Shri Iyyaarooraan ji,Thank you for your reply. First of all I feel there is a difference between “ I disagree” and “You are wrong”. Left with nothing to do I browse our website and read the contents with interest. I become wiser by the day and stunned by the people’s knowledge. Because I am an ordinary man. Believe me, I am not pretending to be an ordinary man but just that. You say there is no question of discord and I am glad you said it.
When an arrow is shot from the bow there is a time in between before it hits the target. Like our own positions in the ‘world’, let us forget when the arrow was shot and when it hit the target. Now if we divide the time to the minutest fraction, we may find that it does not travel. I am not sure whether my analogy is correct. But my quote should only serve the minimum purpose. The entire thing is Maya; so there is no question of the tree or its seeds, much less a “real” elephant or the marapaachchi. I think it would be appropriate to say that Knowledge is Brahman and Brahman is the knowledge.
In the matter of questioning the scriptures for more enlightenment, I am afraid the “advaita” philosophy is the most abused one if I may say so, so much so that least is known on ‘Dwaitam’ and ‘Vashishtadwaitam’. In whatever way other religions envisage god, the atman has to shed its cloak it has enclosed itself within, to be devoid of this egoistic universe and all that it contains, to be one with That One much the same way. I think it is difficult not to understand than to understand.
Shri Sankaraachaarya has presented to us in a better way what was there before like Kannadaasan gave it to us from Pattinaththar paadals. I promise you I am not at all offended by your appreciation of me and it is your privilege and pleasure to hold any opinion of me and my views. I will continue to respect the knowledge base the site provides and the people of
your stature who provide it.
I just came across the “mind chow” saying ‘everybody knows how to say nothing but few know when’. I feel I failed to put it across then and hence hate to repeat my mistake. With regards,
Thank you for your kind reply. I observe that you hold advaita in very high esteem. If that be true, it was rather inappropriate, IMO, to cite one of Zeno's paradoxes to justify advaita; because, it will imply that just as Zeno's flying arrow paradox can be (and has been) proved mathematically false, advaita will also be seen as something which can be proved as false. I hope I am able to convey my idea clearly enough.
Advaita has been questioned but definitely not "abused" - either by using foul language against it or by treating it badly - by any of our great Acharyas, but it was, indeed, questioned and deemed by them to be untenable. Most advaitins also follow only the dvaita way of looking at God (as far as we can see around us today) and, as seen from some of the opinions expressed in this thread itself, many knowledgeable people hold the view that Sankara also endorsed all the rituals, pantheistic worship, bhakti, etc., and that these purify a person (they refer to body, mind and intellect, I presume) and makes that person eligible for the brahman to manifest in him. This appears to me as similar to the descent of God in the case of David.
The very fact that visishtadvaita and dvaita, let alone the acintya bhedabheda of caitanya, nimbarka sampradaya, the vallabha school, etc., came into the scene, shows that there were people who did not agree with the advaita concept of Sankara, and, more importantly, that such questioning and doubting were not considered as sacrilege in those times. May be it was because many brahmins and non-brahmins of those days were scholars who could understand the subtle nuances of these various schools of thought and could either accept or reject any or all of these. It is only in recent times that we brahmins have lost that type of scholarship and try to hold on to some things as sacrosanct and any doubts or questions about these sacrosanct items is not tolerated and such doubts/questions are immediately branded as brahmin-bashing, hindu-bashing, swollen egos caused by little knowledge of Sanskrit, OCD, etc., etc.
I recall having read somewhere that the cannibalistic, jungle tribes of New Guinea (this is from my memory only) still hold as sacred an airstrip built during the WW II by RAF in the jungles (to avoid detection by enemy planes). These primitive people thought that "gods" had come down to earth in their holy chariots and then ascended to heaven again; they are sure the "gods" will come again and so they should not do anything to tamper with that holy spot which will be used by their "gods" for the next "descent"! Our present attitude to our scriptures is very similar to this, I think.