[Advaita-l] upanishad mahAvAkya

Sanskrit Beginner sanskrit_beginner at unlimitedmail.org
Wed Sep 1 00:34:07 CDT 2004

namo namah

 if there are differences in the description of the empirical 
world, then how can the methodology advocated to get out of it 
be similar? Here is what I mean: Advaita Vedanta is sort 
of "THE" way to describe the "real reality" right? Also, 
advaita vedanta says that as mortals we live in "apparent 
reality" - sort of like the movie Matrix. Also, as an overall 
system, it must suggest methodologies and processes for one to 
get oneself "out" of the system of illusions, and be prepared 
to "just BE" right?
 Now, my contention is this: If the description of 
this "apparent reality" is not consistent within the system, 
then the methodology to get oneself out of it will necessarily 
be different as well. For example: for one who is fighting a 
fire, knowing the type of fire is important to know how to put 
it off. Like a fire due to gasoline or chemicals is different 
from just wood buring etc. Saying it depends on the nature of 
the student/listener addresses only part of the problem. 
Every "student" is still a mortal, enjoy happiness, suffers 
pain, and makes mistakes. The description of reality 
and "apparent reality" especially, must address to this common 
 Quite honestly, I am not sure I even understand one way of 
describing the "apparent reality". I am a beginner, and am 
questioning the assumption I see here that differences are 
acceptable. References to where the "apparent reality" is 
explained or described are welcome.

 Ultimate reality being described in identical terms is 
besides the point for one starting out to understand where 
he/she is and what to do about it. Learning starts from 
understanding the current situation, and working upwards. 
Differences here will only aplify as one proceeds, like the 
bull whip effect. 

 Attributing deficiencies to western eduation is unfair - if 
not for that, the large majority of us would still be herding 
sheep and cattle. The rest would be blissfully unaware of 
ground realities, and would have taken shelter under "apparent 
realities". That's the reason why a Buddha came out. The 
problem of population would still be there, and needless to 
say, umemployment would have been worse :)

 if citsukha has explained why it must be so, I'd love learn 
about it and develop a better understanding.

corrections welcome - we are here to learn; no offence is 


> As a side note: personally, I don't understand this 
obsession with
> post and pre-"sa.mkara advaitins. Should anyone not explain 
> differently compared to "sa.mkara? Does that make them non-
> All advaitins are unanimous in declaring the ultimate 
unreality of the
> world and the unity of aatman. When it comes to explaining 
> empirical world and why there seems to be a perception of an 
> world, there are differences.
> A Western education seems to compound the post/pre "sa.mkara 
> It is a fact that the teachers not only teach from 
bhaa.syas, but also
> from their direct experience of the truth. Not just that, 
they address
> various types of students. It would be best to leave this 
> debates and get on with the actual stuff. Just my opinion, 
no offence
> intended. It's nothing new that there are many differences 
in the way
> advaita is taught. It is a good thing. Citsukha has 
commented way back
> in the 1200's on this and has also explained why it is so.

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