[Advaita-l] Noumenon from Phenomenon

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Fri Jun 3 16:23:05 CDT 2005


 One of the monumental philosophical feats of the great Sankaracharya was 
arriving at the necessity of Brahman from the phenomenal world of things 
without the use of the Upanishads! I read that he did this via the Gaudapada 
Karika (but I may be wrong). I do not have access to his arguments and if 
anyone of you learned people could point me to a book (and where I could get 
it in Mumbai would be most useful), I would be highly grateful.

 In my own personal deliberations, bound as I am by reason and logic, I too 
attempted this task in order to reduce dependence on "mere" faith. Below is 
a synopsis of my thoughts (biased Westward a little). They might seem naïve 
to many of you well versed in the abstruse points of philosophy. However, if 
you could spare some time and blow my arguments apart or point to better 
ones, you will find me highly obliged. For what they are worth, here they 

 It is often said - "you become who you think you are" or "the world is what 
you make of it". While these might seem like aphorisms for daily living, 
they are undeniable facts. How many of us are not aware of a supremely 
intelligent person languishing in a mediocre job while a relative dullard 
enjoying a high post? Sure, you could attribute it to karma or luck or what 
have you but if you had a chance to know each person personally, the truth, 
to some degree, would be revealed - the dullard had right thinking (or 
attitude) while the brains were lost in negativity. 

 A corollary to the above - since your thinking defines you, it is your 
deepest thoughts that guide where you are and where you are going. Sure, a 
desire to marry Aishwarya Rai or Brad Pitt would be held by most but it is 
only a surface thought (except maybe for Salman and Jennifer! ;-) ) and 
doesn't eat us day and night. In short, you are inextricably moving towards 
your deepest desires.

 Now, while the above may be true, you can't deny that the dullard would 
most likely not be resourceful enough to reach the high position he or she 
is currently at. So, how does this happen? There seems to be a need of an 
external agency (the argument of Yoga?) that is propelling him or her in the 
direction of his or her deepest desire. My dullard meeting someone to sign a 
great business deal can't happen unless something outside was aware of both 
parties thoughts and bought them together. 

 Ok, if we grant an external agency, the question is - why can't this 
external agency be a super human who thinks very fast and is guiding the 
world. That may be so, indeed. However, none of us in our current human 
states can achieve this, so we could say that this agency has superhuman 
powers in order to accomplish this. In short, a God.

 So, would it be possible for us humans to mortally tap into this power? 
Yes, but that would make life meaningless since you become one with everyone 
and have no need to do anything. Which probably means that this power is 
most likely beyond the mind - or not caught in the mind's trap of time, 
space and causation! 

 Can this power then have favorites? The world does not seem to reflect this 
- the rich are sometimes miserable, the poor sometimes happy, the evil 
sometimes possessing power and wealth, the good sometimes fraught with 

 Therefore, I am convinced that there is most likely a power (call it 
Brahman) beyond space, time and causation that sustains the world. However, 
I am unable to find convincing arguments to stretch the power to have to the 
Swapura Lakshana - Sat, cit, ananda of Brahman mentioned in the scriptures.

 Can someone help?

 Regards, Mahesh

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