Neti Yoga

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Sep 13 15:49:10 CDT 2002

On Fri, 13 Sep 2002, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> So Advaita did not exist before Adi Shankara? Or that people were not being
> liberated before him? Or that this aspect of Upanishads did not exist
> before Gaudapada?

Of course it did but that's irrelevant.  The Advaita Vedanta you and I
know on September 13, 2002 is due to Shankaracharya.

The founding of these Mathas is fairly recent. Do you not
> know that our Dharma is Sanatan? This knowledge has always existed and if
> Adi Shankara was had not been born, this knowledge would have still existed.

Why bother with hypotheticals?  Shankaracharya was born.  You, Ashish
Chandra, can only talk of Advaita because of him.

> Who is talking about lineages? Did I not say in my last email that people
> who do not follow Adi Shankara's lineage but follow saints do not care
> about whether or not their lineage is connected to Shankaracharas? Then why
> are you putting words in my mouth?

Because the lineage of Shankaracharya is also the lineage of the adjective
Advaita.  See my example of the word crespidopulous.

> >
> >> I am not going to do any word dissection.
> >
> >Like Lewis Carrolls Humpty-dumpty you think words mean whatever you want
> >them to mean.  Thus it is pointless to talk to you and pointless for you
> >to try and learn anything.
> >
> Well, coming from an ADMIN of this list, this remark is failry surprising.

I personally can continue discussions like this for as long as it takes
until the opponent is beaten into submission :-) but as a moderator of
this list I have to think about whether the rest of the readers want to be
subject to such petty bickering.  You flat out said you don't want do any
"word dissection" which is the only objective way of deciding this so
there is no way to have a rational conversation with you about it.

> But just to be sure, I looked up the Capeller's Digital Sanskrit Lexicon
> for the word Advaita. Advaita comes from Advayatva and Advayatva means non-
> duality, unity. Nowhere does it mention it is related to Vedanta or it
> means Advaita Vedanta. I am equally willing to look up the Sanskrit-Hindi
> Shabda Kosha by Vaman Shivram Apte and find the meaning of advaita. Why
> don't you provide some reference where it says that Advaita means Advaita
> Vedanta.

Well I'm glad to hear no word dissection means some.  Here's what Aptes'
dictionary (the Sanskrit-English edition) has to say about it.  note in
particular the a. next to the word.  It means adjective.

> advaita a. 1. not dual; of one or uniform nature, equable, unchanging.
> advaitam sukhadukhayoh (uttararamacharita 1.39) 2. matchless, peerless,
> sole, unique.

None of these definitions necessarily have to be applied to religion.
Some cognate words are given too.

> advaitam n. 1. non-duality, identity; especially that of Brahma[sic] with
> the universe or with the soul, or of soul and matter; see advaya also.
> 2. The supreme or highest truth or Brahma itself.

Apart from the fact Apte wrongly says Brahma instead of Brahman this
should be clear.  It is "not two" not "all is one."  There is a subtle
difference in emphasis here.  Can you see what it is?

> advaitavadin n. = advayavadin, q.v. above; a Vedantin.

Note the last definition.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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