[Advaita-l] diction of mantras
garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jan 26 17:24:13 CST 2006
--- mwadhwa at uwm.edu wrote:
> Where is the tag brother and which tag! Does the
> name Advaita signify any tag on
> itself. Has Shankara anything to do with it. Is
> there anything which Advaita
> doesn't accept or discard. In the very first hand it
> discards everything and in
> the other hand it accepts everything...
I share your feelings and agree with most of the
content of your mail. In my pursuit, I have not been
as lucky as many of the members on this list. Yet, I
am venturing to qualify your post with whatever little
understanding of advaita-vedanta I have got. Please do
not take it as argumentation. I am trying to test my
own understanding through comments from the learned
members of this forum.
Prima-facie advaita is a path full of paradoxes. Some
of the paradoxes that one may baffle about are:
1) It is a "pathless path", yet a well laid out path
has been given by Sri Shankaracharya.
2) It cannot be described by words, yet Badarayana
insists that it can be reached only through the words
3) It cannot be reached through action, yet it
presupposes a life full of righteous action.
4) It cannot be taught by a teacher, yet a realized
and scriptures trained teacher is essential.
5) It leads to the realization of essential unity of
existence, yet it follows a path full of
discriminations based on caste, gender and station in
All these seeming paradoxes go away only when I
understand the central paradox of non-dual teaching
viz. dual level of reality. As per shankara and later
advaitins transactional reality and absolute reality
are on different levels even tough there is just one
reality. In transactional reality, all the rules of
normal transaction apply. Mixing up the two levels of
reality causes lot of avoidable confusion.
"Where is the tag brother and which tag! Does the name
Advaita signify any tag on itself."
For us "Advaita" is a tag that is necessary. -- For a
realized person, it is useless.
"Is there anything which Advaita doesn't accept or
discard. In the very first hand it discards everything
and in the other hand it accepts everything."
Advaita accepts lot of things and then discards them
at later stage. However, it doesn't mean that earlier
stages were useless. We cannot directly start with
"Advaita is no philosophy in itself. Where psychology
ends, philosophy begins and where even philosophy ends
Very well said. However, shankara does not leave it to
the whims of individual aspirant. He lays down a
systemmatic path to take an aspirant from psychology
to philosophy to spirituality and beyond.
"I would stay silent though, and argumentation is
always useless, for it all of a sudden destroys the
peace of mind."
Argumentation is not necessarily bad. If it destroys
peace of mind, it is enough proof that we are at the
transactional level and therefore will have to use the
tools of understanding applicable at that level.
However, argumentation may bear fruit only with
someone whom you trust and therefore a teacher is
You have a very good background and should be able to
find some good teacher. As I said I have not been so
lucky and therefore had to struggle at every step
before even knowing what it was all about. Not that I
am complaining. Some people need tougher penances than
others and my lot fell on the tougher side. If you are
lucky enough to be on the other side, make the most
use of it.
If there are any mistakes in my understanding, the
blame lies with me. If there are any good points, the
credit goes to my teachers.
Send instant messages to your online friends http://in.messenger.yahoo.com
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list