On Brahmasutras and VisishtAdvaita

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed Oct 1 13:55:02 CDT 1997

>On Wed, 1 Oct 1997, sadananda wrote:
>> Shankara appears to deviate quite a lot from the import of Brahmasutra in
>> order to fit into the adviatic tenants. He may be justified from the
>> advaitic theory but not from the direct word by word meaning of the sutras.

Vidya wrote:

>I beg to disagree.

Well, Let us agree to disagree - There are lot more disagreements than
agreements  between Ramanuja and Shankara and I am still trying to
comprehend the main objections of Ramanuja before I can put them
intelligently across. This does not mean I agree with Raamanja's

>> Ramanuja's criticism of Shankara's appears to be valid.  I recommend every
>> advaitic seeker to read the criticism of Sri Ramanuja particularly on
>> avidya.  Ramanuja's model has to be taken as granted whether logically
>> sound or not since scripture says so.  But shaastra pramana implies that
>> too.  Here I do have big problem as shaastra pramana and I am still

>Yes, rAmAnuja's model has to be accepted, but Sankara's logic has to be
>accepted too. The main criticism against avidyA is that it cannot inhere
>in brahman, and therefore it cannot exist at all.

I have no disagreement with what Vidya says about Shankara's logic.  In
fact that is the point I am making in terms of shastra as a sole pramana.
Shankara's logic is impecable and that makes the difference between
Ramanuja's and Shankara's arguments.

Actually there are seven objections to the Avidya concept. It is
interesting to read them whether one agrees with Ramanuja or not.  I found
my understanding of advaita increased by studying the opposition view

>> thinking on this to resolve in my own mind before I respond to Anand and
>> Vidyas' ascertains about shaastra as pramana.
>The only issue in SAstra-pramANatva is this. If we do not admit it at all,
>then all the vedAnta schools are pointless. If we do, then we have to
>interpret it according to certain commonly agreed upon canons of

It brings cart before the horses.  What Vidya says is right - to make
vendata school not pointless I have to accept as Sastra as a pramana.  But
is that our purpose.  Remember Shastra is valid only become I am there as
conscious existence entity to validate sashtras.  To prove my existence I
donot need Shastra as a pramana nor I need logic.  I am there because I am

For I = Brahman for that is Shastra as a pramana - Ramanuja does not agree
using the same shastra as pramana.

In fact Ramanuja and, I am sure, MadWa will not have a basis to argue
without shastra while Shankara's advaita can conveniently rest on logic
without the need of shastra as a pramana. This does not mean I am
supporting logic alone as a pramana.

Well more about it later when I finish my studies.

I appreciated Vidyas comments to stimulate my thinking.

Hari Om!

>Given that Sankara and rAmAnuja both accept the same SAstra as pramANa,
>any valid comparison of their doctrines has to take that SAstra into

K. Sadananda
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Naval Research Laboratory
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