[Advaita-l] Skepticism in Advaita?
kumaraditya22 at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 24 13:12:22 EDT 2017
Nasadiya Sukta is a well known portion of Rigveda which is an outright Skeptic outlook to philosophy. But Advaita is unaffected by Skepticism especially due to the genius of the likes of Shankara and Yajnavalkya who boldly established the siddhanta in very certain terms.
But I am wondering if there is some scope for Skepticism in Advaita as well because of apparent inconsistencies within Vedanta. Here Skepticism means 'inconclusiveness' in terms of choosing one particular view over many alternate and sometimes, contradictory views. This is mainly due to the concepts such as Maya/Mithya/Avidya. Yes it is true that Advaita and Skepticism are like the opposite sides of a pole but we have a unique character of Mithya which makes it vulnerable.
Further later Advaitins like Appayya Dikshita not only gave legitimacy to all sub-schools within Advaita by tagging them all under the pretext of 'Vyavaharic reality' but also attempted to give Advaita a Shaiva hue in contrast to Vaishnava schools of Vedanta(indicating that many irreconcilable tenets are immaterial). In contrast to this, even though falling under the bracket of phenomenal reality, Advaitins like Shankara and Vachaspati went to great lengths to establish a proper cause-effect relation, thus putting a strong foundation. However later Advaitins seem to be : (1) dismissing the need to ascertain such a proper epistemology or ontology within 'Vyavahara' (2) admitting mutually contradictory views as valid ultimately (3) Re-defining concepts by assuming special conditions (Idiosyncrasies) clubbed with point (1) - all this seems to suggest that there is a lot of Skepticism within contemporary Advaita.
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