[Advaita-l] Sola Fide (was Re: Sraddha and Chitta-shuddhi)

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 3 10:34:40 CDT 2009


M-W's definition of shraddha is wrong. Shraddha is not faith, Shraddha is keenness (in learning something). 

When my mother told me to 'Read with shraddha', she did not mean read whatever was in the book 

blindly. She always meant read with attention, concentration and keenness. Shraddha demands 

alertness to avoid wrong learning, or coming to wrong conclusions etc.


Faith as per M-W is faith, belief and loyalty without any doubt. 


Shraddha is the opposite of Faith. 


No doubt a good portion of English language comes from Christian religious terminology, 

many times the meanings are changed to suit religion (e.g., In Roman times the word pagan 

used to mean villager without any connection to religion, now it means polytheist). 


Oh, well, Sanskrit was also a ritual language born of theology, so we can't accuse English, 

it is like kettle calling pot black. Let us not be in denial, in fact I encourage exploring this field. 

We can derive many philosophical meanings from even ordinary words, because Sanskrit 

is an inflective language. Even as atma twists and turns a little, a new word is created. 


Talking of pardon and mercy, I came across a nice dialog our friend Michael Shepherd started in a different board. 




My five cents:


- Platonians at this URL think mercy is unfair, and not worth it. 


- Sankara says there is no way you can escape from results of your works. (Mercy will not help.)

Knowledge of nonduality does not release you from results of your works; it only lifts you from 

the dual world of work & results. If there is work there will be a result; unless you argue karma 

itself is non-different from jnana (my pet argument).   


- In Islam they say 'Allah is merciful'. But the person saying this is not necessarily merciful. 


- In Christianity mercy is given to those who accept a particular God and join the country club. 


- Buddhist/Hindu karuna is sympathy for people who deserve it, those who are sick, unfortunate etc. 

In fact apAtra daanam is forbidden. 




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