[Advaita-l] Why should I believe in Adwaita vedanta over any other Philosophy?

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri Nov 5 01:54:54 CDT 2010

Hari OM, Umashankar ji,

shubha deepAvali to you and all others.

> You seem to have read and understood PrastAna TryA

You have completely missed out what I said in the previous mail about
"reading". I request you to kindly revisit the same.

also you seem to be clear
> and quite convinced that Bhavadpada had told what you have claimed as his
> injunctions about the Guru.

I really hope that you mean Shankaracharya bhAshya on prasthAna trayA,
because the latter are shruti.

> So please help me with the answers for my earnest queries below.
> 1. Did Sri Adi Shankara anywhere in his works mentioned that the Guru MUST
> be a brahmana and a shrotriya as well?

I've already answered this in my very first reply. To repeat, I'd
asked you to pick up any work of Bhagavatpada Shankaracharya and check
yourself as to whom the student should approach on
acquiring sAdhana cAtuShTaya. May I ask if you've checked any of his
works and if so, what do you think he says about it? As for the Guru
being brahmaNa, neither have I commented on it,
nor was it something we were discussing. I hope its clear that
shrotriya means one who has learnt the shruti in the tradition, which
necessarily means a dvijA. There has been another thread on
this list recently about the Guru's varNa, please refer the same for
further inputs. I'm not keen on bringing this never-ending topic of
varNa to discussion here.

> 2. Can you kindly give reference ot the original text and kindly quote the
> verses here as well?

I'd like you to check any of Bhagavatpada's works for this as said
above because this is clear to any traditional student of advaita
vedAnta that the Guru needs to be shrotriya. In any case, I'll
quote a shrutivAkya directly and hope that suits your question here:

परीक्ष्य लोकान् कर्मचितान् ब्रह्मणो निर्वेदमायान्नास्त्यकृतः कृतेन ।
तद्विज्ञानार्थं स गुरुमेवाभिगच्छेत् समित्पाणिः श्रोत्रियं
ब्रह्मनिष्ठम् ॥ मुण्डक उपनिषद् १.२.१२ ॥

This particular munDaka mantra answers all your previous questions on
saMnyAsa, Guru, shrotriya, brahmaniShTa, including varNa! Is there any
need for more to be said on this?

> 3. Did Sri Adi Shankara anywhere in his works insist and lay stress upon the
> study of PrastAna TrayA as fundamental requirement or a MUST-LEARN for a
> sadhaka of the advaita path, for his realization?  If so, kindly help me
> with the verses and the reference to the original text.

Check his upadesha sAhasri which are a thousand teachings, almost all
of them direct quotations from Upanishads or other shruti on how a
teacher should teach the student seeking the truth.
Could you please tell me how its contents are different from any
fundamental requirement or a must learn? Or what else is the Mundaka
1.2.12 saying above? Or what then should such a
shrotriya Guru teach the shishya if not prasthAna trayA at the very
least? To understand prasthAna trayA, several other works may be
necessary which are also taught in the traditional teaching,
by the way. And please do not put it at par with "reading" prasthAna trayA.

> I have immense value for our shastras and its import and I do have my point
> which I am not sure if it is being made clear as well as I intend to. The
> answers to my above queries from you, would definitely help address the
> same.

If you do have immense value for the shAstrAs, are those for prasthAna
trayA too? I am unable to see what other values does prasthAna trayA
carry for you if not an absolute necessity to be
learnt by a seeker of truth? I'd rather you mention the point
directly, if its anything other than already addressed.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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