Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Sun Sep 27 10:29:48 CDT 1998

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 22:46:23 -0400
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at erols.com>
To: msr at tamu.edu

Guy Werlings wrote:

> c)Spinoza's monism should certainly deserve further attention from
> advaitins, and if we had the good fortune of having a specialist of
> Spinoza in the list, he could certainly  explain to us how far or near
> Spinoza's Substance, i.e. God as he defines Him is akin to our Brahman
> or not.

I am no expert on Spinoza, actually haven't read any of his works. But,
this may be useful:

>From "My view of the world", by Erwin Schrodinger.

"I do not think that this difficulty can be logically resolved, by
consistent thought, within our intellects. But it is quite easy to
express the solution in words, thus: the pluraility that we perceive is
only {an appearance, it is not real} (the word in {} emphasized by the
(page 18)

Schrodinger broadly accepts advaita as we know it though he has
misinterpreted advaita and finds fault with it in some places (mainly
rebirth and salvation by knowledge).

He comments on Spinoza:

"But not in this sense-that you are a part, a piece, of an eternal,
infinite being, an aspect or modification of it, as in Spinoza's

(page 21)

It looks at first glance that Spinoza is similar to vishishhTAdvaita.
Schrodinger was an exceptionally perceptive man, a great physicist as
well as philosopher. He was well up in philosphy that he just missed a
prestigious chair in philosophy. So he had to take up physics and came
up with his now famous equation!

I strongly recommend "My view of the world" and also "What is Life?",
where he introduces advaita vedAnta from a different perspective. H.H
chandrashekhara bhAratI mahAsvAminaH once commented that scientists had
to devote themeselves to a study of consciousness and not just energy to
learn the truth. Schrodinger did just that and found the upanishads and
advaita provided the best solution which fits facts. Big surprise, eh

> d) Is there in Indian philosophy any "ekAtmavAda" which would better
> deserve to be translated by the word "monism" ? I think I heard at least
> the word ekAtmavAda, but perhaps was it in svapasthAna ?!

There is a ekajIvavAda, but that does not fit your definition of monism.


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