[Advaita-l] Fwd: SSS, avidyA, shrI Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Wed May 23 15:29:47 CDT 2007

On 5/22/07, Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sending the mail again as it did not show up in the digest. Apologies
> if you receive it twice.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com>
> Date: May 20, 2007 10:20 PM
> Subject: Re: SSS, avidyA, shrI Ramakrishnan
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> praNAm shrI Ramakrishnan,          Let me make a series of statements, and you can let me know
> which ones you disagree with. That will clarify your position to me.
> 1 -- avidyA is a mutual superimposition of the Self on the non-Self
> (not done by the mind). An alternative way of saying this is to
> recognize that pramAtR^i, pramANa, pramEya are all superimposed on the
> Self (and constitute the non-Self).
> 2 -- avidyA is a mutual superimposition of the Self on the non-Self
> done by the mind.
> 3 -- You say that SSS said both 1 and 2 in the same breath, that he
> held these positions philosophically (i.e., it was not just a matter
> of imprecise use of language etc.), and hence he has a theory which is
> incoherent (Right now, I understand this to be your position).
> I will make my current position too clear for you. I feel SSS said
> only 1. If he did make statements like 2 (as I mentioned, I do not
> have access to the books, and hence have no way of ascertaining the
> context of the quotes you mentioned), then presumably it could be
> ascribed to reasons like imprecise use of language etc.
> Given that you said Alston could be inaccurate (and Alston has been my
> only source), I will ask the same question on the satchidanandendra
> list.
> Btw, the Surname's Annapureddy, and not Annapurna.

Sorry about that!

That is a correct summary.

In that case, would you say that SSS did not know how to write in
English and hence wrote (from Kartiks email):

"AvidyA is subjective and has been explained by Sankara as the
natural tendency of the mind to superimpose the self and the not-self
on each other."

The reference is given as page 9 of:

[7] Svami Satchidanandendra Sarasvati. Misconceptions About Sankara.
Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, Hoelenarsipur, Hassan Dist., Karnataka,
India - 573211, 1995.

So according to your theory, SSS did not know what the words
"subjective" and "mind" mean. If anyone thinks I quoted this out of
context, kindly prepare a rebuttal by consulting the book, and not
FLOAT theories that I quoted out of context (including you
Siddhartha). It is insulting, to say the least. No amounts of
praNaams, or appelllations of shrI before my name can substitute for
this outright insult.

But how about the quote where he says that avidyaa is actually
epistemic and Padmapaada makes it out to be ontic? Are we then to
imagine that SSS simply memorized all these English words without
knowing their meanings?

Finally, is it your theory that all English books (I quote) written by
SSS himself should be withdrawn, since he did not know the English?

Surely you don't imagine any context where the statement quoted above
can make any sense?


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