SSS and Madhva (was Re: [Advaita-l] Review of MarthaDoherty's comments on Sri Satchidanandendra Sarasvati)

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at
Fri Mar 2 04:59:57 CST 2007

praNAm.h shrI Ramakrishnan,

> In case any one did not get it, Kartiks mail was about why/how
> *terminology* should not be confused with *philosophy*. Terminology
> can change quite a bit over time without the philosophy changing. And
> philosophy is the most important thing - at least to most of us.

Could you tell us what your position vis-a-vis bhAmatI and vivaraNa is? Are
you saying that while the two works use different terminology, the
philosophy they teach is exactly the same?

Of course, in his introduction he pays homage to Sri Candrashekhara
> Bharati Mahaasvaaminah and Sri Mahaasannidhaanam, who he admits "would
> not have been happy with his writing in this book". What is wrong with
> all these folks? Do they seriously think they can pick up a book and
> second-guess sampradaayavits regarding vedaanta? If so, what kind of
> sampradaayavits are they in the first place?

What do you mean second-guessing? On a particular issue, if a saMpradAyavit
expresses an opinion, you might as well write it down, and a person who
reads it would get the same (theoretical) understanding. It might be
difficult/impossible to convey an experience through language, but I am not
sure if any of the vEdAntins claimed that language was an inadequate means
for explication of the epistemology/ontology. Otherwise, there would not be
much point to writing so many works on vEdAnta by all these

If you can understand
> vedaanta better by reading some bhaasShya, why the heck would you need
> to approach a sampradaayavit?

Because any bhAShya can give you a theoretical understanding at best, while
training with a brahmavit/sampradAyavit helps you gain the experience for

The guru is who effects the
> transformation of the consciousness and not any amount of "critical
> scholarship" on 1200 year old bhaaShyas, regardless of whose bhaaShya
> it may be.

"Critical scholarship" is needed to first establish faith in a particular
system (esp. for the so-called "second grade students" who comprise the
majority of the seekers), to show that the system is not inconsistent, has a
well-defined problem and a solution (in vEdAnta, the problem of bandhana and
the solution of mOkSha) etc. And I am not sure if anyone claimed "critical
scholarship" will effect a change in consciousness (though that is well
possible); what is claimed is an articulate presentation of the system.

The bhaaShyas are only a crutch for *second-grade
> students*, who need more reasoning than the guru provides directly by
> his mere presence.

One should first know who to choose as a guru before one can avail his "mere
presence". How is one to know whether one is supposed to approach the
shrungEri guru or the uDupi guru?

In my opinion this bhAshya studies disease is
> confused thinking at best, if not sheer lunacy; especially prevelant
> among Western educated Indians who think reading Sanskrit texts is a
> substitute or even better than the actual guru; and that they can
> "out-guru" the guru himself.

Reading of the Sanskrit texts is useful for the reasons above. And from the
above, you are also claiming that the philosophy has not changed from the
times of shaN^kara. This makes me presume that you feel there are no
differences whatsoever between the bhAmatI and the vivaraNa in terms of
philosophy. If that is so, I could focus on some differences (either
perceived or real) between the two subschools, and maybe you can tell me why
they are not differences at all.



So, you actually hit the nail on the head more than you might have
> thought (I am assuming you haven't read the book by SKRR).
> Rama

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