[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 2, Issue 18

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 5 13:36:10 CDT 2003

>Advaita teaches that this jeeva is "Brahman" and knowledge-A is
>partless,  all those great commentrators had realized this advaitic Truth,
>still  the knowledge-A  their works produce in us,  is all in parts and

Not at all. Forget about the commentaries, even Sruti is in parts and 
pieces, but the brahman-knowledge imparted by the vedAnta is not. You are 
missing the forest for the trees.

>Students of advaita like you should ask the question,   is there anything
>that is partless and attributeless?

Sruti tells us that there is. It teaches us positively, by saying "sat" 
"asti" etc. It teaches us negatively, by saying "na iti" "na iti", the 
negation being addressed to all that is confined to parts and attributes. 
That is enough for a student to begin with.

>Without attributing 'partlessness' and 'attributelessness' to it, it can 
>described as partless and attributeless.
>To hold that there are attributes, 'partlessness' and 'attributelessness' 
>to hold that there are parts in the thing.  So, the conception that a thing
>is partless and attributeless denies its own truth, and implicitly asserts
>truth that everything is necessarily with attributes, and therefore with

This is a major leap of faith, based on myriad assumptions on your part, and 
contradictory to Sruti which tells us otherwise.

We advaitins do another major leap of faith, by listening with total faith 
to the Sruti that tells us that brahman is partless. Seen in this light, it 
is ironic indeed that you have expressed great concern for Sruti in the 

>Hence, the very conception that chit is akhanda and nirvishEsha is
>because in the very conception chit is determined to be sakhanda and

It certainly is not impossible to conceive of cit as akhaNDa and nirviSesha. 
That you have failed to do so does not mean such a thing is non-existent. 
Indeed, we have said this for centuries, and we say that your corollary as 
stated above is totally false. If you want to limit yourself to words, yes, 
you will have trouble with the conception. However, the whole goal of saying 
"anyA vAco vimuncatha" and "Om ity evaM dhyAyata" is to lead you beyond 
words. This, by the way, answers your question about nirguNopAsana. In one 
word, "auM".

This is what it boils down to. We advaitins think you are fundamentally 
mistaken, and you think the same about us. Let us leave it at that, without 
indulging in any more vAg-vilApanam.

>If a man cannot talk we call him dumb.  If a mere verbal denial of talking
>can make
>a man dumb,  then even the man who says loudly  'I am dumb' should be taken
>be dumb.   Similarly,  if one says loudly,  "knowledge-A is attributeless"
>he has
>already contradicted himself.

Not so. Again, the whole goal of vedAntic teaching is to use words 
judiciously, as a bridge, to go beyond words. Your analysis would have it 
that Sruti is meaningless when it says, "yato vAco nivartante" - the very 
sentence uses vAk. According to your thinking, it is impossible to say "yato 
vAco nivartante", but see, Sruti does say it.

It is physically impossible for a dumb man to verbally shout "I am dumb." 
However, he can shout it in his mind, and nobody will be able to listen to 
him shouting mentally, but the fact would remain that he is indeed shouting 
out in his mind that he is dumb.

For every one person who, out of compassion for sincere students, has said 
out loud, "knowledge-A is attributelss", there are indeed thousands who have 
realized the attributeless knowledge and have kept silent. But precisely 
because they are silent, you have no means of judging the truth or veracity 
of their experience. If you accept that there does exist or has existed at 
least one such person, then you will have to accept the truth of 
attributelessness. On the other hand, as you reject the very possibility of 
knowledge being partless and attributeless, you will have to claim that no 
such person has ever existed, does exist or will exist, who has realized 
such knowledge.

I, for one, would like to see you make such a claim explicitly, instead of 
pretending to some respect for saints of all stripes. Then we can perhaps 
discuss the rest and then keep silent.

Best wishes,

Add photos to your e-mail with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.  

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list