[Advaita-l] Traditional Scholarship vs Modern Pseudo-Intellectualism

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Nov 15 04:32:52 CST 2011

On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Certainly yes, that goes without saying.
> >> Finally, advaita vedAnta as a system of thought has no monopoly on the
> > dictum, "paramatam apratishiddham anumataM bhavati".
> But as far as I am able to see, only an advaitin  is permitted and
> encouraged to do the kind of questioning and analysis of everything
> under the sun, including his own underlying assumptions and cultural
> conditioning, which alone makes the dictum quoted above, truly
> meaningful. Conversely, anyone who is able to empathetically
> understand other traditions without distortion and misrepresentation,
> *including especially advaita vedanta*, is willy nilly an advaitin,
> whether or not he choses to describe himself in that manner.  My
> facile position is that once the vedanta-pramANa works through
> receptive study of Advaita, we cannot unlearn advaita vedanta since it
> is not another set of concepts and beliefs to be believed in and
> subscribed to or set aside by choice; the effect of the study of
> advaita vedanta being very similar to "growing up" ; an adult cannot
> regress back to childhood.


Here is an excerpt from the book 'sridakshinamurtistotram' Vol.I p.310 -
312 which could be of use:

Sriharsha, the author of the 'Khandana-khanda-khAdya' says:

अभीष्टसिद्धावपि खंडनानां अखण्डिराज्ञामिव नैवमाज्ञा ।
तत्तानि कस्मान्न यथाभिलाषं सैद्धान्तिकेऽप्यध्वनि योजयध्वम् ॥
[Though what is intended is secured by the arguments refuting the other
schools, they are not like an edict of a king who is deemed to be above
it.  Therefore, there is no reason as to why they (arguments) may not
be levelled as desired, even against the path delineated by the siddhAnta.]

Shankaracharya has said in the adhyAsa bhAshya:  All shAstra-s,
including those directed at teaching the means for moksha, belong to
the realm of avidya.  And that includes 'advaita'  as a framework.

Here is a very significant statement from Sri Vidyaranya, in His
commentary to the Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1:

After delineating the various other systems like Nyaya, Sankhya,
Shaivaagama, on their respective theories on creation, (which all hold
that there
is a real creation) he concludes:

[अनेनैव न्यायेन वेदान्तैर्या सृष्टिरभिहिता, सा भ्रान्तिर्भवेदिति चेत्,
भवत्वेवम् ।
कृत्स्नायाः सृष्टेर्भ्रान्तित्वं बोधयितुमेव वेदान्तैः प्रवृत्तत्वात् । ]

//(Let it be so).  Where is the harm, thereby, for us the Vedantins?  There
need be no apprehension that the Maayaavaada is vitiated by such
developments, inasmuch as the illusory formulations of Gautama
and others - any formulation being illusory because it is dRsya, i.e. object
of cognition external to Atman - have been generated by the very
Maya which gives rise to the illusion of samsara of wonderful variety
in all living beings from Brahmaa down to the tiniest creature.
*On the same principles, it may perhaps be urged that the account
of evolution given expression to by the Vedantas is also an
illusion.  We admit that it is so.  And it is the very object of the
Vedanta to teach that the whole creation is an illusion*.//


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