[Advaita-l] additional doubts!!

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jul 26 02:30:03 CDT 2011

On Tue, 12 Jul 2011, Bhaskar YR wrote:

> (a) is advaita paramArtha  jnAna happens only to Astika-s (theists) who
> have firm belief in god & scriptures??

The sanskrit word Astika maps poorly to the English word theist.  An 
astika is one who says asti ("it is so") to these three propositions.

1.  The Vedas are pramana for knowing dharma and moksha.
2.  There is an atma that survives after death
3.  There is prime cause for the material world (Vedanta calls it Brahman.)

Those who say "it is not so" (na + asti = nAsti) to one or more of 
these propositions are nAstikas.

> (b) how can a non-hindu or atheist (nAstika) or any 'outsider', who does
> not want to believe in god & scriptures, but would like to get this jnAna
> (without the aid of shAstra & bhagavanta or outside the traditional
> circle) ??  dont we have any jnAni-s outside hindu Astika saMpradAya ??

They can't.  If it is merely a matter of ignorance as to the details this 
can be rectified easy enough but if they don't accept the very principles 
Vedanta is based on, how can get jnana which is the result?

> (c) prior to jnAna, is it mandatory requirement for the advaita sAdhaka to
> believe in god's existence & to have unconditional faith in sacred hindu
> scriptures or whether he has to  be a hard core theist ??

Advaita Vedantas concept of Brahman is not quite the same as the 
theist -- eastern or western -- idea of God but it is nearer to that than 
to atheism.

Not that being astika is necessary but not sufficient.  Samkhya for 
instance meets the three criteria but still gets criticised by 

> (d) if the (c) is an indispensable requirement for the jnAna  then advaita
> jnAna realization would be restricted ONLY to the sAdhaka-s in hindu
> religion in general and theists in particular.  In that case advaita jnAna
> has the limited boundaries in hindu god & scriptures.
> (e) if the (c) is not a necessary requirement then we cannot say
> shravaNAdi sAdhana are the only  direct means for realization..And further
> this would prompt us to say, anybody, at any point of time through any
> means can get this realization..this stand  goes against the convictions
> held by sampradAyavit-s.

Hope the above explains the situation.

> (f) finally, can a person be a non-dual jnAni but still a nAstika??

No by definition one who doesn't accept Advaitic principle cannot 
be considered a "knower" can they?  But Buddhists for instance or Kashmiri 
Shaivas are non-dualistic.  Perhaps there are such traditions elsewhere in 
the world too?  If so, Advaitic beliefs would supplement them not replace 
them altogether.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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