[Advaita-l] shaDdarhana and other unorthodox schools

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 00:19:20 CST 2007

Namaste Sri Ram Garib

On 26/01/07, Ram Garib <garib_ram at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
> Sri Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:
> > Just as a bureaucrat's opinion about academic
> > matters means nothing,
> > an academic's opinion about our darshana-s means
> > nothing.
> It depends.
> I agree to it as far as spiritual wisdom is concerned.

But spiritual wisdom is the primary object of all our schools.
Everything else is only a tool that can help us reach that goal.

> However when our sages(and their disciples) use
> completely secular tools such as logic or mathematics
> or epiestemology, shouldn't they be tested on the same
> bench mark as reserved for western philosophers?

Only if the goals are the same....

By the way, what I find problematic is that your basic framework seems
to be at odds with the Indian tradition. What about testing western
philosophy on our benchmark - i.e. producing 'spiritual wisdom'? I am
not particularly knowledgeable about Western philosophy  but from what
little I have read about it, and from your own comments, it seems to
be little more than armchair discussion. In that case, should we
dismiss it because it doesnt meet our benchmarks?

> When the great AchAryAs of indian schools established their
> systems, they probably used whatever cutting edge
> tools were available to them at that time in other
> branches of philosophy. Today, those branches have
> grown much beyond anyone's imagination, however, our
> arguments continue to be based on a logic and
> mathematics that is now only of historical interest in
> the west. For example advaita and dvaita both use
> their distinctive epiestemology (largely based on
> mImAmsA) yet none of them actually define 'logical
> necessity', thus leaving enough scope for anyone with
> a clever mind to keep playing with the arguments.

You do have a point there. But again, the goal must be kept in mind.
Only a person who has some level of mumukshatva will be able to
appreciate our schools. It might indeed make sense to make use of all
the advances in logic, linguistics and other disciplines, but that is
only possible when the right people (i.e. those who have some
mumukshatva) have access to these disciplines. I doubt if the average
university academic, however brilliant he may be, is the right person
to do all this. On the other hand, I am sure somebody like
Ramakrishnan (our list member), or maybe yourself, is much better
placed. I am told there is some excellent research going on at a new
research centre that has been established at Sringeri.

By the way, have all these academic philosophers ever produced a
decent critique of Advaita or any of our systems, something that
really challenges these systems? Dont tell me they haven't done so out
of respect for our "religious sentiments".

> Then how can we say that academic's opinions about our
> darshana-s mean nothing?

I only meant that the academic's opinions are of academic interest :).

By the way, did you read my earlier post - wherein I tried to explain
the difference between philosophical schools & sects in the Indian
context? There has been no response from you on that


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