[Advaita-l] yoga in advaita vedA.nta - nyAya - and OUR six systems

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 4 14:47:30 CST 2006

India may be the only country where religion (faith in the
supernatural) and philosophy (pursuit of truth or wisdom) coincide.
In the West, philosophers reject religion as unsubstantiated beliefs,
and religious people shun philosophy as mere rhetoric. There is
hardly an overlap between the two, and when it does occur, it is only
in the context of someone disputing the existence of God, and someone
else defending it.

In Sankara's advaita VedAnta, the final goal is GYAna (Wisdom), which
makes it undoubtedly a philosophy, but there is a lot of scope for
faith-based worship of the deities and study of scriptures, which
makes it a religion as well. However, since a majority of people see
only that part of advaita VedAnta which deals with faith, they miss
out on the philosophical aspect, which forms the very core of the

I have had many conversations with professors in the philosophy
departments in the US, and the general feeling amongst them is that
advaita is to be clubbed into the broad set of "Eastern religions" as
being either pantheistic or mystical hand-waving or feel-good
thinking. This is such a pity, because there are so many debates on
Consciousness in contemporary Western philosophy that could immensely
benefit from understanding the philosophical reasoning of advaita.



--- Ram Garib <garib_ram at yahoo.co.in> wrote:

> --- Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > nyAya is used to
> > establish the thesis; yoga as a means; vySeshikaa is
> > so interwined with nyAya
> > that navyanyAya actually is the amlagamation of
> > them; 
> In his Introduction to the Navya-Nyaya System of
> Logic, by D.Ch. Guha, Prof. Ingalls says:
> A Western philosopher with whom I used to argue once
> expressed a prejudice in somewhat the following terms:
> "The Indians", he said, "were never really interested
> in philosophy. They were interested in religion. Their
> philosophy always leads to a religious or mystical
> goal, which is all very fine, I dare say, but it is
> not what I call philosophy; it is not at all the sort
> of things that I am interested in." He admitted that
> his knowledge of the subject was limited to
> translations of religious texts and to selections from
> Buddhist and Vedanta idealism, and he agreed to read
> any two books I should give him before reasserting his
> judgment. I gave him two translations of Navya-nyaya
> texts. Actually, they were the only translations of
> Navya-nyaya available at that time. My philosopher had
> hard work of it but persevered, until one day he said,
> "I admit I was hasty. Your Navya-nyaya is talking
> about problems of philosophy all right, problems that
> interest me greatly. My only trouble now is that I
> find their talk so difficult to understand."
> The anecdote points to a common misconception. Even
> Indians nowadays for the most part are unaware of the
> extent of their rationalist literature, a literature
> which deals with mathematics, astronomy, grammar,
> semantics and logic. Even the many-faceted Vedanta has
> a strong complement of non-theological rationalists.
> Of special importance in this respect, however, is the
> literature of the Navya-nyaya, for that school
> specialized in epistemology, logic and semantics. Some
> would have the Navya-nyaya begin with Udayanacarya
> (1000 A. D.), some with Gangesa (1400 A. D.), some
> only with Raghunatha (1475-1550 A. D.). But even by
> the most restricted view the school can claim hundreds
> of texts. From the published texts of Navya-nyaya,
> which form less than a tenth of what lies buried in
> manuscripts, one may see that the Indian genius
> erected noble edifices of rationalism as well as the
> edifices of theology and mysticism that are better
> known to the cultural 'tourist trade'. 
> __________________________________________________________ 
> Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your partner now. Go to
> http://yahoo.shaadi.com
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

Work for the Employer with the best benefits! Work for God!

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list