[Advaita-l] doubt

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Feb 4 14:04:38 CST 2004

On Wed, 28 Jan 2004, venkat ramanan krishnan wrote:

> Namaste,
> The crux of Advaita as I understand it, is that God is impersonal.

No where did you get that idea?

> That he
> is formless,attributeless, nameless etc. (Please correct me if I am wrong. )

That's the negative way of phrasing it but you can also think of it as God
is all forms, attributes names etc.

>   If so, who are Vishnu, Brahma, Siva and why do we celebrate their forms?

These are the forms in which the Rshis came to know the divine.

> In reality if its maya which makes us think that they are Gods and we are
> mortals, then once we have the knowledge that we are them(tat tvam asi),
> should we still pray?

The problem with Maya is not it makes us think some are higher and some
lower.  That's just a symptom.  The real problem is that it makes us think
there is difference (bheda) at all.

The difference in the prayers of a deluded man and a jnani is that the
former prays to something apart and the latter prays to the divinity
within himself.

> For isn't it also true that Shankaracharya believed
> that Knowledge alone is sufficent for salvation?

Knowledge _is_ salvation.  Devotion in its highest form _is_ knowledge.

> Again, please do correct me
> if I am wrong.
> In short, would it be corrrect to deduce that the Great Acharyas like
> Shankaracharya found happiness within themsleves and  composed hymns &
> glorified the deities only for the benefit of the common people ?

I don't approve of such arguments.  They smack of duplicity.  It's as if
on one hand they are saying to the traditionalists "See we are not
radicals like those evil atheists" and to the modernists "See we are not
superstitious like those religious fanatics"

If one truly believes in benefitting the common people (however that's
defined) then one owes them nothing less than the truth no?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list