Nature of Consciousness

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sat Jul 24 09:46:46 CDT 1999

Greg Goode <goode at DPW.COM> wrote:

> At 08:33 PM 7/22/99 , Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:
>  >If advaita reveals the truth, then certainly any other system
>  >to it cannot reveal the truth. Obviously! Thus, advaita-vedAnta
>  >has a monopoly over truth, if it reveals the truth.
> Omitting the "Obviously," your second sentence does not follow from
> first.  If there can be other systems opposed to advaita, then there
> be able to be other systems congruent with advaita, that say the
> things, that reveal the same truth.  In that case, neither advaita
nor that
> other system would hava a monopoly on truth...

I appreciate the point you make (or at least my understanding of your
mails). You have already read what Jaldhar has to say, that is my view
also. I'll explain a bit more. The system of advaita vedAnta itself is
certainly not monolithic in all its details. Eg, we have the systems
of sha.nkara, maNDana mishra, vAcaspati mishra who synthesized the
two, vimuktAtman who derives from sha.nkara but is also different from
it in certain respects, the system of citsukha, so on and so forth.
However, all advaitins admit the saying "brahma satya, jaganmithyA
jivo brahmaiva na paraH", or brahman is true, the world is false, the
jIva is verily brahman. All advaitins admit that the liberation occurs
by initiation into vedAnta (upanishhads or smR^iti texts) by a
sadguru. The liberation is by knowledge alone.  Knowledge is not
"attained" but is ever present. Incidentally, the main difference
between different systems of advaita are with respect to the latter
point on how GYAna is "attained", i.e., whether karma (rituals) or
upAsana (meditation)  can help or not.

Whatever be the case, any system which agrees with the fundamental
tenets I state above _is_ advaita vedAnta, as Jaldhar said. Any other
system opposing these fundamental tenets, even in "a minor manner",
are _not_ to be called advaita vedAnta. There cannot be any
"congruence", one either agrees with what I said above or does not.
There is no question of congruence here. This story of "different
paths" leading to brahmaGYAna and so called "congruences" have been
perpetrated by the followers of Ramakrishna on the public and have no
place in advaita vedAnta.


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