[Advaita-l] A matter for Adjudication

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 11 00:46:12 CDT 2010

>It seems pointless to me to argue indefinitely whether a jnani has avidya-lesha.
>Then there really is no meaning for jnana. I don't see what the jnani has to do
>with the body or mind

This is a side-stepping of the argument, with a declaration in favor of the
other side, is it not? It is hardly a resolution of the problem. The point is
that more than one post-Sankaran teacher of advaita has talked of avidyA-
leSa in the context of the continued embodiment of a jnAnI. The jnAnI may
have nothing to do with it, but it is unacceptable to simply cast all the onus
for the continued appearance of an embodied jnAnI on the ignorant ones
around him. For this raises another false duality of ignorant vs. enlightened,
when the only consistent stance should be that there is no one ignorant and
no one in need of liberation in reality. The recent threads on the topic have
brought out quotes from a galaxy of authorities, including sarvajnAtman,
citsukha, vidyAraNya and madhusUdana sarasvatI, all of whom are extremely
incisive writers and justly famous for their contributions to advaita vedAnta
as a darSana. What is meant by these and other traditional authors when
they use the term avidyA-leSa has also been discussed in ample detail in
the recent threads.

The fact also remains that there exists an argument against avidyA-leSa
(which in recent times has been done vociferously) and almost the entire
post-Sankaran tradition has been damned in the process. So to categorize
the argument as pointless would not be acceptable to either side, I would
think. Rather, it would be useful if someone can take up the specific quotes
from the post-Sankaran authors over the centuries and demonstrate how
they are mistaken (either on a purely logical basis or on grounds of having
misunderstood Sankara). Failing which, there needs to be a re-evaluation
and a possible redrawing of the parameters of this debate.

It is not a question of consensus-building or even vote-taking about the
topics being discussed. It is a matter for every reader's judgment, to ask
and answer for themselves, whether the post-Sankaran tradition has really
misunderstood Sankara bhagavatpAda (as contended by one side) or
whether the opposite is the case (as maintained traditionally). It is, as
Ravisankar pointed out, a very abstruse and advanced level of discourse
here, but I think a great level of explanation has already been done and
anyone interested in the details of the debate can follow the threads of
argument if they have sufficient patience.

Best regards,

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