[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta - Shri Bharati Tirtha Svami'swords

K Kathirasan NCS kkathir at ncs.com.sg
Sun Aug 7 23:21:06 CDT 2005

Namaste Ramakrishnanji,

I am looking forward to your article. I for one personally find SS's
approach reasonable. Nevertheless I would like to study your

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of
Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 12:20 AM
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta - Shri Bharati Tirtha

On 8/5/05, bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> Yes prabhuji, I agree with you, holding the second view point which
> mentioned above, SS discusses the most conspicuous differences in
> vyAkhyAna-s & mUla bhAshya...finally thinks these differences are
> irreconcilable with shankara's mUla bhAshya.  Following are the few
> which he discussed in great detail & thinks that these are
> with mUla bhAshya:
> RB prabhuji:
> Followers of SS calling the "traditional" advaitins as
> not being "true" to sha.nkara, while liberally using sureshvara's
> works, is then a case of the proverbial pot and kettle. Not of course
> to mention the differences within sha.nkaras works itself.
> bhaskar :
> Reasons for this are quite obvious prabhuji, that you yourself
> above.  SS thinks differences between vyAkhyAna-s & shankara bhAshya
> significant & irreconcilable & difference between vArtika prasthAna &
> shankara bhAshya though significant in some sense but definitely
> reconcilable.

Dear Sri Bhaskar,

I don't think you have exactly understood what Anand and I have have
been trying to convey all this while. The point is who and what
criteria decide that there is "no damage" to the "mUla siddhaanta".
Followers of SS largely fail to realize that these are subjective
criteria and not objective criteria. Just because SS says something is
reconcilable with the "mUla siddhAnta" (God only knows what constitues
mUla), would not necessarily make it so. In that case, I can point to
citsukha and point out that he has more effectively "reconciled" all
different theories with the "mUla siddhaanta".

Before followers of SS and traditional advaitins can agree on a) what
constitutes "mUla sidhhAnta" and b) what is the nature of any
"reconcilation" if any, it's absolutely pointless re-examining
pa.ncapAdikA, bhAmatI, etc vs sha.nkaras original works. This has been
done 1000 years back by the great citsukha, but perhaps not with every
i dotted and t crossed (who even SS reluctantly and grudgingly admits
is a profound author, in his magnum opus vedaanta prakriyaa
pratyabijnaa). It will, in essence, be an extremely tiresome rehash of
the same old stuff.

My article will concentrate on 2 points

a) the passages on avidyaa, etc which SS ignores and are more
supportive of the "traditional" viewpoint, but more importantly
b) the philosophical problems associated with SS's viewpoints on
avidyaa, nature of shruti vs reason and role of reason, and how
shankara's actual teachings do not have this problem.

While a) has been attempted before, I believe b) has never been
attempted before. It of course remains to be seen how successful I am.
I firmly believe there is no point in throwing out quotations and
passages from sha.nkara and sureshvara versus padmapaada and
vaacaspati, before understanding the philosphical implications of SS's
method. My personal opinion is that what constitues "mUla siddhAnta"
will never be agreed upon by followers of SS and other advaitins. In
fact, a good portion of both groups seem to be even completely unaware
of this important issue in the first place (not seeing the wood for
the trees, etc.). A better route is to examine the philosophical
implications of SSs method versus sha.nkaras original works, and
decide if SS's exposition is satisfactory. My opinion is that it is
not entirely satisfactory.

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