Kashmiri Shaivism

ken knight hilken_98 at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 3 04:41:37 CDT 2002

--- Shrinivas Gadkari <sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
Namaste Shrinivas,
> >In the Western tradition these two ways of negation
> >and affirmation are known as the 'apophatic and
> >katophatic' and seen as contrary. I do not think
> that
> >they have to be and I believe I have read some
> verses
> >in Upadesa Sahasri that would teach this.  I will
> try
> >to find them again as this is a very important
> point
> >in our understanding.
> >
> Yes, depending on how one understands this point,
> the
> sadhana of the person is shaped.

Yesterday I went to a lecture by Dr. Narasimhachary
who is staying a while in Oxford.  He gave a brilliant
talk on advaita that, in one hour, of sruti based
references covered the essential themes.  However,
behind his words you could hear that he has a
preference for Ramanuja and he will be presenting the
opponent's views to Shankara's advaita over the next
couple of weeks.
I mention this because so often when we are presented
with two views we are taught to select one in
opposition to the other. This is a great dis-service,
I believe.  The purpose of all such study or sadhana
is to remove ignorance.  If there are two views, and
they are simply views, neither right nor wrong, they
must co-exist in a substratum that transcends them.
It seems to me that the working of a clear buddhi, as
in such a case, would open the way to that moment of
If we adhere to one view being right and the wrong
then the binding process will take hold.   I am sure
that some of Shankara's statements appear
contradictory but they are given for the purpose of
teaching and enabling the pupil to transcend the
appearance of difference in preference.

Again it is all the play of the gunas.  Without the
rajas of debate the tamas will give form and, in due
course bind if it is allowed to dominate, sattva will
shine through the activity of the debate if we are
open in mind and listening without claim.

This governs my approach to the study of Kashmiri
Saivism and Advaita as well as the various versions of
vedanta and the other darshanas. Any thorn that will
take out other thorns is welcome and then they can all
be thrown away,

Thanks for picking up the posting

Ken Knight

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