paras Process.

My mother said Paras is a stone that turns into gold anything it touches.
The professor says Paras is a stone when used in the Paras Process only
with the methodology called Paras Science, turns any substance into gold.

If one of my friends say that what my mother has talked of is not Paras,
then what should I say? My mother did not talk of Paras or that she is

When these saints talked of One or "Sab Ek", they have talked about what
Advaita Vedanta system has philosophically established. But they have both
talked about Advaita (non-duality) only.

>> I guess I don't understand what it is you are trying to say. What is this
>> objective criteria?
>> For me, it is jivanmukti or sainthood. I don't care for any other
>> criteria.
>These are not objective criteria because you haven't defined them.

Agreed. There may be people who will not believe that a saint is liberated.
They are more than welcome to try and find out.

>> But yes, that is my opinion and I don't think it can be
>> universally applied.
>Then there is no truth.  nothing universal.
>> But I don't know what else can? Only what the
>> Shankaracharya's say?  Then that is applicable to only those who call
>> themselves their followers.
>Everyone who uses the term Advaita Vedanta (and terms like jivanmukta
>which stem from Advaita Vedanta) is a follower of Shankaracharya.  Some
>are less aware or honest about it than others.

That is what I have been saying that when I use the word jivanmukta or
Advaita, it is not in the technical sense (as you probably define them) but
in recognizable terms as in jivanmukti = liberation from the bhrama of
sansara and Oneness with the Supreme. Advaita = Non duality AND Oneness of
all existence with God.

But we were talking of "Advaita" and "Advaitin". Not Advaita Vedanta -
which implies Adi Shankaracharya's school in most cases.

>> What about the others? Advaita cannot be
>> practiced by anyone except Sannyasis. But here we are all *discussing*
>> Advaita here - that of the Unity of all with God.
>We may not practice it but we can still understand it.  Just like although
>I am not qualified to practice surgery, I can understand what a doctor
>does without resorting to mysticism.

Ok. I agree that I am more inclined towards mysticism. But so is everyone
else. Even in the Upadeshsahasri, Adi Shankara talks to His disciple about
the body undergoing samaadhi as a fourth state, apart from the three that
everyone undergoes. How does this teaching apply to one who has no
experience of samaadhi? Why would you believe this teaching when you have
had no experience of it. You believe Adi Shankara because it Him who is
saying it. Because you have faith in the Vedas and in the Guru of the
tradition you follow. Otherwise, most of us would not be able to go beyond
this point - why should we believe there is a state called samaadhi that
the Acharya has used to demonstrate a point, when we have no personal
experience of it. The disciple too takes his Guru's word, as he should, if
I am correct in presuming that the latter has had no experience of samaadhi.

>> If he is liberated, then he cannot be dismissed.
>How do you know he is liberated?

You can never find out if He does not want you to know. Never ever.


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