[Advaita-l] Advaita Texts taught in tradition

Satyan Chidambaran satyan_c at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 5 21:50:25 EDT 2023

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You can find a list of texts here for a beginner and their prescribed order here:

https://arshaavinash.in/index.php/download/suggested-order-of-study-of-texts-by-swami-paramarthananda/ <https://arshaavinash.in/index.php/download/suggested-order-of-study-of-texts-by-swami-paramarthananda/>

These include important prakaraNa granthAs and the mUlam (source texts) of the prasthAna traya (Bhagavad GitA, upaniShads and Brahma sUtra (first four sUtrAs to begin with)). 

Following this, one can get into the complete BhAShya study of the prasthAna traya. In addition, other granthAs such as PanchadashI, NaiShkarmya siddhiH, and vichAra sAgara are extremely useful/invaluable for removing various doubts and clarifying one’s understanding.

Note that study here refers to listening (ShravaNam) of these texts with the teaching and guidance of a sampradAyavit Guru and not self-study by trying to read these books and translations oneself.

The strictly traditional curriculum is also supposed to include the additional supporting disciplines of vyAkaraNa (Sanskrit Grammar via texts such as Laghu siddhAnta kaumudI), Tarka shAstra (done via Tarka Sangraha) and mImAmsA (artha sangraha) as one can then appreciate the source texts and the bhAShyas in the original with a better understanding.

The list of texts is endless if one gets into sub-commentaries etc. Many lifetimes are not enough to cover everything. As Swami Paramarthanandaji says, in a football match, what matters most is not the ball possession time but whether you hit the goal or not once you possess the ball. In a one-hour match, one team may possess the ball for 55 minutes but still not hit the goal, whereas another team hits the goal with just 5 minutes of ball possession. 

Similarly, for a prepared student, a consistent and systematic study of some subset of these texts under a sampradAyavit AchArya coupled with mananam and nididhyAsanam may be enough to receive assimilate the vision of Vedanta and see that mokSha is one’s own nature. Others, who are not as prepared, may study text after text, and only increase their scholarship, but still not be able to hit the goal of claiming one’s own mokSha, like the team that possesses the ball mostly but is unable to hit the goal. 

Hence preparation in terms of one’s qualifications (sAdhana chatuShTaya sampattiH) is key in order to make the best use of ball possession time to hit the mokSha goal.


> On Sep 5, 2023, at 11:56 AM, Death Cruzer via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> Greetings,
> I've been researching advaita for a couple years now. I've dived deep into
> the history of advaita and its various authors.
> My curiosity into this philosophy started with reading books on Indian
> philosophy by Dasgupta and Karl Potter followed by mainly watching videos
> of swami sarvapriyananda on youtube.
> But even after scouring countless books and websites, in none of them could
> I find what texts are taught to monks in advaita vedanta tradition.
> To concisely put forward my question:
> 1. What are the list of texts taught to monks initiated in advaita vedanta
> tradition and in what order?
> Eg. In belur math training, monks are taught starting with Vedantasara.
> What are the other texts which they are taught there? Is there any fixed
> syllabus which they're taught? I know dozens of texts on advaita vedanta
> but which are the texts having learned which one could say they've learned
> advaita vedanta fully.
> 2. If there is indeed such a list of essential texts. Then could you please
> give the order in which they are taught in Advaita Vedanta tradition.
> Regards
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