[Advaita-l] (Alleged) Internal Inconsistencies in the Advaita Tradition

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 13:43:45 CDT 2011

Shyam, this is an excellent response. Sankara's works are like the
Vedas. It is simple and direct but allows for multiple readings
because it is packed with meanings.

I  agree with Vidyasankar's point on strong disagreements within a
tradition is not a sign of weakness but vibrancy and non-dogmatic
approach. Every sampradaya has internal differences. Baladev explains
a verse with a meaning completely different from what his guru
Visvanath does. My respect for a tradition increases when it is NOT
"my way or high way" and "one shoe fits all".

BTW, my question is aimed at learning how the sampradaya explains
internal inconsistencies - e.g. one jiva or many.

On 28/06/2011, Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com> wrote:
> PranAms.
> The need for reconciliation is rendered redundant as these constructs are
> not
> independently postulated but are very much incontrovertibly interwoven in
> the
> all encompassing matrix fashioned by AchArya BhagavatpAdA.
> Lets take a look at this excerpt from the Up Sahasri
> That one seed called Maya is evolved into three states which come one after
> another again and again. The Self the substratum of Maya though only one and
> immutable appears to be many like reflections of sun in water.....Just as
> the
> one seed called Maya is regarded according to the different states such as
> the
> Undifferentiated, etc so the Self appears to be different in waking and
> dream
> bodies like reflections of the moon in water.
> And this excerpt from the AchAryA's sutrabhashya
> Evam avidyakrtanamarupaupadhyanurodhiIshwarobhavati Thus the Lord conforms
> (as
> Lord) to the limiting adjuncts of name and form, the products of Avidya;
> just as
> the universal space Vyomeva ghatakaraopadhyanurodhi conforms (as limited
> space)
> to the limiting adjuncts in the shape of jars, pots, etc. He (the Lord)
> stands
> within the realm of the phenomenal vyavaharavishaye in the relation of a
> ruler
> to the so-called jivAs or cognitional Selfs - vijnanatmanah, which indeed
> are
> one with his own Self svatmabhutaneva--just as the portions of ether
> enclosed in
> jars and the like are one with the universal ether- but are limited by the
> assemblage of bodies and senses produced from name and form - namarupakrta
> karyakaranasanghatanurodhino - and that are conjured up by Avidya
> avidyapratyupasita. Hence the Lord's "Lord"ship, Ishwarasya Ishwaratvam, his
> Omniscience, sarvajnatvam his Omnipotence, sarvashaktitvam - are all
> contingent
> on the limiting adjuncts conjured up by AvidyA
> avidyatmakopadhiparichhidapekshaeva; while in reality na paramarthato none
> of
> these qualities belong to the Self shining in its own nature, by right
> knowledge, vidyaya, after the removal of all limiting adjuncts.
> In these (and many such multiple) excerpts, we see how the Revered
> Bhagavatpada
> has made poignant use of both pratibimbavada, in talking about the Sun and
> its
> many reflections, as well as avacchedavada in using the analogy of Universal
> Space and Pot Space in explaining the two levels of Reality - paramarthika
> and
> vyavaharika. As is seen by the perspective He thus provides, these two
> represent
> different aspects of one and the same understanding of the jiva-ishwara
> aikyatvam. Anyone who, as a allegiant student of tradition, will faithfully
> study the entire canvas of the AchAryA's gloss, will doubtless find both
> these
> seemingly antithetical models seamlessly integrated into the scaffolding of
> Upanisadic instruction.
> I also wanted to make a more general observation which - though not directly
> an
> answer to your question, nor directed at you - may throw up a perspective
> that
> may be of related interest to this and more so other threads here, I have
> not
> personally had time to respond to.
> On a cloudless Krishna Trayodasi night, the cusp of a twig seemingly points
> towards the resplendent Moon. One blessed with a keen alert eye will see
> either
> branch of the twig as being the guide that steers the vision towards the
> Moon.
> One blessed with wisdom will realize that it is the Moon alone that
> illumines
> the very branch, verily Its shimmer that enlivens the twigs as it were to be
> beacons of Its very vision. One can either lose oneself in the contours of
> the
> twig, or utilize the twig to gain the vision of the Moon and having thus
> gained,
> ensure that one's gaze is ever transfixed upon That, without getting
> distracted
> by the tree. That vision, is to be had, if the eyesight is sharp, and if the
> instrument of the eye - the lens - is clean and transparent. Which twig to
> make
> use of matters little if the lens is opaque. Rendering the lens clear
> requires
> the lotion of Grace from the Guru, and the tapas of one's own untiring
> self-effort - at what?  certainly not at a painstaking study of the tree
> through
> a futile abd blurred vision - but at developing shatsampatti, at developing
> daivi sampat - coupled with vairAgya borne tyAga - tasks I daresay are far
> more
> formidable and hence readily avoided by most. Once the lens is clean, the
> evershining Moon will doubtless bless the eyes with Its pristine vision -
> tasyaisa AtmA vivrnute tanUm syAm.
> Shri Gurubhyo namah
> Hari OM
> Shyam
> ________________________________
> From:  Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com>;
> To:  A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
> <>;
> Subject:  Re: [Advaita-l] (Alleged) Internal Inconsistencies in the Advaita
> Tradition
> Sent:  Mon, Jun 27, 2011 9:18:59 PM
> My point in asking the question is to learn how the tradition views the
> differences, if they indeed perceive them.
> On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
> svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Rather than arm-chair theorizing about jIva and ISvara,
>> I think
>> it is high time we all reminded ourselves that when we say jIva, we are
>> really
>> talking about our own selves, not some external entity out there.
>> Regards,
>> Vidyasankar
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