In this article, I suggest that moksha (liberation or enlightenment) in Advaita Vedanta is best understood psychologically. A psychological understanding is not only consistent with the Advaita Vedanta articulated by Shankara and Gaudapada, but avoids what will be called the problem of jivan mukti. This article will consist of three main parts. First, I will briefly discuss the metaphysics and ontology of Advaita Vedanta. Next, I will present the problem of jivan mukti, and the Advaitin response to (...) the problem. The problem of jivan mukti will lead to the third portion of the article, which is a presentation of what moksha is. At no point in the article will I be arguing the truth of the Advaitin position. Instead, I will be meeting Advaita on its own terms in order to come to some understanding of moksha. (shrink)
In this paper I compare two very different deployments of love in ethics. Swami Vivekananda's concept of ethical love ties into the project of constructing an alternative masculinity for a colonized people; while feminist care ethics uses love to escape the perceived masculinity of traditional ethical theory. Using Kenneth Goodpaster's distinction between ‘framework questions’ and ‘application questions,’ I try to show that love in Practical Vedanta addresses the former while feminist care ethics concerns itself with the latter. Even though (...) this difference, I suggest, could be a function of their varying historical-political contexts, the two issues need to be taken together for a more complete understanding of the ethical subject. (shrink)
The late 16th century Indian philosopher Vijñānabhikṣu is most well known today for his commentaries on Sāṃkhya and Yoga texts. However, the majority of his extant corpus belongs to the tradition of Bhedābheda (Difference and Non-Difference) Vedānta. This article elucidates three Vedāntic arguments from Vijñānabhikṣu’s voluminous commentary on the Brahma Sūtra, entitled Vijñānāmṛtabhāṣya (Commentary on the Nectar of Knowledge). The first section of the article explores the meaning of bhedābheda, showing that in Vijñānabhikṣu’s understanding, “difference and non-difference” does not entail (...) a denial of the principle of contradiction. The second shows how the relation between the individual soul (jīva) and Brahman can be understood as a relation of part and whole. The third section discusses Brahman as cause of the world, and Vijñānabhikṣu’s particular formulation of Brahman as “locus cause” (adhiṣṭhānakāraṇa). Understanding these arguments enables us to appreciate how Vijñānabhikṣu’s Difference and Non-Difference Vedānta is a credible alternative to the Advaita Vedānta schools prevalent in northern India in the late medieval period, and how in his later works Vijñānabhikṣu built upon this Difference and Non-Difference metaphysical framework to argue for the unity of Vedānta, Yoga, and Sāṃ-khya philosophies. (shrink)
Do you have to be one to know one? Madhvàcàrya, the founder of the thirteenth century school of Vedànta, answered this question with a resounding 'yes!' Madhvàcàrya's insistence that one must be a Màdhva to study Màdhva Vedànta led him to employ various strategies to exclude outsiders and unauthorized readers from accessing the root texts of his tradition and from obtaining oral commentary from living virtuosos. Deepak Sarma explores the degree to which outsiders can understand and interpret the doctrine (...) of the Màdhva school of Vedànta. The school is based on insider epistemology which is so restrictive that few can learn its intricate doctrines. This book reveals the complexity of studying traditions based on insider epistemologies and encourages its audience to ponder both the value and the hazards of granting any outsider the authority and opportunity to derive important insights into a tradition as an insider. The first analysis of the Màdhva tradition, this work contributes to the ongoing controversies regarding epistemic authority and voice in religious studies. (shrink)
Introduction: Experiential deconstructive inquiry -- Foundational philosophies and spiritual methods -- Non-duality in Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism -- Ontological differences and non-duality -- Meditative inquiry, questioning, and dialoguing as a means to spiritual insight -- The undoing or deconstruction of dualistic conceptions -- Advaita Vedanta : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- Upaniads that art thou (Tat Tvam Asi) -- Gauapda (c.7th century) : no bondage, no liberation -- Aakara (c.7th-8th century) : (...) there is no apprehender different from this apprehension to apprehend it -- Modern and contemporary masters -- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) : who am I? -- H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) : you have to do nothing to be who you are! -- Gangaji (b. 1942) : you are that! -- Advaita Vedanta summary : nothing ever happens -- Zen Buddhism : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- The Lakvatra Sutra and the Vajracchedik Prajñpramit Sutra all things ... are not independent of each other and not two -- Ngrjuna (c.113-213) : Sasra is Nirva -- Eihei Dgen (1200-1253) : if I am already enlightened, why must I practice -- Contemporary masters -- Ekai Korematsu (b. 1948) : return to the spine -- Hgen Yamahata (b. 1935) : why not now -- Zen Buddhism summary : neither being nor non-being is to be taken hold of -- Deconstructive techniques and dynamics of experiential undoing -- Deconstructive techniques common to both traditions -- The teacher-student dynamic -- Key deconstructive techniques -- Unfindability analysis -- Bringing everything back to the here and now -- Paradoxical problems -- Negation -- Dynamics of experiential undoing -- Non-dual experiential space -- Experiential mapping : practitioners in the space -- Experiential undoing in Advaita Vedanta -- Experiential undoing in Zen Buddhism -- Conclusion: Deconstruction of reified awareness. (shrink)
The quest for self knowledge is pervasive in indian thought and is a central concern of advaita vedanta--The non-Dualistic system expounded primarily by samkara. The article explicates the advaitic conception of the self in its two primary dimensions: self and the empirical self. Arguments used to demonstrate the supreme self are critically appraised and the various theories which seek to explain the relation that obtains between the supreme self and the empirical self are examined. The advaitic analysis of the (...) empirical self is interpreted to be a "phenomenology of consciousness." it is argued that advaita vedanta does not so much explain the self as it describes the process by which we come to believe that it exists. The four levels of consciousness identified by advaita are then analyzed in terms of their respective ontological contexts and epistemological contents. (shrink)
A human being is a complex entity consisting of the Self (also known as Consciousness), mind, senses and the body. The Vedānta tradition holds that the mind, the senses and the body are essentially different from the Self or Consciousness. It is through consciousness that we are able to know the things of the world, making use of the medium of the mind and the senses. Furthermore, the mind, though material, is able to reveal things, borrowing the light from consciousness. (...) From the phenomenological point of view, we have to answer the following questions: how does one know the mind/the mental operations/the cogitations of the mind? Does the mind know itself? Is it possible? There is, again, the problem of the intentionality of consciousness. Is consciousness intentional? According to Vedānta, consciousness by its very nature is not intentional, but it becomes intentional through the mind. The mind or the ego is not part of the consciousness; on the contrary, it is transcendent to consciousness. It is difficult to spell out the relation between consciousness and the mind. How does consciousness, which is totally different from the mind, get related to the mind in such a way that it makes the latter capable of comprehending the things of the world? The Vedānta tradition provides the answer to this question in terms of the knower-known relation. Consciousness is pure light, self-luminous by its very nature, that is, although it reveals other objects, it is not revealed by anything else. When Sartre describes it as nothingness, bereft of even ego, it is to show that it is pure light revealing objects outside it. (shrink)
pt. 1. Five schools: Samkara's Kevalādvaitāda. Rāmānuja's Visiṣtādvaitavāda. Nimbārka's Svābhāvika-Dvaitādvaitavāda. Madhva's Dvaita-vāda. Vallabha's Śuddhādvaita-vāda.--pt. 2. Further reflections on the five schools of the Vedanta.--pt. 3. Five remaining schools, together with the unique school of Swami Vivekananda.
The aim of this dissertation is to present a systematic exposition of renunciation (Samnyasa) as a philosophico-religious category within Indian tradition with special reference to Advaita Vedanta of Samkaracarya.
The Book Begins By Re-Examining The Imagery Of The Vedas And The Upanisads, Highlighting Some Aspects Of Early Speculative Thought Which Influenced The Enunciation Of Aesthetic Theories, Particularly Of Bharata In The Natyasastra.
Machine generated contents note: PREFACE -- SCHEME OF TRANSLITERATION -- ABBREVIATIONS -- CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1-13 -- 1. Sarvajfiatmamuni, His Date, Life and Works1 -- 2. Scope And Utility of the Present Study 10 -- References11 -- CHAPTER II: ANUBANDHAS 14-24 -- Adhikarin or Competent person 14 -- Prayojanaor Necessity19 -- Necessity of Brahmavicdra20 -- References 22 -- CHAPTER III : THE CONCEPT OF BRAHMAN 25-52 -- 1. Significance of the Upanisads in Brahman25 -- 2. The Nature of Brahman27 -- (...) (1) Svarupalaksana of Brahman28 -- (2) Tatasthalaksana of Brahman35 -- 3. The Problem of Saguna Brahman and37 -- Nirguna Brahman -- 4. The Problem of Pramana about Brahman40 -- 5. References47 -- CHAPTER IV: THE CONCEPT OF AJNANA 53-82 -- 1. The Nature of Ajfinna53 -- 2. Pramana for the Existence of Ajnana56 -- 3. Two Powers of Avidyd57 -- 4. The Object and Locus of Ajhana58 -- (i) The object of Ajhana58 -- (ii) The Locus of Ajhna59 -- 5. Avidya--One or Many64 -- 6. Difference between Maya and Avidya66 -- 7. Cessation of Nescience69 -- 8. References75 -- CHAPTER V: THE CONCEPT OF ADHYASA 83-101 -- 1. The Nature of Adhyasa84 -- 2. Cause of Adhyasa89 -- 3. The Problem of the Material and the Locus -- of Dream 94 -- 4. The Problem of Adhara and Adhisthana96 -- 5, References98 -- CHAPTER VI : THE CONCEPT OF THE JiVA 102-138 -- 1. The Real Nature of the Jiva102 -- 2. The Empirical Jva 102 -- 3. Three States of the Empirical Jva106 -- 4. The Theories of Avaccheda, Pratibimba and108 -- Abhasa Regarding the Nature of the Jiva. -- 5. Number of the Jva114 -- (a) Eka-Sariraika-jiva-vada114 -- (b) Aneka-sariraikajiva-vada 115 -- 6. The Relation between the Jiva and Brahman 122 -- 7. Meaning of Tattvamasi-Akhcandartha 123 -- 8. References 131 -- CHAPTER VII: THE CONCEPT OF THE WORLD 139-165 -- 1. The Cause of the World139 -- 2. Parindmavada and Vivartavada 146 -- 3. Falsity of the World 151 -- 4. Refutation of Vynanavada 155 -- 5. Drstisrstivada and Srstidrstivada 157 -- 6. The Cessation of the World 159 -- 7. References 161 -- CHAPTER VIII: THE PATH TO LIBERATION 166-194 -- 1. Means of Liberation 166 -- 2. Internal and External Means of Liberation170 -- 3. The Final Means of Brahma-Realisation172 -- 4. Problem of Injunction in Sravana 174 -- 5. JThna as the only Means of Liberation 180 -- 6. The place of obligatory and Non-obligatory183 -- Rites in the Path of Liberation -- 7. Refutation ofjfnana-Karma-Samuccaya-vada 187 -- 8. References 189 -- CHAPTER IX: LIBERATION 195-212 -- 1. Nature of Liberation195 -- 2. Jivanmukti and Videhamukti 201 -- (i) Jlvanmukti 201 -- (ii) Videhamukti 206 -- 3. References 210 -- CONCLUSION 213 -- BIBLIOGRAPHY 219 -- INDEX 227. (shrink)