"ADVAITA AND MONISM "
guy.werlings at WANADOO.FR
Sat Sep 26 08:42:32 CDT 1998
more quotations. The Internet Dictionary Of Philosophy has an Eastern
philosophy Glossary of terms where I found the followwing occurrences of
Maya: Hindu term coined by Advaita Vedanta to refer to the illusory or
deceptive nature of the world which prompts us to make distinctions.
Sankara (788-820 CE): Hindu founder of Advaita Vedanta, a monistic (or
nondual) interpretation of Vedanta philosophy. Sankara emphasizes the
unity of the individual self and the larger world; the deceptive (maya)
nature of the world prompts us to erroneously distinguish the two.
Vedanta: Literally "end of the Vedas"; one of Hinduism's formal schools
of emancipation (darsanas) which draws heavily on the Upanishads and the
Brahma Sutras and the doctrine of the Atman Brahman; its two main
sub-schools are Sankara's Advaita Vedanta (monistic Vedanta) and
Ramanuja's Visista-advaita Vedanta (qualified monistic Vedanta).
Please note in the last two lines the terms "monistic" Vedanta and
"qualified monistic", although in the Shankara short article they say
monistic (or non-dual)
>From Sat Sep 26 21:18:46 1998
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 21:18:46 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at erols.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
<ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: shrI daxiNAmUrti: the symbolism and his worship - 2
Comments: To: Advaita-L <advaita-l at tamu.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
For first part refer to:
Lord Shiva as guru - daxiNAmUrti:
The most important form of shiva as guru is that of daxiNAmUrti. The
description of daxiNAmUrti is found in the daxiNAmUrti Up, the various
purANa-s including skanda purANa, vishhNu dharmottara purANa, bhAgavata
purANa and also the various Agama-s. An idol of daxiNAmUrti can be found
in all shiva temples facing the southern direction. The Agamas insist
that there should be an idol of daxiNAmUrti in every shiva temple,
indicating the importance of this form.
Tradition and purANa-s describe the appearance of the Lord as follows:
The four sages sanaka, sanatkumAra, sananda and saunaka were mind-born
sons of Lord Brahma, created by brahma to help him in creation. However,
the four R^ishhi-s were pure of mind and were not interested in worldly
things. They rightly held that the world was impermanent and desired to
know that which is permanent, i.e., brahman. Since their minds were
pure, the omniscient Ishvara assumed the form of a youth named
daxiNAmurti and sat silently at the root of a Banyan tree. Sitting at
the root of the tree, the Lord silently instructed the advaita tattva to
the four R^ishhi-s.
However, he is not only the teacher of the profound advaita tattva, but
also of mantra shAstra and even laukIka shAstra-s. The shrI vidyA
upAsaka-s trace their lineage back to daxiNAmUrti. The great shrI vidyA
mantra has daxiNAmUrti as it's R^ishhi, and devatA as IshvarI. The devI
upAsaka-s worship their lineage as divayaugam, siddhaugam and mAnavaugam
and worship daxiNAmUrti as the first guru in this lineage. There is also
literature indicating that he is the special deity of craftsmen,
artists, dramatists and dramatic performers (Refer: J. Bruce Long, "Siva
as promulgator of traditional learning and patron deity of the fine
arts," Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol 52, pp.
67-80). So he is the guru for any and every branch of knowledge.
Bruce Long also points out the antiquity of the idea of shiva as guru.
He is mentioned in the mahAbhArata as guru par excellence and even in
the R^ig veda he is described as surrounded by many sages and munis
(10.136). In the mahAbhArata he is described as the teacher of both
devas and asuras (surAsuraguru) in many places (13.589, 773, 807, 936).
All this points out the importance of the worship of daxiNAmUrti,
especially if one has GYAna as the goal.
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