Goodness (was Re: [Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means')

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Sat May 6 18:35:34 CDT 2006


On 5/3/06, Amuthan <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
> > 3a. advaitin metaphysics is derivABLE without
> > invoking the vedas
> > (through purely mental acrobatics)
> >
>
> this issue has been discussed many times before. it is
> NOT possible to derive the basic principles of advaita
> without shruti pramANa.

On 5/3/06, R Krishnamoorthy <srirudra at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think without the Vedas declaring that there is Brahman where is the
> question of Advaitha being formulated by Adi Sankara?Advaitha is only
> declaring that Brahman is there and Brahman alone is there.Advaita upholds
> Vedas and not vice verse.There can be no Advaita without the
> Vedas.

The basic principle of advaita is the identity of Atman and brahman.
brahman is the essence of all existence, the supreme, ONLY existing
"being". Atman is the Self, and is the same as brahman, for brahman
alone exists. The existence of brahman is not contingent upon the
vedas. The vedas ONLY state the fact of its existence. If another
"seer" comes up with the same statement without resorting to the
vedas, is he wrong? No.

That brahman exists can be understood without resorting to the vedas,
albeit having not taken the vedic route, one might end up _calling_ it
"Chunky". Chunky exists, and exists alone.

Did brahman come into existence only when (or after) the vedas were
heard/penned down? You believe in the infallibility of the vedic
seers. I do not believe in it. So I can say that while brahman exists
and exists alone (with or without resorting to the vedas), I can also
say that the the vedic yagyas for sons or rain are useless, without
affecting my independent belief that brahman alone exists.

In fact, I came to know the words "advaita", "brahman", "Atman" etc.
_much_ after I felt and formulated the universal uniqueness of
existence. Only then did I start exploring. So was my belief wrong
until I started exploring the vedic version of the same phenomenon?


> to see why this is so, consider the most basic claim
> of advaita : 'brahman alone exists.' brahman is that
> from which the universe is born, that in which it is
> sustained and that into which it dissolves finally.
>
> (if u know of any claim of advaita on stuff that is
> NOT  pratyakSha and still think u can give a sensible
> derivation of it, please do so. i'll concentrate on
> just this claim since it is of fundamental importance
> in advaita metaphysics.)

the point is that the belief in the onlyness of brahman can be
acquired and held without ever reading the vedas. no derivation, just
waking up one day and saying, YES, brahman exists. How to justify this
claim? No justification required, just like vedas don't give any
pratyakSa justification for the onlyness of brahman, they just state
it. So do I, without resorting to the vedas.


> an 'advaitin' accepts this claim based on shruti
> vAkyAs like 'sadeva saumya idamagra AsIt', 'yato vA
> imAni bhUtAni jAyante....' etc. period.

Or he/she has never read any of these Slokas and he accepts the
onlyness of brahman through coming up with these concepts through
thought, dreams, etc.

> but is this derivable by other means? NO. because
> there is no sufficient evidence to establish that the
> universe should have an ultimate cause. even if u
> assume that it has one, there are no grounds to
> suppose that it still exists in it's cause and that it
> will finally resolve into it's cause.

Again, no justification required. I hold the belief, without even
knowing about the vedas. I believe in it. Period.

> if u argue that u accept the existence of brahman
> without the help of shruti pramANa then it's a
> personal opinion of urs which is of no interest to
> those who want to know the truth. remember that we are
> not here to discuss our own delusions of what the
> truth is, but rather ways to get out of our delusions
> by studying and living the teachings of some mahAtmAs
> and thus know the truth as it is. of course, u r free
> to think whatever u want, but don't call that advaita.

in other words, we are not here to discuss our own delusions of what
the truth is, but rather to discuss the delusions of the Vedic seers
of what the truth is.

> if u make ur own assumptions (by this is meant ur
> axioms) on issues that r NOT pratyakSha (brahman and
> dharma), construct a theory based on those assumptions
> (read 'delusions') and say that it agrees with advaita
> and hence that advaita is 'derivable' solely based on
> mental acrobatics, then i would say it is time that u
> revise the basics of logical (= sensible) thinking.

If a jIvanmukta has never read the vedAs and is jIvanmukta, he saw the
axioms of advaita as pratyakSa. If I come up with some axioms of
Zermello and Frankel by myself and derive some of the theorems that
their set theory derives, I can say that I derive part of ZF
set-theory from my own original work. All I need to show is internal
consistency, and as long as I cannot derive a theorem that is
disproved in ZF-Set theory, I have come up with part of ZF-Set-theory
by myself.

Either you revise your basics of logical thinking, or point out the
flaw in my thinking.

> if u argue that advaita wrongly argues that dharma is
> not pratyakSha or that advaita does not have anything
> to do with ethics, then i would dismiss it as your
> personal fancy. the problem comes when u still try to
> add an 'advaitin' tag to urself. to understand the
> problem, note that there can only be two sensible
> interpretations of who is an 'advaitin'. the first and
> primary interpretation refers to one who does not
> perceive duality - a jIvanmukta in short. the second
> and practical definition refers to one who follows a
> way of life based on the vedAs as interpreted by
> AchAryAs in bhagavatpAda's tradition. this includes
> BOTH ethics and metaphysics (and much more). one who
> simply believes that brahman alone exists and
> continues doing all sorts of stuff that he thinks is
> right is NOT an advaitin.

So what you are saying is that an "advaitin" is defined as one who
studies and follows the vedas. So there cannot be a jIvanmukta who has
not completely read the vedas. nice.

> there is no question of any change of opinion when it
> comes to issues related to brahman. but for ethical
> issues, a change can be accepted ONLY if it has it's
> basis in the shAstrAs AND is sanctioned by a consensus
> of mahAtmAs who belong to a proper guru paramparA and
> live a life along traditional lines.
> u cannot expect advaita to nod to ur whims and
> fancies. if u r arrogant enough to say that vedAs can
> be wrong, then u may as well cut down all ur relations
> with the vedAs.

u cannot expect advaita to nod at the whims and fancies of the vedic
"seers" either. I am arrogant enough to say that the vedas CAN be
wrong on certain statements. It is not upto traditionalists to force
me to cut down ALL relations with the vedas. I accept parts, I reject
parts.

Understand that it is you who BELIEVES that the vedas are infallible.
Same thing as someone believing einstein is infallible. On the other
hand, I am saying that einstein was fallible, but his theory of
special relativity sounds pretty correct.

> it is very unfortunate that most people who learn
> advaita based on non-traditional ways tend to think
> that they know advaita better than traditionally
> trained people. i can only hope that this situation
> will be remedied somehow in the future.

don't talking without substance. study of the vedas does not guarantee
understanding of advaita, not studying the vedas does not guarantee a
non-understanding of advaita. that is all I am saying.

>
> --- Aditya Varun Chadha <adichad_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 3b. the infallability/fallability of vedas has no
> > bearing on the
> > theory called advaita.
> >
>
> i don't know where u read this. the simple fact is
> that it is wrong. u don't have the freedom to decide
> what is and what is not advaita. first know what
> advaita vedAnta is. then u can state ur blah blah
> blahs.

justify (prove) your "simple fact". Show me how advaita is affected if
I say that the priest should face South (and not in the direction
prescribed by the vedas) during a particular yagya.

> --- Aditya Varun Chadha <adichad_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 5.  since vedas are NOT necessary for the upholding
> > of advaita,
> > advaitins can hold views about an ethical issue that
> > contradicts the
> > vedic tradition and yet does not contradict advaita
> > (which is pure
> > metaphysics).
>
> the truth (or advaita satya) is independent of our
> actions - good or bad. nothing in fact can contradict
> advaita. there is no point in saying that u do
> something and YET don't contradict advaita.

con┬Ětra┬Ědict:
To assert or _express_ the opposite of (a statement).

atleast know the words you use.

> i hope i haven't offended u with my rather straight
> replies. i have no such intentions, but what really
> bugs me is that u r making arbitrary statements about
> advaita based on god knows what AND also maintain that
> all these things r logical.

There's nothing to be offended about here. Your replies are not very
"straight" anyway. show me the illogical nature of my statements.

--
Aditya Varun Chadha | http://www.adichad.com | +91 9840076411 (M)
Room#1024, Cauvery Hostel | IIT Madras | Chennai - 600036 | India



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