Walter Menezes
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
The recent scholarship on Advaita testifies that the epistemology of Advaita Vedānta is of a special sort that warrants a philosophical process of analysis and speculation in its quest for ultimate knowledge. The aim of this paper is to make a case in favour of Advaita as a philosophy than a theological enterprise and address the philosophical process required to reach the zenith of Advaita Philosophy. This would in turn give Advaita its own identity as a perennial philosophy in praxis than to hide its uniqueness under the garb of a religion or philosophy by any other standards. The first part of this paper attempts to clarify the notion of philosophy and religion and their mutual interdependence in the system of Advaita. The second part of the paper discusses the significance of language, culture, and religion, and their subsequent sublation as a useful tool in enabling a state of mind unfettered from hallucinations and superimpositions that is essential for undertaking uninterrupted meditative reflections. The third part of the paper refutes any suggestion that Advaita is a religious enterprise by highlighting its philosophical significance through its analytic-deductive model as an essential contribution for attaining self-realisation. The fourth part of the paper refutes the suggestion that Advaita is merely an analytical philosophy and points out the importance of speculative element in the advanced state as a necessary substitute for analysis. The fifth part of this paper, as the conclusion, argues that though the initial path of enquiry in Advaita is somewhat loaded with religio-cultural connotations and symbols, in the later phase it is transcended and overwhelmingly identified with the methods of analysis and speculation. To sum up, the philosophical significance of Advaita significantly gains prominence than its religious counterpart, namely theology.
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DOI 10.1007/s40961-019-00182-6
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