Those with avidyA cannot understand shruti directly
anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 22 10:24:26 CDT 1998
>Anand, Is there not a big difference, perhaps of special relevance
>between "purport" and "sayings" ?
What I meant by "sayings" is "essence of the sayings" or the
purport. There is no need to take every Vedic statement at its
literal meaning level. Shankara himself agrees that even a hundred
shruti statements cannot make fire cold. So nobody in the vedantic
tradition really can support the view that we should accept the
superficial meaning of a shruti sentence even when it is against
common-sense. This introduces then the problem of correctly
interpreting Vedic statements and ascertaining their purport. This
is one of the most important tasks of a vedantin. That is why it
is always necessary to learn what the purport is through a commentary
of a Guru who follows a particular tradition of interpretation or
exegesis, in this case, advaita.
>Sankara's commentary, as you have explained it, seems to be emphasizing
>result over the process. Does he anywhere say that the devotee who
>realizes could have realized no other way than by being a devotee?
If the devotion (bhakti) is really pure and without any ulterior
motives, it should lead the devotee to the stage of jnAna. This is
my understanding of Shankara and also MadhusUdana SaraswatI who
wrote extensively on bhakti within the advaitic system. Madhusudana
says there are three stages of bhakti. In the first, the devotee
has the feeling "I am His" with respect to God. In the second, the
devotee feels, "He is mine" with respect to God. To explain, in the
first stage, the devotee thinks he is a servitor of God. In the
second, he thinks he is actually taking care of God with affection,
just as, for example, a parent would take care of his/her child.
In the last stage, the devotee feels "I am He." This is the stage
when the devotee's devotion is ripe and he is ready for jnAna, as
explained in GItA 18.55.
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list