[Advaita-l] The Evolution of Advaita from Sankara till Date

sivaramakrishnan muthuswamy muthushiv at yahoo.com
Sun May 18 09:00:11 CDT 2008

Please, all of you kindly accept my humble pranams.  Great people have spoken now with their great choice of words and I have nothing more to add.  I am simply overwhelmed by these words and these are my views as well.  I sincerely thank all who participated in the discussion.
Hari Om Tat Sat

----- Original Message ----

From: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 7:02:25 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] The Evolution of Advaita from Sankara till Date

Shree Ananta Bhagawat - PraNAms.

I cannot but agree with you. My SaaShTanga Namaskaaras to you sir.

If I can call myself as advaitin - I have to agree three basic principles - (a) Brahma satyam (b) jagat mithyaa and (c) jiivaH brahma eva na aparaH. 

I have no interest in trying evaluate if somebody is adviatin or not.  That is a useless exercise, as for as I am concerned.  

There are two aspects that are emphaized for a saadhak- as in the Gandhaara purusha example given in Chadogya sat vidya.  One is panDitaH and the other is medhAvi - In the context panDitaH involves understanding the general principles of adivata and medhaavi  involves proceeding carefully in what is known as kshurasya dhaara - razer-head path - trying to be focussed and avoiding deviations that distracts the mind away from the unnecessary detours for which medha is required. The teachers teach depending on the students qualifications, just as  Doctor gives medicines depending on the disease of the patiencts. It is important using medhA not to take worng madicines that are intended for others and proceed with clear understanding of the goal and the means suitable for oneself depending on where he stands currently. It is useless exercise to try to evaluate others particularly other teachers  from whom many others are getting benefit.

For me the sampradaaya teacher is the one who has a clear vision of the truth and can communicate that knowledge to his disciples - taking the scriptures as the authority and not someone's experiece per sec. He is not necessariy the one who has Sanskrit knowledge nor the one who comes from a traditional mathas -  those requirements are not sufficient, either. 

Shankara says in VivekachUDAmaNi - manushyatvam mumukshatvam mahA pahApuruSha samsrayam - durlabham - and they are dvaivAnugraham only.  

We are blessed with so many masters and Lord provides the right master that is needed at that time for one's growth. 

Who are we to judge the others whether one is adviatin teacher or not as long as (a) they do not compromize the three basis principles stated above and (b) direct the disciples to the scriptures as the authority and not to themselves.  - shraddAvan labhate jnaanam  and  shaastrasya guruvaakyasya satya budhyaavadhaaraNa saa shraddha - says Sankara. If a disciple has shaddhaa in the teaching of the scriptures as taught by his master - that is all needed for jnaanam - all other discussions are only deviations from the path, neither necessary nor helpful - may be more distractive and some distructive.

Just my 2C

Hari Om!


--- On Sun, 5/18/08, Ananta Bhagwat <ananta14 at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Ananta Bhagwat <ananta14 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] The Evolution of Advaita from Sankara till Date
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2008, 12:31 AM

----- Original Message ----

From: sivaramakrishnan muthuswamy <muthushiv at yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:25:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] The Evolution of Advaita from Sankara till Date

PraNam Muthuswamyji.

Can we define who is advaitin?
Can we say a particular person to be advaitin?
We have to be advaitin ourself to certify X to be advaitin.
jIvanamukta most likely will keep away from this issue.
At the vyavahAra level it is going to be subjective belief.

If somebody say Sankara or gauDapAda or RamaNa are not advaitin can I counter
They can say Sankara was not one but many. They can say gauDapAda was a
hypothetical person.
They can say Sankara was emotional because he called NaiyyAyiks bulls without
horn. They can say Sankara was not a true sannyAsi because he established maths
all over India with some ulterior motive other than moxa for himself. They may
say he composed beautiful bhajans because he was a dualist. etc.

It is my belief that both Sankara and Vivekananda were Hindus and advaitins of
the highest order. Both were also reformers in their own way. If somebody
decides to call them neo-Hindus or neo-Vedantins of their times, I have no
problem. I believe, Sankara wandered four corners of India and established
pETha-s not only for his own moxa. Similarly, Vivekanada's social service
and his establishing advaitASrama was not aimed at his own moxa. Ultimately
advaitin or neo-advaitin are labels and both are beyond these labels though for
vyavahAra we may decide to label them such and such.



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