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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 29 20:29:01 CDT 2011

On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:05 AM, Shyam <shyam_md at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Pranams Rajaram
> It is interesting to read what Shri Roodurmum concludes in his book
> "Bhamati and Vivarna: a critical approach"...after pages after pages of a
> exhaustive analysis of all these polemic positions - "As a matter of fact ,
> it is seen from an analysis of the Bhamati views as well as those of the
> Vivarna, as concerns the individual selves, as well as their nature and
> their relation to Brahman, that both schools postulate more or less the same
> doctrines"... !!

Thank you Shyam ji for a very nice post summarizing the topic under
discussion.  What you have stated, quoted, above is the conclusion of Vidwan
Dr.Mani Dravid SastrigaL too.  At every opportunity he would bring out the
above message alone.  I remember one particular instance where he read out a
short paper on this:

The Vivarana holds that the Mahavakya is the one that destroys avidya while
the Bhamati holds that it is the mind that is instrumental in doing this.
The scholar took up these two apparently conflicting positions and analysed
to show that in either of the positions the need for, the role of, the other
is not to be lost sight of.  The mahavakya, without the appropriately
cultivated mind, cannot, by itself, destroy avidya.  The mind too, without
the appropriate cultivation, samskara, owing to the mahavakya, cannot
independently destroy ignorance.  Hence it would but be proper to hold that
the two schools are actually saying the same thing though in different

> I believe Vedanta/Advaita, in essence, is extraordinarily simple - the
> infinite I seek without is the verisame infinite within, as what I take
> myself to me is but a phantasmic representation of an amalgamation fashioned
> of the nothingness of name and form alone. Understanding this is not
> extraordinarily difficult, but
> owning up to this is extraordinarily daunting - the majority of us who do
> not, find it safer instead, to take cover in the impregnable fortress of a
> perennially self-imposed incomplete understanding, a passport that permits
> us to stay distracted in the samsaric shabdajala, of prodigious polemics and
> perplexing prakriyas.

Very nicely stated.  I think the various 'positions' that cropped up in
Advaita post-Shankara is largely due to the objections that came from
non-advaitic schools.  They failed to recognize the fact that
Advaita/Vedanta was indeed giving out a really 'simple' message which
Shankaracharya stated in the most intelligible terms. They raised objections
solely based on their non-understanding of the Advaitic/Vedantic
position/message and this resulted in Advaita Acharyas of the later period
developing several positions/schools/thoughts.  These were necessitated by
the then times and climes.

Om Tat Sat

> Hari OM
> Shri Gurubhyoh namah
> Shyam

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