[Advaita-l] advaita and vedas

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Wed May 10 09:59:43 CDT 2006

RK ji,

The point is that "advaita", as used by those who are authorities on
the subject, signifies not only the concept of "non-duality", but also
a _tradition_ of adhyayan with its predefined set of assumptions and
vocabulary (language) and methods.

For example, I think Sankara would say that a person cannot attain
jIvanmuktI unless in the final stage he does not hear Sruti vAkya (my
source for this is Amuthan, for now) (either from the Guru or
otherwise). this would mean that jIvanmuktI is not attainable by those
who cannot understand vedic sanskrit. Now it can be argued that this
would happen "miraculously" for a sAdhak if the rest of his sAdhanA
has been fruitful, but I think that would be stretching what Sankara
might hold.

I am saying that while I am a sceptic as to the infallibility of the
vedas when it comes to the relevant subjects, I CAN use them as a
guide. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I am being sceptic
about the applicability of the tool that is to be my guide. It is not
for anyone to impose an "all or nothing" restriction on how I use the
vedas in my quest.

given that, if I strive to be honest, I HAVE to admit that I am going
against tradition, and that since advaita is a term that signifies
_tradition as well as metaphysics_, I am not an "advaitin" so to
speak, but only a non-dualist. even extreme Sufis are non-dualist. I
can claim that I am a believer and student of "creationless
nondualism", but I cannot claim that I am an "ajAtivadI advaitin",
because the latter term has cultural, traditional and orthodox baggage
that it cannot (and should not) be seperated from.

Moreover, since I am not an advaitin as such (i differ in my basic
axioms which include axioms of vidhi and tradition), all my arguments
will be based on assumptions that advaitins do not make. and simply
put, there cannot be any meaningful argument unless the complete set
of axioms is agreed upon by both parties. This is very important to
realize before one engages in argumentation. Of ignoring this I have
been guilty in the past.

This discussion I can have on a "hinduism" list or other list
meaningfully because there the axioms of traditions are not adhered to
strictly. but on this list, such an argument won't be fruitful, unless
one party or the other gives up some of its assumptions in the first

As long as the definition of "advaita" is maintained to include ALL
that Sankara says as infallible, and the infallibility of the vedas
with respect to karma kANDa and dharma, my arguments about "women and
vedas" etc. do not have any weight.

midway I realized that our basic definitions were different.

On 5/9/06, srirudra at vsnl.com <srirudra at vsnl.com> wrote:
> Gravity was there even before Newton enunciated that.But remember it does not work once you are out of earth.

actually it does work even when I am "out of earth". it is a force
between any two massive bodies.

> Brahman is not a find of Vedas.Vedas only confirm Brahman`s existence and go a step further that It only exists.Are we not experincing this in day to day life?Only that we are not able to appreciate why Brahman acts the way It acts.

the subtle point is that since vedas are believed to be apaurusheya,
they are not "confirmation by the Rishis". the vedas are the truth,
and this truth was received by the Rishis. brahman is not the find of
vedas, but the vedas are simply the ultimate infallible truth. this is
an assumption Astikas make, and I am not making.

Aditya Varun Chadha | http://www.adichad.com | +91 9840076411 (M)
Room#1024, Cauvery Hostel | IIT Madras | Chennai - 600036 | India

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