Concept of personal God and Advaita

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian balasr at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 22 15:28:33 CDT 2002

--- Stephanie Stean <cerebral_rose at MAC.COM> wrote:
> How is advaita divorced from all experience?
> Advaita, non-duality, is a
> form of experience.  Scriptural testimony is not
> necessary although it
> serves as a guide for many.

Scriptural testimony is absolutely essential, as per
sha.nkara or any other reputable advaitin. On the
other hand, it is reasoning _based on scripture_ which
is not necessary, although it may serve as a guide for
many. Reasoning divorced from scripture is practically
harmful, to say the least. Scriptural evidence
presented to one with _proper qualifications_
culminates in what can be roughly called "direct
experience", as you have mentioned below.

> I was reading Sankaracharya lat night (a work of his
> called Direct
> Realization).  And his description of advaita is
> described in terms of
> experience.
> I agree with you, dvaita and visishtadvaita can be
> apprehended by every day
> experience.

Interestingly both maNDana and sureshvara would oppose
this statement. Both of them show (roughly similar
arguments) that perception does _not_ reveal

Even not accepting their arguments, how can
vishishhTAdvaita be apprehended by daily experience? A
very philosophically naive examination of every day
experience would of course seem to reveal dvaita.
vishishhTAdvaita (the rAmanuja type) rests as much on
scriptural authority as advaita, only in a different


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