[Advaita-l] The essence of advaita

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 01:26:26 CDT 2007

namo nArAyaNAya!

On 9/26/07, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
> Typically, you've claimed that "faith" is an important part of
> VedAnta. "Faith" is an English word that roughly means "belief
> without proof", that I feel has no connection to VedAnta. So I must
> tell you this:
> Instead:
> There is a GULF of a difference between saying that one has faith in
> something and one KNOWS something. The former is the
> Western/Christian way, the latter is the VedAntic way.

i don't think this view is entirely correct. a more accurate
proposition would be to replace 'VEDA' in the above with 'VEDAANTA'.
(if that is what you meant, kindly ignore this mail.) for instance,
how can one ever know without 'faith' (in the 'western' sense) that
one will reach svarga by performing agnihotra based on assertions in
the veda-s like 'agnihotraM juhuyAtsvargakAmaH'? there is no choice
other than 'faith' in order to understand these and similar

the special sense in which you've used 'SraddhA' is applicable _only_
to brahmavidyA (or those portions of the veda-s which deal with
j~nAna) since statements relating to brahman refer to an existing
entity which can be known to be true here and now. even here, such
radically affirmative statements cannot be made without some element
of 'faith' until AtmasAkshAtkAra actually occurs since there exist
widely divergent views on brahmavidyA ranging from the complete
identity of the self and brahman as we maintain and their complete
non-identity as the dvaitin-s assert. i agree with you that this
'faith' in brahmavidyA is certainly not the same as the faith that
makes one adopt a static worldview (a purushatantra) and live by it
till death as is required by most (all?) eschatologies (even within
vedAnta; like dvaita and viSishTAdvaita).

besides, i don't think it is correct to classify common human
behaviour like (blind) faith as being western/eastern/christian etc.
blind faith has existed in every culture and even we have no choice
but to resort to blind faith if we are to accept a fair part of
pUrvamImAmsA to be true.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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