The Self

Harsha (Dr. Harsh K. Luthar) hluthar at BRYANT.EDU
Mon Feb 1 08:20:11 CST 1999

-----Original Message-----
From:   List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
[mailto:ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU] On Behalf Of Jaldhar H. Vyas
Sent:   Monday, February 01, 1999 2:43 AM
Subject:        Re: The Self

On Tue, 26 Jan 1999, Harsha wrote:

> Written some time ago but appropriate for this list:

J: Not really for the reasons I'll mention below.

> H: Some say that Reality is Subjective, some say it is Objective and
> some say it is both Objective and Subjective and some say it is neither.
> Some say the Final State is that of Pure Existence, some say it is Only
> Non-Existence and some say It is beyond both Existence and
> Non-Existence.

J: No school of Vedanta least of all Advaita would claim anything other than
that reality is objective and the final state is existent.  What you're
describing is more like the syadavada of Jainism.

>H: No  matter how clever the terminology and how subtle the expression of
> experience of the Self, it misses the mark.

J: Which doesn't make it any less useful for knowing the self.

> H: It is because the Self has
> no point of Reference in experience, being *It Self* the very Foundation
> which  All experience appears to take place..

J: Also an Advaitin would not put the word "appears" in that sentence.
Experience does take place, however it's true nature is misunderstood.
That's quite a different thing from saying it doesn't take place.

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at

Harsha: You raise a number of good question about who is an Advaitin and who
belongs to the school of Advaita, etc. I do not know if I am qualified to
answer those questions other than to say that I am a devotee of Ramana
Maharshi who is usually considered an Advaitin.  Here is something that I
wrote earlier which might be helpful for understanding my perspective.

 "Any statement about the experience of the Self or Reality can only be from
the point of view of the individual and implies duality. Some point of
reference is implicit in any such perspective out of sheer necessity due to
the mode of communication using language. Heart seems to be often mentioned
as a point of reference for the "experience" of Self-Realization. Sahasarara
is as well. Ramana Maharshi often talked about the Spiritual Heart on the
right and carefully distinguished it from Anahata (The Psychic Heart Center
of Kundalini Yoga). That is my experience as well. My feeling is that the
Upanishads are referring to the Spiritual Heart as everything else including
Anahata, Sahasarara, etc., exist in That only. But regardless of the
location emphasized in various traditions, it should be clear that
Self-Recognition itself (Original Nature or Reality) admits of no point of
reference and cannot have a locus. It might be viewed as an experience and
as a non-experience and as that which forms the foundation of such. "


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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