[Advaita-l] Is study of Vedanta necessary?

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Feb 2 06:31:49 CST 2016

praNAms Sri Venkataraaghavan prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Very good observation indeed about Atman's aprameyatva.  Some of my observations with regard to your mail :

One could argue that one can know the self through the mind. Here too there is a problem. The mind is known by the self - we say I know I have a mind - how can the mind know it's knower? The same argument applies for the intellect too. It is not possible for an inert object to reveal the conscious subject - only the conscious subject can reveal an inert object.

>  yes, only conscious subject can reveal an inert object and for the object like mind Atman cannot be a vishaya and Atman is the witnessing conscious in each of us and there is nothing of which it is not the witness!! So, as you have rightly observed, it can never be the object of the intellect which is itself one of the objects of that witnessing consciousness.  However, practically speaking, we have no other karaNa (instrument) of knowledge associated with which we can talk about ourselves or recognize others as Atma jnAni or ajnAni.  It is in this line of thinking, shruti says manasaivameva AptavyaM neha nAnAsti kiMchana, shama damAdi susamskruta manaH Atma darshane karaNaM etc. And shankara also says avidyA in adhyAsa rUpa is karaNa (upAdi) dOsha does not belong to Atman.  Then what is upAdhi here is it not avidyAkruta and superimposed on nirvishesha Atman??  This would lead us to the never ending debate on mUlAvidyA which has the locus (Ashraya) in brahman itself :-)

Therefore, none of the indriyas, intellect or mind can know the self - and as a consequence, no means of knowledge can reveal the self.

>  yes, brahman is avA~ngmAnasagOchara but do the sAdhana to realize this truth these karaNa-s are indispensable.  We cannot do the shravaNAdi sAdhana without the aid of manObudhyAdi upAdhi-s.  

Therefore left with no other path based purely on reasoning, one has to turn back to Vedanta and a guru who is well versed in it to show the way to reveal the self.

>  Yes, to hear the AchAryOpadesha we have to have the karaNendriya and to do the shrutyukta mananaM and nidhidhyAsaM we have to have the mind and intellect.  Don’t you agree with me prabhuji??

I have not tried to explain here how Vedanta reveals the self, only that non Vedanta based means either are incapable of revealing the self, or involve the same faith that Vedanta requires, with the added problem that they are susceptible to be defective due to human origin.

>  Argument goes from outsiders,  just to belittle the validity of vedAnta and its pramANatva, if the followers of any other faith may some day come up with some texts claiming that their text too is accepted revelation and is not of human origin either and in case of a conflict between these two revealed texts disagreement with regard to validity of one pramANa over other would naturally arise as to which of the two revealed texts is the one indisputably valid !!??  And further, one may raise the objection, how can a revealed texts can be accepted simply because it is not of human origin?  Whether it is binding on us to believe in the existence of a text not human in origin or  how can a revealed text invariably a faultless one and what is the relation/link between apaurusheyatva and faultlessness why can't be it is otherway round etc. I think unconditional faith in axiomatic stand of tradition plays an important role here to accept or reject the validity of particular text.  

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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