[Advaita-l] RE: e-vEdAnta course
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 13 10:43:34 CST 2003
Regardless of whether one intends to take an online course in Vedanta or one
approaches a Guru in a traditional sense, we should not forget the fact that
there are certain pre-requisites for the study of Vedanta, namely the
sAdhana-chatuShTaya of viveka, vairAgya, shamAdi-ShaTka, and mumukShutva.
Actually, Shri Chandrashekhara Bharati says (in his commentary on the
VivekachUDAmaNi - verse 16) that there are further pre-requisites for one to
be eligible for Atma-vidyA -
medhAvI - one who is able to grasp the topic that is heard
medhA asya astIti vyutpatyA medhAvI
vidvAn.h - one who has studied kAvya, kosha, and vyAkaraNa, ie. poetry,
lexicon, and grammar, adhIta-kAvya-kosha-vyAkaraNaH
UhApohavichaxaNaH - one who has undergone training in tarka (logic,
reasoning) and mImAMsA , tarka-mImAMsA-saMskR^ita-buddhitvam.h
The term pada-vAkya-pramANaGYa is used to indicate that the aspirant should
have proficiency in three fields - 1) padashAstra or vyAkaraNa, grammar, 2)
vAkya-shAstra or mImAMsA , and 3) prAmANa-shAstra or nyAya (logic).
The 18th verse of the vivekachUDAmaNI makes it clear that only the aspirant
who has the four-fold qualifications can succeed in vedAnta study, not one
who does not have them.
There are two separate issues here. One is the issue of running an
organization which is possible, unfortunately, only if funding is available.
In the good old days, kings and other wealthy individuals used to support
study of the Vedas and other shAstras. In a democratic society, funding
channels would also be different and there is nothing wrong with it.
The other issue is the utility of the course itself. The VivekachUDAmaNi
proclaims very clearly "adhikAriNamAshAste phalasiddhirvisheShataH| upAyA
deshakAlAdyAH santyasmin.h sahakAriNaH||"
Success depends primarily on the qualifications of the aspirant. Other
factors such as place and time are just supporting or secondary factors.
Here the term AdayaH can, in the modern context, include technology.
Technology - whether the course is online or is offered in multimedia using
broadband technology, etc.- can only be an aid. It can never bring
Atma-vidyA on a platter to you.
There is nothing wrong in offering the course online. Nor is there anything
wrong in charging for it. However, success in the course depends on how
eligible the person who takes the course is.
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