[Advaita-l] Contradictions between Shankara and his disciples
sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 2 01:20:58 CST 2004
--- Aravind Mohanram <psuaravind at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Dear Kartik,
> Thanks for your reply, see my reply in CAPS.
This will be my last posting in this thread, as I've spent way too much
time in typing this email, and not interested in pursuing this
discussion any further. The discussion has changed considerably from
the subject header, but I'm not sure what the subject line can be
Your postings indicate that you are fairly new to advaita VedAnta, and
are even ignorant of the philosophy of ISKCON (NB: I speak specifically
of the philosophy, not of the attitude of so-called 'neophytes').
A tip for you when you hit the reply button in yahoo: go to Mail
Options and make sure you have enabled the options correctly for
replying with separators (such as '>'). Generally in netiquette, ALL
CAPITALS is considered yelling and impolite. Capitals may however be
occassionally used for the sake of emphasis.
> S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Aravind Mohanram
> I suspect your questions are asked in the spirit of dispute rather
> enquiry. I like debates between schools, but FYI, this forum is meant
> for discussions that lead to an understanding of the Shankaran
> tradition, not for espousing doctrines such as achintya-bhedAbheda
> (i.e. ISKCON propaganda) that are known to be absurd.
> I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU THINK MY QUESTIONS ARE IN THE SPIRIT OF DISPUTE.
> AND, I DON'T SEE ANYTHING IN MY PREVIOUS EMAIL THAT CAN BE BRANDED AS
> 'ISKCON' PROPAGANDA. I WAS JUST RAISING SOME BASIC QUESTIONS IN REPLY
> TO YOUR POST AND MY DESIRE WAS TO LEARN MORE FROM EXPERTS ON ADVAITA
> PHILOSOPHY. AND, I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU CALL ABB AS ABSURD. IT SEEMS
> LIKE YOU YOURSELF ARE PREJUDICED. I SUSPECT YOUR OPINIONS ARE
> PROBABLY BASED ON DISCUSSIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD WITH NEOPHYTE ISKCON
> DEVOTEES WHO OFTEN COME THROUGH AS FANATICAL. ANYWAY, YOU ARE
> ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION.
I thought I made myself clear, but somehow you didn't get my drift. I
have NOTHING personal against ISKCON, but this is NOT the forum in
which to discuss ANYTHING other than advaita VedAnta. This forum is
simply NOT INTENDED for something other than learning about the
Shankaran tradition. This list is intended for the sole purpose of
learning WITH REVERENCE the doctrine that is taught by the various
If you wish to raise objections in the spirit of enquiry, please take
care first to read the countless objections that have been answered by
Shankara, Sureshvara, Padmapada, etc. and then raise an appropriate
objection that has not been answered before. The reason is that
virtually ALL of the objections that you've raised have been answered
countless times before in print as well in this list, and it becomes
very tiring to answer them all over again.
The reason(s) I feel you have some grounding in ISKCON ideology:
(1) A past posting in which you claimed something about the
Hare-Krishna Mahamantra being the way for the Kali Yuga.
(2) Your reference to Gita verse 2.12, and the terminilogy of
"individuality being eternal".
(3) Your arguments on advaita VedAnta parallel ISKCON's own.
(4) In the last posting, you have spoken of "Devotional Service to the
Lord", typical ISKCON ideology. (I know you mentioned this after I
pointed out the list's disinterest towards ISKCON, but I thought I
should mention it).
We have had ISKCONites in the past in this list, so most of us know
what their arguments are like.
> > So, in that case, how valid are the instructions of the acharya?
> > aren't they also a product of our ignorance/mind, that we
> > perceive/hear them only due to our ignorance, but in reality they
> > don't have any value? Why should one take illusory instructions
> > seriously?
> These questions have been asked and answered several times on this
> list. Please search the list archives before raising objections.
> THANKS, I'LL DO THAT. I WASN'T AWARE. IF YOU CAN TELL ME WHERE TO
> LOOK EXACTLY, THAT'LL BE HELPFUL.
Visit http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/ and study the entire
website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask the list.
Study the series on "advaita siddhi" by Anand Hudli in this list. You
should be able to search for it at
> An illusory tiger in a dream can wake up a person, causing a "real"
> event. This shows that an entity in a certain level of reality can
> cause a person to come out of that level of reality. Similarly, the
> case of "illusory" scriptures removing the ignorance of the Self.
> HERE IS MY QUESTION - AN ILLUSORY TIGER CAN WAKE UP A PERSON IN A
> DREAM, BECAUSE IN REALITY THERE IS A TIGER AND THE PERSON MIGHT HAVE
> COME ACROSS THIS REAL TIGER WHICH MIGHT HAVE FORMED IMPRESSIONS ON
> HIS SUBTLE BODY. ISN'T THAT TRUE? CORRECT ME, IF I'M WRONG.
Firstly, this does not change the fact that: "an entity in a certain
level of reality can cause a person to come out of that level of
Secondly, if you're unhappy with "tiger", change it to
"unicorn-vampire-crossed-with-alien-monster" that the man has not come
across in his real life.
> Read the BR^hadaaraNyaka upanishhad 4.3.22, which says that in
> the Vedas are no Vedas.
> I'LL LOOK INTO IT. I BELIEVE YOU ARE QUOTING THIS TO PROVE THE
> ILLUSORY NATURE OF THE VEDAS.
In the advaitic sense, yes. The verse states that "In Brahman, the
Vedas are no Vedas".
> > In the Gita, verse 2.12, Krishna talks about the individuality of
> > Himself, Arjuna and the kings - this is a clear indication that
> > Krishna sees plurality and provides His timeless instructions
> > of the difference that is perceived between the teacher, Himself
> > the taught, Arjuna. Any comments?
> The verse would be perfectly true even if there were only one Self in
> multiple bodies.
> IF THAT IS ACCEPTED, WHY IS THAT THE ONE SELF APPEARS TO BE IN
> ILLUSION IN ARJUNA'S BODY, BUT NOT SO IN KRISHNA'S BODY. IF THIS HAS
> BEEN ANSWERED BEFORE, I APOLOGIZE.
I'm sorry, but I'm unable to comprehend this objection.
You should know that understanding advaita requires three-valued logic.
There is the real Brahman, the unreal jagat, and the 'neither real nor
unreal' (anirvachanIya) avidyA.
Again, advaita says that the Vedas, the perceived world, the Guru, etc.
are ALL REAL before the removal of ignorance.
> Check gItA verse 7.18 to see how Krishna regards a GYAnI. And please
> verify the meaning in Sanskrit yourself, without depending on
> HOW IS THIS VERSE RELATED TO THE CURRENT TOPIC ON JIVAN-MUKTA?
FYI: the Gita verse 7.18 is best translated as "I consider the GYAnI as
verily myself...". If you're not sure how this is related to the topic
of jIvanmukti, I wonder if you know what jIvanmukti is. You REALLY NEED
to begin studying advaita VedAnta seriously if you wish to be taken
seriously in this list, otherwise your objections will be quickly
deleted without anyone reading past the first sentence.
> 18.54 - WHICH SAYS HOW ONE WHO HAS REALIZED BRAHMAN (THE GYANI)
> ATTAINS DEVOTIONAL SERVICE TO THE LORD.
You have side-stepped to an entirely different verse. If you were
genuinely interested in understanding advaita VedAnta (the reason for
the existence of this forum, it should repeatedly be told), then you
should know that the above verse has a beautiful advaitic explanation.
But you have to understand the definition of "bhakti" in the advaitic
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