[Advaita-l] Fw: How shruti is antya pramANa in advaita vEdAnta??

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Wed May 30 09:39:22 CDT 2007

>> The statement that no one is truly removed from
>> one's identity as brahman is
>> made in the same spirit as saying that in reality
>> there is no one bound and
>> no one released, no bondage and no release. However,
>> when one talks of
>> bandha, moksha, what is the means to moksha etc.,
>> different statements are
>> made. 
>If there is no intellection and understanding what that spirit is,
>or why Sruti says so, where is manana/nidhidhyAsana or the
>use of the intellect? The crux of avasthA-traya - the direct practical
>path of finding out who we are, is, I believe, the basis of RamaNa's
>method also. 
We seem to be talking in circles here. Again, no one is denying the
application of the intellect in vedAnta.
My point, however, is this. If we analyze the waking, dreaming and
sleeping states through *normal* (i.e. well-known, most amenable to
people's presumptions) logic, we cannot deduce or infer the advaitic
pure consciousness. This is because so long as the subject-object
duality is presumed in a logical system, it will never be transcended
within that system merely because of an analysis the subject's states of
being and operating. It takes a Sruti statement like "vijnAtAram are
kena vijAnIyAt", to point out the inadequacy of any duality based
logical system. In that sense, Sruti is the firm foundation of vedAnta.
At this level, any philosophical position that tends to subordinate
Sruti to human anubhava misses the point, no matter who takes that
position, explicitly or implicitly. That is all.
Sankara is very clear on this too - nowhere does he say that Sruti
statements about brahmAtma ekatva are in need of verification by one's
own anubhava. Rather, it is like Anand Hudli pointed out recently - it
will be only a case of exemplification. When Sankara makes the statement
that no number of Sruti statements can make fire cold, he is not
subordinating Sruti to experience. He is only pointing to the need to
interpret the Sruti correctly. After all, our traditions did not stop
with just Sruti statements - there are nirukta, kalpa, vyAkaraNa and
mImAmsA (pUrva and uttara), all of which are systems to assist our
understanding and interpretation of Sruti.
As far as avasthA-traya parIkShA is concerned, this direct practical
path is in actuality a very subtle path and is not obvious to most
aspirants, unless they are adequately prepared. It is not for nothing
that every once in a while, Sankara bhagavatpAda refers to
viSuddha-sattva, dhyAna-saMskRta-antaHkaraNa etc. 


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