Nature of Consciousness

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Thu Jul 22 19:33:32 CDT 1999

Parisi & Watson <niche at AMERITECH.NET> wrote:

> Advaita Vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara, the subject of this
> depends upon the Vedas and Upanishads. But have not people in other
> continents and traditions, who may never have heard of the Vedas,
> reached the non-dual state equivalent to Nirvikalpa Samadhi? If the
> and all those who remember them vanished from the Earth, would that
> necessarily spell the end of all realization? This position strikes
me as
> overly ethnocentric. If the ideas of the Vedas are truly universal,
> they are not confined to any one tradition, language, or scripture.
And even
> if Advaita Vedanta is the most profound and deeply carried out
> tradition on Earth (as I believe it is), it is still only one voice
in a
> human chorus that spans the continents and millennia. No one
tradition has a
> total monopoly on the truth.

Nirvikalpa samadhi is *not* non-dual realization or advaita siddhi.

It's too bad if what I said strikes you as ethnocentric, but
unfortunately that's the way it is. But, I didn't say that people born
in the vedic tradition alone can realize the non-dual truth. The
smR^iti-s are applicable for everyone/anyone who is interested in the
non-dual truth. And initiation into vedAnta through smR^iti texts
like the vishhNu purANa and the bhagavadgItA is definitely possible.
Sha.nkara gives examples of people who attained realization this way
in his brahma sUtra bhAshhya.

I also said the _vedas_ are eternal, not the "ideas" behind them. The
vedic *sounds* are eternal and revealed, not authored by God also.
The eternality of the veda-s has nothing to do with the meaning of
those sentences.  Hence these sounds only, in Sanskrit by default,
are eternal, but not sounds in Swahili or any other language :-).

If advaita reveals the truth, then certainly any other system opposed
to it cannot reveal the truth. Obviously! Thus, advaita-vedAnta alone
has a monopoly over truth, if it reveals the truth.
By the same token, if I am mistaken and some other system reveals the
truth (dual or non-dual), then that system alone has a monopoly over

There is no need to speculate whether the veda will die out. It can't
because of it's eternality.


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