Neti Yoga

Ashish Chandra ramkisno at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 13 16:36:24 CDT 2002

On Fri, 13 Sep 2002 16:49:10 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

>On Fri, 13 Sep 2002, Ashish Chandra wrote:
>> So Advaita did not exist before Adi Shankara? Or that people were not
>> liberated before him? Or that this aspect of Upanishads did not exist
>> before Gaudapada?
>Of course it did but that's irrelevant.  The Advaita Vedanta you and I
>know on September 13, 2002 is due to Shankaracharya.

Why is it irrelevant? The implication of what you are saying is that
*everyone* who talks about non-duality today is because of Adi
Shankaracharya. For example, the saint that I follow neither mentions
Shankaracharya nor his lineage to affirm that All is One. It is clear to
Him. However, you want to make the claim that when he talks of Advaita (non
duality and oneness of all existence - note the umpteenth time I am not
mentioning Advaita Vedanta so the adjective Advaita, if you please, does
not refer to Vedanta as taught by Adi Shankara or his lineage), he is only
doing so, or it is only possible for him to do so, because of Shankaracharya
(s). That is plain wrong.

>The founding of these Mathas is fairly recent. Do you not
>> know that our Dharma is Sanatan? This knowledge has always existed and if
>> Adi Shankara was had not been born, this knowledge would have still
>Why bother with hypotheticals?  Shankaracharya was born.  You, Ashish
>Chandra, can only talk of Advaita because of him.

See above.

>> Who is talking about lineages? Did I not say in my last email that people
>> who do not follow Adi Shankara's lineage but follow saints do not care
>> about whether or not their lineage is connected to Shankaracharas? Then
>> are you putting words in my mouth?
>Because the lineage of Shankaracharya is also the lineage of the adjective
>Advaita.  See my example of the word crespidopulous.

If Advaita be an adjective, it must qualify Vedanta to be identfied with
the lineage of Adi Shankara. And in fact, the adjective truly must be
Kevaladvaita to properly be identified, beyond doubt, to Shankaracharya's
lineage. Advaita directly implies Brahman, if it is only used alone because
all else is misapprehension and only Brahman is non-dual and One. So when
you are using Advaita to describe something else, you must use that which
it qualifies as well. Just because in America the word The Queen has been
popularly connected to the Queen of England, it does not follow that the
usage of the word Queen is only limited to describe the Queen of England.
Similarly, Advaita does not *imply* Advaita Vedanta as taught by Adi
Shankara alone, even though this connotation is very popular. Advaita
*implies* Brahman when used alone. There have been enough saints who have
talked about non-duality and oneness of everything with God who have had
nothing to do formally with Advaita Vedanta lineage as you know it today.

>> >
>> >> I am not going to do any word dissection.
>> >
>> >Like Lewis Carrolls Humpty-dumpty you think words mean whatever you want
>> >them to mean.  Thus it is pointless to talk to you and pointless for you
>> >to try and learn anything.
>> >
>> Well, coming from an ADMIN of this list, this remark is failry
>I personally can continue discussions like this for as long as it takes
>until the opponent is beaten into submission :-)

I don't think either of us has learned anything from this discussion except
putting forward what we believe to be correct. There is no desire in me to
take this discussion to a point where I argue just for the sake of
argument. If that is where it is going, let us stop arguing. But I have
known your views for at least a little over 3 years. So I know a little
about the way you think, as I am sure you do about me as well.

>Well I'm glad to hear no word dissection means some.  Here's what Aptes'
>dictionary (the Sanskrit-English edition) has to say about it.  note in
>particular the a. next to the word.  It means adjective.
>> advaita a. 1. not dual; of one or uniform nature, equable, unchanging.
>> advaitam sukhadukhayoh (uttararamacharita 1.39) 2. matchless, peerless,
>> sole, unique.
>None of these definitions necessarily have to be applied to religion.
>Some cognate words are given too.

So just taking this definition, when I say saint such and such talks about
Advaita, he is talking about what is "not dual; of one or uniform nature,
equable, unchanging". It is clear, at least to me, that when he is talking
about God and uses all these epithets for Him, he is saying God is non-
dual, unchanging, peerless etc. But you seem to be having a problem with
that - the fact that such and such saint says so but since he/she is not
related to the Advaita Vedanta lineage, then he somehow falls short of what
Advaita Vedanta has to say about God/Brahman; that if he does not write
commentaries on Upanishads, that he has somehow fallen short of doing
justice to his followers.

>> advaitam n. 1. non-duality, identity; especially that of Brahma[sic] with
>> the universe or with the soul, or of soul and matter; see advaya also.
>> 2. The supreme or highest truth or Brahma itself.
>> advaitavadin n. = advayavadin, q.v. above; a Vedantin.
>Note the last definition.

Also note the first definition - advayavadin is one who follows the
doctrine that there is only One. One such group is the group calling itself
Vedantin, or more appropriately, Advaita Vedantin.


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