[Advaita-l] Is study of Vedanta necessary?
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 20:47:03 CST 2016
Venkatraghavan - PraNAms
Yes as you mentioned it becomes a circular argument - that Vedanta says Vedanta is required therefore Vedanta is necessary.
The second aspect is that the truth is aprameyam - and Vedanta as pramaaNa points the seeker in the direction and it becomes a pramaNa in the words of a sampradaaya teacher who knows how to handle the words in such a way that the students mind is uplifted to discover the ever present truth -using language that baffles the intellect - such as eye of the eye, mind of mind etc,
Sufficiency is implied if the mind of the student re-cognize the fact that I am not this but I am Brahman. Non-recognition is not the fault of Vedanta but fault of the mind of the seeker which is clouded with misconceptions and unable to redirect the mind to see clearly self is all.
What I had in mind also to raise the issue - if one can get the same teaching my any other means, then the mission is accomplished. There are many masters in other religions who are not exposed to Vedanta per sec but supposed to have arrived at the same fact. If that is so then Vedanta as defined as upanishads is not necessary but what is necessary is to have the knowledge in one form or the other - aham brahmaasmi or I am the essence of everything.
On Tue, 2/2/16, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Is study of Vedanta necessary?
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>, "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 4:38 AM
To answer your question will involve some
circularity I'm afraid.
Vedanta holds that for self realization,
Vedanta has to be studied. How does one know this message?
Only by studying Vedanta.
Is it possible to know the self without
Vedanta? Again, Vedanta holds that it is not possible.
Therefore before answering the question whether
Vedanta is necessary and sufficient, one must be prepared to
answer if one has faith in Vedanta or not.
If one is prepared to take Vedanta's word
for it, then yes, Vedanta is necessary and sufficient for
If one does not have faith, there is no point
pursuing this path further - it will not lead to success in
answering the question posed (ie if Vedanta is necessary and
sufficient), let alone 'achieving' self realization
Can one rely on someone else's word to
reveal the self? If one does depend on others' verbal
testimony, one might as well depend on Vedanta because both
dependencies involve faith. Moreover, being human, such
testimony is susceptible to be flawed, or disprove later
when new evidence is uncovered etc.
Therefore if one is not prepared to rely on
someone else's word for the means to know the self, one
has to employ reasoning to see if there is a rational means
to know the self.
Is it possible to realize the self through any
other means of knowledge such as perception, inference etc?
Any other means apart from direct perception
will be indirect, by definition.
How can an indirect means of knowledge purport
to reveal the self, which is the most intimate possible?
It is therefore not possible to know the self
through indirect means.
What remains is direct perception - can I use
direct perception to know the self? Here again there is a
logical flaw because without understanding the nature of
perception as expounded by Vedanta, one will claim that the
knowledge of an object is revealed by direct perception only
- by means of the instruments of perception, the indriyas,
such as sight, hearing, touch, scent and taste. However, the
self is not accessible to these indriyas, as they can reveal
things which are outside the body only and the self is more
intimate than the body.
One could argue that one can know the self
through the mind. Here too there is a problem. The mind is
known by the self - we say I know I have a mind - how can
the mind know it's knower? The same argument applies for
the intellect too. It is not possible for an inert object to
reveal the conscious subject - only the conscious subject
can reveal an inert object.
Therefore, none of the indriyas, intellect or
mind can know the self - and as a consequence, no means of
knowledge can reveal the self.
Therefore left with no other path based purely
on reasoning, one has to turn back to Vedanta and a guru who
is well versed in it to show the way to reveal the self.
I have not tried to explain here how Vedanta
reveals the self, only that non Vedanta based means either
are incapable of revealing the self, or involve the same
faith that Vedanta requires, with the added problem that
they are susceptible to be defective due to human
On 1 Feb 2016 10:53,
"kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Question – Is intensive study of Vedanta essential for
self-realization? Is not sufficient to have the faith that I
am conscious-existent entity which is unchanging and I am
not this body-mind and intellect which are continuously
changing. I am the essence of this universe since
without I (not BMI) the very existence of the universe
cannot be established.
2. Does one need a faith that Vedanta is apourusheyam,
3. If one sees everything is nothing but the Lord – yo
maam pasyati sarvatra sarvanca mayi pasyati – One who sees
Me everywhere and everything in Me ; This comes
immediately after sarva bhuutastam aatmaanam sarva
bhuutanica aatmani-One who sees self in all and in
oneself. Both statements seem to be equivalent.
Interestingly the statement that involves Bhakti comes after
the statement that involves Janaanam- although both appear
to indicate the same.
4. What are your thoughts on these?
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