[Advaita-l] Is study of Vedanta necessary?
sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 01:39:12 CST 2016
Q. What is Vedanta?
Let first ask what is siddhanta? A person engages in an intense sAdhanA for a prolonged period of time, and achieves his goal (sAdhya) and perfects it. That is, he attains siddhi of that goal, or in other words, he becomes a siddha as far as that goal is concerned. Then this siddha who has a clear vision of various aspects of this specific goal may decide to formulate a theory to clearly explain this goal and precise sAdhanA for it. This would constitute the siddhAnta. For example, the laws of motion, law of Gravitation and the mathematical tools of calculus developed by Newton together with various illustrations of how one may make sense of measurements of various physical phenomenon using these together constitutes Newton's siddhAnta on Mechanics. Similarly, there have been people who have devoted themselves to study of various vidyA-s (a comprehensive collection of vidyA-s is referred to by the term veda). This is a rather prolonged exercise. If some person, say A1 wanted to embark on this quest, it is almost mandatory from practical considerations for A1 to seek guidance of someone say A2, who has already made clear progress on this path. So A2 is the guru of A1. For similar reasons A2 has also earlier sought guidance of some A3 who has embarked on this quest earlier. A3 in turn has received guidance from A4, and so on. Since "existence" is anAdi (and also ananta - and I will maintain this view irrespective of what opinion anyone else may have voiced on this), this succession of guru-s A2-A3-A4-A5 .... is unending. So when A1 is seeking guidance of A2, he is not seeking guidance from a limited embodied being A2, but from an infinite sequence of gurus A2-A3-A4-A5 .... Let us call thus cumulative effect of infinite gurus "guru-tattva" or "sadguru-tattva". The siddhanta formulated by people who have mastered innumerable vidyA-s (thorough succession of gurus) is termed as Vedanta. Q: Why study Vedanta? Let us again ask why study the Newton's siddhanta on mechanics. So that we can apply it to solve practical problems. So by studying Vedanta one should be able to understand and master ANY vidyA-s from the veda - for understating and dealing with all aspects life. For this reason it is said that vedanta teaches "THAT WHICH WHEN KNOWN EVERTHING ELSE IS KNOWN". Needless to say that to understand vedanta in this manner one needs the ultimate grace of "sadguru tattva". There may be people who claim that vedanta teaches "that through which everything else is known". In my opinion this is a highly watered down version of the lofty goal of vedanta. (In my opinion it is much better to keep seeking grace of "sadguru tattva" with original lofty goal of vedanta intact - almost certainly it will take several lifetimes to reach this goal.) Hari Om. Regards,Shrinivas Gadkari
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list