[Advaita-l] upanishad mahAvAkya

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 3 12:19:22 CDT 2004

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 31 Aug 2004, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:


> > A Western education seems to compound the post/pre "sa.mkara
> muddle.
> Not just Westerners or the westernized were interested in such
> questions.

I agree that a Western education does indeed muddle some questions when
it comes to post- and pre- Shankaran advaita. However, for those of us
who have not studied the philosophical aspect of our religion (not just
Vedic chanting!) in the traditional way under a Guru, there is a lot
that one can learn from Western philosophy that will aid us in
understanding Indian philosophy. The reason is that most of us are
trying to understand Shankara with keen interest, but little grounding
in philosophy; and since Shankara was without doubt a great
philosopher, there is bound to be misunderstanding of some sort. Few of
us even know what questions science answers and what it simply cannot,
or what problems there are in accepting theories such as "Everything is
matter" (the parallel is the Lokayata school in Indian philosophy), or
why virtually every theory of consciousness that has ever been
considered so far has to be rejected.

In this sense, I have personally benefited by taking several courses in
Western philosophy from the US Universities, such as Introduction to
Philosophy, Ethics, and the Philosophy of the Mind. The informal
discussions with the philosophy faculty (they are not wise, but they
are nobody's fool either) actually helped more than the courses
themselves. Not that Western philosophy leads one to wisdom (it does
not!), but only that the meaning of philosophical enquiry becomes
immensely clear.


Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - 100MB free storage!

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list