NOTE: I have posted this as a thread on Medhaam Dehi (our forum) but NS suggested I post it as a blog entry. So here goes…
I’ve been sucked into this debate (I should say I inadvertently stumbled into it) on Facebook. I was “tagged” by an author who writes from the perspective of Gaudiya Vaishnavism on one of his blogs on Facebook where he wrote a very nice article on Ayurveda and Spirituality.
In that there was one section that seemed incongruous. It was:
To which I responded:
There is no confusion. Those who delve deep into what the Individual Self is, realize that it IS the Universal Self. In fact, the “true” Self cannot even be phenomenologically inquired into. The various Darshanas simply leave off at different levels of evolution. Dvaitins stop at Saguna Brahman. Advaitins dissolve Saguna Brahman and all that remains is Nirguna Brahman…. Read More
After Turiya is reached and all thoughts cease…that which remains is Atman…also called Brahman. It is without properties and beyond reason and the intellect. It can only be experienced and is Sat Chid Ananda. There is no You or I after this state…only Being.
I am not at liberty to share the entire original article since I haven’t got permission from the author to do so on Medha Journal.
However, I did get several spirited (some bordering on hostile) responses to my response:
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I felt there were certain misunderstandings which I intended to clear. Shankaracharya’s “recantation” is simply his effort to ease the Bhakta into Advaita…not a rejection of Advaita.
My intention was not to debate…but simply suggest that there are different paths for individuals of different predilections.
For some Bhakti works..for some Jnana. And Raja works for some and Karma for others.
Here’s something you might appreciate..It’s a poem I had written a while back titled “Tat Tvam Asi”:
to which I responded:
your interpretation of Tat Tvam Asi is very interesting and a nice extrapolation.
Tat Tvam Asi means “You are That”. That is Brahman and the Mahavakya’s significance is profound…. Read More
Your interpretation is a lower truth…vyavaharika and the bhakta indeed is the servant of the Lord at that level. Once Non-dual realization happens, the Bhakta and God merge and there is no master-servant relationship anymore.
This should not under any means be misconstrued as having “God” complex or something like that. In Advaita state, there is no difference between God and Creation. So what is there for the Advaitin to “Lord” over? Everything is One.
At the Vyavaharika level, it is useful to understand the concept of Pratitya samutpada or the concept of Dependent Co-rising. This will show the seeker the empty nature of the dualistic world and lead him/her to Nirguna Brahman. Even though it is a Buddhist concept, it is a valuable insight into the nature of mundane reality.
and many such backs and forths…until it came to this that the author requested I don’t post “negative” comments since his audience is predominantly Vaishnavite and would take offense. I obliged.
However, one individual continues to persist:
You wrote me that: “Your interpretation is a lower truth…”
You are convinced that your understanding is higher and the Vaishnava teaching is lower. You’re convinced it is only an interpretation, and not mukhya vritti the direct teaching coming from God.
You see in terms of higher and lower. Vaishnava tradition teaches to see in terms of transcendental and material.
… Read More
Please try to transcend the notion that only you understand the ultimate truth, and embrace the conception that PERHAPS others have already gone past where you are at.
Tat twam asi is the extrapolation. The original is tatwatm asi. By separating the words you get a different meaning. Again, it is gauna vritti. In order to support your position you have to reject mukhya vritti.
That’s what Shankaracarya realized! And that’s why he recanted his own philosophy and embraced bhakti, written in his own words without later explanation what he really meant by Dwai Lahiri
so I invited him over here to play. Let’s play Brother Vaiyasaki…
More posts by this author:
- Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta — Are they really that different?
- Is the Truth One? So what if the wise call it by different names?
- Dao and Brahman – They are Non-Different
- Non-dual awareness is without attributes. But what about love?
- Medhavi Sessions with Eulalio Fabie de Silva (Episode 1)
Dwai is an old soul. He likes to meditate, practice Taijiquan (Tai Chi), play music and write articles and blogs about all the topics that interest him.