Laxminarayan Lenka
Central University of Hyderabad
A successful declaration of one’s identity in saying “ahaṃ Brahmāsmi” is a result of knowing one’s own self as indistinguishable from Brahman. The non-difference between oneself and the Brahman is one’s true identity, and it goes without saying, knowledge of one’s true identity constitutes the correct knowing of one’s own self. That the said non-difference is upheld by vedānta, and we need to put this ideal non-difference into practice is the crux of Vivekananda’s practical vedānta. Vivekananda gives certain reasons for the practicability of vedānta. This paper’s part I is an exposition of Vivekananda’s practical vedānta, focussing on those reasons for practical vedānta and orienting each towards an analytical understanding. In part II, a linguistic analysis of Vivekananda’s approach to one’s identity has been carried out after introducing J. Hintikka’s interpretation of Descartes’ “I think, therefore, I am” and G. Misra’s interpretation of sat cit ānanda. The latter’s interpretation displays a positivist’s linguistic analysis of vedānta, whereas the former’s does a speech act theorist’s analysis of Descartes’ cogito principle. The present analysis indicates that practical vedānta can be read in the light of analytic philosophy and Vivekananda’s approach to one’s identity can be understood in terms of speech acts.
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DOI 10.1007/s40961-017-0130-x
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