nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 2 23:20:09 UTC 1999

I’m very sorry for the delayed reply. I just haven’t been able to read
the digests for quite a while.

Balaji Hebbar writes :
>The  last  sentence  in  the  above  citation  is  purely  a  >personal
subjective  opinion.  (B.N.Hebbar)

Even this statement is subjective, as ultimately all statements are :-)

>"Apart from this we¹ve to remember that Shankara lived at a >time when
Buddhism reigned supreme. The  nAstikas were tearing >apart theories of
the astikas for  logically  inconsistency. So >apart from the collective
view, Advaitam also  represents the >best possible logical theory for

>The  real  folks  who  defended  AtmavAda  in  the  heyday  of
>Buddhism were  the  NyAya-VaisheShikas,  MImAmsakas  and  the  >Jainas.
Prof. C.D.Sharma, the  staunch  Advaitin  like  >yourself  himself
makes  a  point  of  this.  In  fact,  he  >gives  great  credit  to
KumArila Bhatta  and  goes  to  the  >extent  of  saying  "Shankara
merely  beat  a  dead  horse."  >(vide  his  Critical  survey  of
Indian  Philosophy)

I’m not denying the role of KumArilla or UdhayAna in fighting the
Bauddhas. But criticizing another theory doesn’t in any prove the
strength of ones own theory. And adopting a theistic, atomic and a non
conscious Soul theory, the NaiyAyikas are logically on unstable ground.
Part of the strength of the Bauddhas actually depended on the weakness
of such AstikA doctrines.

It was with Shankara that a full fledged logically consistent view of
AtmavAda developed, which itself played a significant part in the
disappearance of Buddhism in BhArath.

>Advaita  does  not  in  any  way  represent  the  best  logical

When making such a statement please explain yourself.

>Again,  to  say  Shankara's  Advaita  is  the  simplest  view  >is  the
understatement  of  the  year.

Advaita – Brahman OR Atman
Visistadvaita and Dvaita – Brahman + Atman + world

So which of these equations is simpler?

>Even  though  none  of  the  >VaiShNava
>VedAntins  had  not  come  into  existence,  their  "realistic"
>predecessors,  i.e.  the  NyAya-VaisheShika  and  MImAmSA  were
>"lucky  enough"  to  be  the  great  Buddhist  scholars.  (BNH)

Yes, the fighting would have gone on and on, without any end in sight.
Probably the Bauddhas would’ve truimphed! Look at the progress of
thought of the schools that you’ve mentioned. The Bauddhas had
progressed from materialism to absolutism. But how different is
KusumAnjali from Vaishesika and NyAya SutrAs with its bhAshyam and
vArtikam? After a millineum and half, UdhayAna is essentially talking
the same thing with an Ishvara included, so they can seek refuge in
adhrshta or the God's mysterious will, in case of logical inconsistency!

Pre-Shankara Astika thought was in most part only devatA knowledge
(SAmkhya excluded). Inspite of their no soul theory, the Baudhhas would
have been tolerated in they’d accepted an Ishwara. The same reason the
SAmkhya was also branded nAstika. To equate God with man is the reason
for the ire of the theists against Advaitam.

But philosophically the so called nAstikas are on better footing than
the theists.

>Yes,  Shankara  is  a  prachanna  MahAyAnika.  Anybody,  who  >believes
in  two  levels  of  reality  like  them  certainly  >befits  the
nomenclature.  The  vast  majority  of  the  >"Vedic"  systems  are
realistic.  Shankara  is  the  odd  man  >out!!!  (BNH)

When the shruti says Brahman is beyond the intellect and senses, how
else can you develop a logically consistent philosophy? By definition
the absolute is beyond the relative. So the only way out is two levels
of reality.

Ofcourse, this is not true, if one has the intellect to comprehend how
Sriman NArAyana creates the universe with a wave of his hand!

>Advaita  can  certainly  hold  on  as  LONG  as  it  plays  its  >usual
"highland  or  lowland"  game  of  two  levels  of  >truth.  It  is
intellectual  cowardice.  It  is  like  Arjuna  >trying  to  shoot  a
BhIShma  keeping  the  eunuch  ShikhaNDin  >in  front.  Let  me  as  you

I’ll answer this question if you can answer the Buddha’s question : “The
whole universe that we know is a system of relations : we know nothing
that is or can be unrelated. How can that which depends on nothing and
is related to nothing produce things which are related to one another
and depend for their existence upon one another? “

>The  Advaita  tradition  is  not  all  that  united  as  you  >present
it  to  be.

>There  you  go  again.  Logic  is  fine  as  long  as  it  is  >going
your  way.  The  moment  AdvaitahAni  is  pointed  out  >the  dormant
MahAyAna  two  levels  of  truth   comes  out,  >i.e.  relative  reality
and  absolute  reality.  (BNH)

The primary problem lies in the average individual’s inability to
understand Advaitam. And if you already have preconceived notions,
there’s little scope!

>You  cannot  just  usurp  the  UpaniShads  to  your  >way  of
thinking.  Afterall,  you  yourself  agree  that  the  >UpaniShads  do
NOT  present  one  consistent  system  of  >thought.

If that’s your reasoning, then the same will hold true for other schools
of VedAnta also.

You think Madhva’s question about the source of the illusion in
VijnAnavAda is sharp dialectic. How can I reason with you?

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