[Advaita-l] SSS, avidyA, shrI Ramakrishnan

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Mon May 21 00:42:20 CDT 2007

praNAm shrI Jayanarayanan,
         Please see below:
> I think you missed out reading page 5 of Rama's paper, where SSS
> himself is quoted as saying in one of his own works (direct English
> quote - not a translation!):

I did read the quotes. But given the lack of context for those quotes,
I could not conclude much from them. And I have come across enough
instances in literature where statements taken at face value
contradict each other, but samanvaya sets them in the proper context
and brings out a coherent opinion of the author. And I feel the same
could be true with SSS. If he made two apparently contradictory
statements, I would try and find out what he intended, before
concluding that his philosophy is incoherent.

> > -- If the superimposition is done by the mind, there would be three
> > "ontological" categories, namely brahma (the real), the jagat (the
> > unreal), and the mind which superimposes the real and the unreal.
> > But
> > I have not yet come across any statements of SSS which so much as
> > discuss the nature of such a mind. What's its status in paramArtha?
> > It
> > cannot be real (as nirguNa brahma would not be advitIya then) or
> > unreal (because we claimed it to be different from the jagat which
> > comprises the unreal). Thus, it should be something like
> > anirvachanIya, and I have not seen such an exposition from SSS
> > (yet).
> > Also, given the number of debates on this issue, I would be highly
> > surprised if this issue was not pointed out earlier and if SSS did
> > not
> > have a position on it.
> >
> You have just argued against the theory that "the mind does the
> superimposition of the Self and not-Self on each other".

I understand that my argument goes against SSS (if he did hold the
position you ascribe to him). But I have also noted that for a person
who lived almost 90 years (?), engaging a number of scholars in
debate, it is surprising that he did not have a position on this third
ontological category (which makes me feel he never intended a third
ontological category in the first place). Or maybe he did have a
position on this third ontological category, in which case I would be
interested in knowing more about it.

> If so, your arguments are targeted precisely ***against*** SSS, who
> held such a false theory!
> > -- SSS always talks of two "entities" - Self and not-Self (Method
> > of
> > Vedanta, translation by A.J.Alston ch.3, sec. 23, pg. 47). Nowhere
> > does mind figure as a separate entity (mind, notion of jIva etc.
> > are
> > subsumed under anAtma, non-Self).
> That is then another point against SSS: why did he say at one point
> that the mind does the superimposition of the Self and not-Self, and
> at another say that the mind itself is part of the not-Self?

As I ventured to say in my mail to shrI Ramakrishnan, one reason could
be imprecise use of language (presumably).



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