doubt on the role of shruti vAkyAs ( was Re: [Advaita-l] advaita and vedas)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Fri May 12 19:16:49 CDT 2006

Hi Amuthan,

I will try to reiterate everything we have discussed so far.

1) We know that shravaNa-manana-nididhyAsana (SMN) --> GYAna.

2) We also know that Arma-vichAra (AV) --> GYAna.

If SMN = AV, there is no further discussion.

I agree with you that there is a distinct possibility that SMN is not AV. Let
us assume that the two are indeed different (for whatever reason) for the sake
of the present discussion.

AV is the practice of "tracing the source of the I-thought" or "WHENCE am I?".

I strongly believe in RM's teaching that AV is the ONLY WAY to GYAna. I'm going
to implicitly assume that even if SMN is not AV, this still holds true! In
other words, AV is the ONLY DIRECT ROUTE to GYAna, and everyone who has
achieved GYAna has necessarily practised AV (including Sankara).

Do you agree that RM's basic teaching is:

shravaNa --> (Some) manana --> AV --> GYAna

I don't mean the above shravaNa in the sense of strictly hearing the statement
from a Guru, but a reading of RM's book "Self-enquiry" can be broadly said to
constitute shravaNa, and manana can also be broadly taken as a kind of
"intellectual understanding".

How about we take RM's teaching as:

shravaNa --> (Some) manana --> (optional nididhyAsana) --> AV --> GYAna

I'm not saying that RM is recommending nididhyAsana as a *necessary* step for
AV, but that RM would definitely agree it is useful as an optional practice. Of
course, he would still say that it should culminate in AV.

I think the above definitely reconciles both tradition as well as RM's
teachings, even if SMN is not AV.


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