[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 26, Issue 2

tatha gat tathagat79 at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 4 13:41:52 CDT 2005

Dear Mahesh,

>  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 am not well versed in Shankaracharya's writings
either, but, if by the above you mean that
Shankaracharya, via logical arguments, showed the
necessity  of noumenal reality, then, I believe that
is  not true. The few books of or about him that I
have read, in the end, depend on the scriptures for
their authority.

Furthermore, it is the enduring legacy of Kant and
Wittgenstein (and there may be others before Kant I
dont know of) that we simply cannot go beyond the
phenomenal world as long as we stick to means like
language and symbols to communicate our thoughts. Even
the scriptures extoll everyone to realize the noumenal
reality through deep meditation.

I also dont clearly follow your line of thinking. In
the first para you say that a dullard might be doing
better than an intelligent person because he has the
right attitude. In the next para you say that the
reason that the dullard does better than an
intelligent person is because an external agency is
helping him. The later does not follow from the
former. If anything may be deduced, it is that "if an
external agency exists, then it tends to help those
who have the right attitude"


>  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 
> are:
>  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 
> penury. 
>  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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