Advaita and Christianity

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 24 21:47:03 CST 2000

This discussion on comparing Advaita and Christianity is only mildly
interesting to me, partly because I know little about Christianity
and partly because there have been unsubstantiated claims of advaita's
resemblance to other systems in the past.

Let us take a more precise approach. Before we compare advaita and
some other system, we must have some yardstick by which the comparison
is accurate. Leaving aside the obvious distinctive feature of advaita
as being based exclusively on the Vedas, there are some other features
which will serve as an accurate picture of advaita which has come down
to us from Shankara's tradition. What are these features? 1) Brahman is
the sole reality, 2) the world is unreal in the sense that it is
anirvachanIya 3) the individual soul is none other than Brahman,
and 4) one who truly knows this is liberated even while living - a
jIvanmukta. As the vedAnta-DiNDima says:

   brahma satyaM jaganmithyA jIvo brahmaiva nAparaH |
   jIvanmuktastu tadvidvAn.h iti vedAnta-DiNDimaH   ||
Brahman is real, the world is unreal, and the jIva is Brahman alone,
not anything else. And one who knows this is a jIvanmukta (liberated
while living). This is the proclamation (literally drum-beat) of

Simply because some system seems to agree with advaita on a point or
two does not mean that this system essentially preaches nonduality
of the advaitic kind.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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