[Advaita-l] Pa~nchapAdikAchArya

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 15:14:26 CDT 2006

Dear Sri Venkat,

You can't have it both ways regarding tradition.

Can traditional teaching be obtained from a set of books which can be
examined at any point of time and doing textual analysis and ***self
study*** on them 1200 years later?


Are books a supplement to actual instruction by a teacher, since
everything cannot be put down in a book? Especially something such as
brahma-vidyaa. According to me Shankara is clear you have to go to a
**brahmavit** to learn and not consult **books** written by a putative
brahmavit (be it shankara himself or anyone else).

If you think the first is true, let's stop the discussion along this
line, clearly it's of no use. If not we can continue further. The
point about varying traditions (within the advaita umbrella or
outside) is *completely* irrelevant to the discussion here, as you may
be able to see now.

It's of course a different matter whether the interpretations of SSS
themselves make logical sense. That's a different matter altogerther.
I owe you a revised copy of my paper. That will come soon.

Best regards,


On 9/15/06, venkata subramanian <venkat_advaita at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Well, we need then to be clear on what we mean by "tradition".  i agree Newton's law is not comparable to Brahma Vidya - but the tradition of being handed over is nevertheless comparable; for both are vidyas - the former concerning one Self and the latter what is matter......
>   SSS only attempts to point out to an aberration from the tenets handled in the Bhashya and the Vartika - down the ages, where he feels later works have mis-understood the concepts and he tries to only point out to what is already said in the Bhasys and the Vartika, he does not "create" any new version.  Thus, what he tries to point out is the same "tradition"; that he believes is the correct understanding of the Acharya and the Vartikakara.
>   We read in the news papers some time before that a guy pointed out an approximation in the computations adopted by Newton; and when substituted with actual value the results changed a bit.   Teachers before him too have handled these, but this guy has been sharp enough to see the rounding off.  what i am saying is - akin, SSS points to a current of understanding that is possible outside the sub-commentaries' interpretation, which is vivid and self explanatory.   It is thus possible that even in tradition, though there is a continuity in teaching, some understanding is not given the due consideration and focus it deserves; as a result we consider things as we understand.   Acharya himself points out to such instances in his Bhashya.
>   To conclude:-  All right understanding of correct position is ever handed over by Tradition but not all understanding is correct tradition.  The proof is the so many arguments we see in the Bhashyas themselves.If there is no chance for some idea to be misunderstood or understood inadequately, "even under the garb of tradition" wherefrom so many Purva Pakshas have come in the Bhashyas and the Vartika !!

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