1. When one gets to God, the edge of edge itself, that which we might call Divine Reality, both physics and metaphysics might call it as an unbroken consciousness or awareness, ‘अखण्ड चैतन्य’.
2. We can only subsequently recall this to memory in human language terms such as void, emptiness, or ‘शून्य’, or an equation or a formula in some kind of human intellectual term.
3. Buddha declined to make any statement in regard to the Ultimate Reality. All he would talk about was the spiritual experience (‘निर्वाण’ – literally blown out or put out) that comes to the totally self-less and one-pointed aspirant.
4. Buddha would only speak of the spiritual experience and not of the metaphysical entity presumed by others to be the object and, at the same time, the subject and substance of that experience.
5. But though a distraction, metaphysical thinking is necessary and unavoidable. The Mahayanist Buddhists themselves provided it because moral and spiritual experience is too strong for philosophical theory.
6. It cannot be denied that there are spiritual visions beyond the scientific parameters. That there are such experiences even within science itself also, cannot be denied.
7. But to measure spiritual truths, the scientific approach and scales of measure are inadequate.
8. Conditioned reflex, or the Freudian complex, cannot adequately explain a true devotee’s genuine ecstasy.
9. So also Beethoven’s symphony cannot be explained on the basis of variations in soundwave pressure. Similarly, truths in Quantum theory (real in its own field) cannot be used to prove the Truth of the Upanishadic doctrines.
10. Against this background of the current status of science its paradigmatic problems in the course of the last four centuries or so, let us have an equally close look at Advaita Vedanta.
11. Advaita Vedanta is at the core of Hinduism and has a run of roughly five millenia, in our time-frame, compared to the four centuries of modern science. There are some popular misconceptions about Advaita. These are:
12. (i) confounding Advaita system of philosophy with Advaita experience, which is direct and immediate,
13. (ii) a tendency to refer to all kinds of oneness or unity as Advaita Vedanta is ‘rational’ and scientific whereas the other schools of Vedanta are dogmatic, being based on faith and love, which are ‘irrational’.
14. After examining these wrong notions in some detail, we shall proceed to set out the basic fundamental principles, on which Sankara raised his system of Advaita Vedanta.

15. We will take these up tomorrow.
16. Advaita, as a form of experience, is as old as the Upanishads and may even be traced to Rgveda. Alluding to the Sage’s experience of the non-dual nature of the Ultimate Reality, the Upanishads declare: नेह नानास्ति किम्चन | (There is no diversity whatsoever in it.
17. न तु तत् द्वितीयमस्ति ततोन्यत् विभक्तं यत् पश्येत् | (But there is not that second entity differentiated from it, which it can see (Br. U.
18. सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीत् एकमेवाद्वितीयम् | (In the beginning there was only Being; one only without a second. Ch U. 6.2.1.)
19. प्रपञ्चोपशमम् शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते| (The fourth state is that…in which all phenomena cease, and which is unchanging, blessed and non-dual. Maand. U. 7)
20. Through the great statements (महावाक्यानि), the Upanishads teach the oneness of the individual self and the Supreme Self.
21. One of the mistakes of the teachers of the dualistic schools was their refusal to recognize the possibility of non-dual experience of the Ultimate Reality. They either interpreted these non-dualistic statements of the Upanishads in terms of dualism or simply ignored them.
22. The philosophical atmosphere, which prevailed at Sankara’s time was one of unmitigated nihilism as a result of heterodox Buddhist view, denying Vedic authority and emphasizing soullessness.
23. Sankara’s main task, therefore contended around (i) restoring Vedic authority, (ii) establishing the absoluteness of Brahman as the sole reality and the ultimate cause of the universe and (iii) direct experience of this as the supreme goal of human life.
24. Since the day of creation Advaita was inherently known to Dharmishtas, but the passage of time took its toll. Nastika vaadam and dualism crept their head with a virulence.
25. The Upanishads are a vast storehouse of recorded experiences of Vedic sages and opens several vistas to the Reality. Advaita is only one of those visions and it has become hazy over the centuries.
26. Sankara not only recaptured the original non-dualisitic vision but made it the chief import of the Upanishads. But the scaffolding of metaphysics partly his own and partly borrowed from Buddhist logic.
27. Nagarjuna was one of the first philosophers to establish ontologically the illusoriness of the phenomena. This he did by showing the contradictory nature of all phenomena; whatever is contradictory, is false and whatever is false is unreal, illusory.
28. Let me quote Nagarjuna here: तन्मृषा मोषघर्माः यत् भगवानित्यभाषत| सर्वं च मोषघर्माण: संस्कारास्तेन ते मृषा|| - Naagarjuna’s मूलमाद्यमिक कारिक 13.1)
29. According to Naagaarjuna, the cause of false mental constructions is ‘avidya’, ignorance, and the cessation of ignorance can be effected only through knowledge and meditation.
30. Naagaarjuna also introduced the concept of two levels of truth; conventional truth, 'सम्व्र्ति सत्य' and absolute truth,‘परमार्थ सत्य‘.
31. Sankara took over the best elements of Naagaarjuna’s dialectics, not only to build his philosophical edifice of Advaita on the foundations of Upanishadic truths, but also to defeat Buddhism itself on its own ground.
32. I will explain more of Sankara's Advaita Vedanta tomorrow,
33. People conceive of ideas. They are many of them. They all have one origin viz. the phenomenal world.
34. A system of philosophy is a system of concepts derived from phenomenal world. Naagaarjuna has shown that conceptualization invariably involves a contradiction that which opposes the 'idea'. This is the nature of nature! Because it exists between opposites.
35. And Kant has shown that it is impossible to know the Reality (noumenon) through concepts. The term noumenon is generally used when contrasted with, or in relation to, the term phenomenon, which refers to anything that can be apprehended by or is an object of the senses.
36. So a 'noumenon' beyond sense perception (which is a 'phenonmenon'.). Kant held that there are ideas that are not given to reason and this is how 'noumenon' is described.
37. So a philosophy that is either describing a 'phenomenon' or describing a 'noumenon' is imperfect.
38. Hence there is no such thing as a perfect system of philosophy, and Advaita is no exception. We have seen that, as experience, Advaita is the highest and that to deny this fact as the followers of dualistic schools have done, is a mistake.
39. But it is also true that, as a system of philosophy, Advaita too has its own conceptual defects and so it is a mistake to regard it as the highest and most perfect system, as some of its overzealous protagonists have done.
40. The highest and most perfect system of philosophy is perhaps not a single philosophy, but the sum total of all philosophies whose number is indeterminate and each of which is regarded as providing a different view of reality.
41. This is the trend of the modern view expressed by Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo. They regarded Vedanta itself as one total vision of Reality with each school of Vedanta representing one mode of expression of it. This was the original vision of the Upanishads.
42. What is needed now is a revival of this ancient vision and the unification of Vedanta into an integral system of thought. This cannot be done unless an equal, round-table status is given to every school of Vedanta.
43. The 'समन्वय' referred to in Brahmasutra I.i.4, is required to be made more edifying and less polemical.

44. In Vedantic literature three types of difference are mentioned. विजातीय भेदम् is the difference between two different species.
45. सजातीय भेदम् is the difference between two mango trees. स्वगत भेदम् is the difference between different parts of the same individual, eg. the differentiation of a tree into branches, leaves, flowers, fruits etc.
46. In Western thought by ‘dualism’ is meant only the first two types of difference., But, this is an important point, all the schools of Vedanta deny the first two types of difference in Brahman. So ‘dualism’ has a different meaning in Vedanta.
47. The ‘dualism’ of Ramanuja and Madhva is not the same as the ‘dualism’ of Kapila’s Sankya which regards Purusha and Prakrti as different. All teachers of Vedanta, including the uncompromising Madhvacharya say there is only one Reality, Brahman.
48. So they are all monists and Vedanta as a whole is a system of monism in a way.
49. The main controversy among different schools of Vedanta is over स्वगत भेद. All schools EXCEPT Advaita, hold that there are ‘internal’ differences in Brahman; that is to say, Brahman is differentiated into Easwara, Jeeva and Jagat.
50. In Vedantic context, the term ‘dualism’ means only the distinction between Easwara and Jeeva (Paramaatman and Jivaatman). Advaita is the only school which denies the distinction, but even in this school this denial is made only the highest level of the self.
51. This, then, is what Advaita really means; non-duality of Self-awareness. Like all other teachers of Vedanta, Sankara too gave primary importance to Brahman and only secondary importance to the individual self.
52. His approach was ontological and he looked upon Brahman not as an abstract philosophical concept or an inert ocean-like entity, but as an all knowing, all controlling living presence – the Maayaavin, the weilder of Maayaa, who projects and withdraws Maya whenever he pleases.
53. We will continue with the discourse tomorrow.
54. Continuing the gloss of my treatise on Adi Sankara. Pl. read these attentively.

55. ‘Reason’, ‘rational’, ‘rationalism’, these are English words, which have specific connotations in Western thought and one should be careful in using them in discussions on Indian thought.
56. Let us first see the meaning of ‘rationalism’ in Western thought. In philosophy rationalism is the doctrine that mind itself is a source of knowledge, independent of sense-experience and that through reason alone is it possible to arrive at universal truths;
57. It also holds that the criterion of truth is not sensory but deductive. Rationalism is the basis of the philosophy of Descartes, Leibnitz and Spinoza.
58. Rationalism leads ultimately to the school of philosophy known as ‘idealism’, which holds that the external world is only a mental construct.
59. Opposed to rationalism is empiricism, which is the doctrine that all knowledge (including universal truths and laws) come from sense experience alone.
60. The natural product of empiricism is the school of philosophy known as ‘realism’, which holds that the external world is real and is independent of the human mind.
61. Let’s back track a little bit to keep continuity of what we are talking about. ‘Reason’, ‘rational’, ‘rationalism’, these are English words, which have specific connotations in Western thought and one should be careful in using them in discussions on Indian thought.
62. Let us first see the meaning of ‘rationalism’ in Western thought. In philosophy rationalism is the doctrine that mind itself is a source of knowledge, independent of sense-experience and that through reason alone is it possible to arrive at universal truths;
63. It also holds that the criterion of truth is not sensory but deductive. Rationalism leads ultimately to the school of philosophy known as ‘idealism’, which holds that the external world is only a mental Uncertainty Principle has shaken the foundations of rationalism.
64. Reasoning involves two processes. One is to form appropriate concepts through the process of abstraction. The next step is to interlink the concepts to form a logical system; this process is known as formalization.
65. Tarski showed that, if a theory of sufficiently rich content is formalized, it cannot be fully reflected in this formal system; an unascertained and unformalized residue always remains in a theory.
66. Kurt Godel generalized this principle in his celebrated theorem, which states that, if any logical system that includes arithmetic contained a proof of its own consistency, it would also contain a proof of its own inconsistency.
67. So far nobody has found out a theory of equation that explains everything – Vedantic equation तत् त्वं असि (That Thou Art). Every logical proposition needs for its proof another proposition which, in turn, needs yet another, and so reasoning is an endless process.
68. There is no popular word in Sanskrit, which precisely corresponds to the English word, reason, tarka, more or less in the sense of reasoning, and later Vedantins popularized the term, yukti, as in the praise श्रुति युक्ति अनुभव.
69. Another word commonly met with in this connection is विचार, but it really means not discursive reasoning but a discriminate opening of the buddhi into the Reality. In Western thought ‘reason’ is commonly used as a direct means of knowing universal truths.
70. But in Indian thought the corresponding word, tarka, is used only in two senses. One is inference and the other is with reference to the interpretation of scriptures. Indian logic recognizes two types of inference ‘अनुमान’ syllogistic inference and anlogical inference.
71. The former is more or less like the Western type of syllogism.
72. The analogical inference, ‘सामान्यतोर्ष्ठानुमान’, means, for example, from the observation that an effect like a pot requires an agent like the potter for its production, it is concluded that the world as an effect must have a causal agent like Easwara.
73. The science of interpretation of scriptures containing the cannons and rules of interpretation, is called hermeneutics. Hindu hermeneutics was developed by Mimaamsaka philosophers. All schools of Vedanta have adopted it with suitable modifications.
74. One of the important functions of reason is to explain phenomena on the basis of scriptural revelation. In other words, the second type of reasoning is nothing but applied hermeneutics. For Sankara, reasoning has no other value or use other than this.
75. As for independent personal reasoning, Sankara emphatically states in his commentary on Brahmasutra 2.1.11 as follows: I will give the Brahmasutra first in Sanskrit,
76. then its English meaning next and then Sankara Bhaashyam on this in Sanskrit quoting only the relevant portion (of his bhaashyam) followed by English translation.

77. तर्काप्रतिष्ठानादपि; अन्यथानुमेयमिति चेत्, एवमप्यनिर्मोक्षप्रसङ्गः ॥ ११ ॥
78. Also because reasoning has no sure basis (it cannot upset the conclusions of Vedanta).
79. If it be said that it should be reasoned otherwise (so as to get over this defect), (we say) even so there will result the contingency of non-release (from this defect, with respect to the matter in question).
80. I am now giving the complete Bhaashyam on this Sutra and following it an English translation which is compact. Those who can read and understand the Sanskrit bhaashyam will truly benefit, The English translation highlights my comments on reasoning.
81. इतश्च नागमगम्येऽर्थे केवलेन तर्केण प्रत्यवस्थातव्यम् ; यस्मान्निरागमाः पुरुषोत्प्रेक्षामात्रनिबन्धनास्तर्का अप्रतिष्ठिता भवन्ति, उत्प्रेक्षाया निरङ्कुशत्वात् ; तथा हि — कैश्चिदभियुक्तैर्यत्नेनोत्प्रेक्षितास्तर्का अभियुक्ततरैरन्यैराभास्यमाना दृश्यन्ते ;
82. तैरप्युत्प्रेक्षिताः सन्तस्ततोऽन्यैराभास्यन्त इति न प्रतिष्ठितत्वं तर्काणां शक्यमाश्रयितुम् , पुरुषमतिवैरूप्यात् । अथकस्यचित्प्रसिद्धमाहात्म्यस्य कपिलस्य अन्यस्य वा सम्मतस्तर्कः प्रतिष्ठित इत्याश्रीयेत —
83. एवमप्यप्रतिष्ठितत्वमेव, प्रसिद्धमाहात्म्याभिमतानामपि तीर्थकराणां कपिलकणभुक्प्रभृतीनांपरस्परविप्रतिपत्तिदर्शनात् ।
84. अथोच्येत — अन्यथा वयमनुमास्यामहे, यथा नाप्रतिष्ठादोषो भविष्यति ; न हि प्रतिष्ठितस्तर्क एव नास्तीति शक्यते वक्तुम् ; एतदपि हि तर्काणामप्रतिष्ठितत्वंतर्केणैव प्रतिष्ठाप्यते, केषाञ्चित्तर्काणामप्रतिष्ठितत्वदर्शनेनान्येषामपि तज्जातीयकानां तर्काणामप्रतिष्ठितत्वकल्पनात् ;
85. सर्वतर्काप्रतिष्ठायां च लोकव्यवहारोच्छेदप्रसङ्गः ; अतीतवर्तमानाध्वसाम्येन ह्यनागतेऽप्यध्वनि सुखदुःखप्राप्तिपरिहाराय प्रवर्तमानो लोको दृश्यते ; श्रुत्यर्थविप्रतिपत्तौ चार्थाभासनिराकरणेन सम्यगर्थनिर्धारणं तर्केणैववाक्यवृत्तिनिरूपणरूपेण क्रियते ;
86. मनुरपि चैवं मन्यते — ‘ प्रत्यक्षमनुमानं च शास्त्रं च विविधागमम् । त्रयं सुविदितं कार्यं धर्मशुद्धिमभीप्सता’ इति ‘ आर्षं धर्मोपदेशं च वेदशास्त्राविरोधिना । यस्तर्केणानुसन्धत्ते स धर्मं वेद नेतरः’ (मनु. स्मृ. १२ । १०५,१०६)
87. इति च ब्रुवन् । अयमेव च तर्कस्यालङ्कारः — यदप्रतिष्ठितत्वं नाम ; एवं हि सावद्यतर्कपरित्यागेन निरवद्यस्तर्कःप्रतिपत्तव्यो भवति ; न हि पूर्वजो मूढ आसीदित्यात्मनापि मूढेन भवितव्यमिति किञ्चिदस्ति प्रमाणम् ।
88. तस्मान्न तर्काप्रतिष्ठानं दोष इति चेत् — एवमप्यविमोक्षप्रसङ्गः ; यद्यपि क्वचिद्विषयेतर्कस्य प्रतिष्ठितत्वमुपलक्ष्यते, तथापि प्रकृते तावद्विषये प्रसज्यत एवाप्रतिष्ठितत्वदोषादनिर्मोक्षस्तर्कस्य ; न हीदमतिगम्भीरं भावयाथात्म्यं
89. मुक्तिनिबन्धनमागममन्तरेणोत्प्रेक्षितुमपि शक्यम् ; रूपाद्यभावाद्धि नायमर्थः प्रत्यक्षस्य गोचरः, लिङ्गाद्यभावाच्च नानुमानादीनामिति चावोचाम । अपि च सम्यग्ज्ञानान्मोक्ष इति सर्वेषां मोक्षवादिनामभ्युपगमः ; तच्च सम्यग्ज्ञानमेकरूपम् , वस्तुतन्त्रत्वात् ;
90. एकरूपेण ह्यवस्थितो योऽर्थः स परमार्थः ; लोके तद्विषयं ज्ञानं सम्यग्ज्ञानमित्युच्यते — यथाग्निरुष्ण इति ; तत्रैवं सति सम्यग्ज्ञाने पुरुषाणां विप्रतिपत्तिरनुपपन्ना ; तर्कज्ञानानांत्वन्योन्यविरोधात्प्रसिद्धा विप्रतिपत्तिः ;
91. यद्धि केनचित्तार्किकेणेदमेव सम्यग्ज्ञानमिति प्रतिष्ठापितम् , तदपरेण व्युत्थाप्यते ; तेनापि प्रतिष्ठापितं ततोऽपरेण व्युत्थाप्यत इति च प्रसिद्धं लोके ; कथमेकरूपानवस्थितविषयं तर्कप्रभवं सम्यग्ज्ञानं भवेत् ; न च प्रधानवादी तर्कविदामुत्तम इति सर्वैस्तार्किकैः परिगृहीतः,
92. येन तदीयं मतं सम्यग्ज्ञानमिति प्रतिपद्येमहि ; न चशक्यन्तेऽतीतानागतवर्तमानास्तार्किका एकस्मिन्देशे काले च समाहर्तुम् , येन तन्मतिरेकरूपैकार्थविषया सम्यङ्मतिरिति स्यात् ; वेदस्य तु नित्यत्वे विज्ञानोत्पत्तिहेतुत्वे च सतिव्यवस्थितार्थविषयत्वोपपत्तेः,
93. तज्जनितस्य ज्ञानस्य सम्यक्त्वमतीतानागतवर्तमानैः सर्वैरपि तार्किकैरपह्नोतुमशक्यम् ; अतः सिद्धमस्यैवौपनिषदस्य ज्ञानस्य सम्यग्ज्ञानत्वम् ; अतोऽन्यत्रसम्यग्ज्ञानत्वानुपपत्तेः संसाराविमोक्ष एव प्रसज्येत ।
94. अत आगमवशेन आगमानुसारितर्कवशेन च चेतनं ब्रह्म जगतः कारणं प्रकृतिश्चेति स्थितम् ॥ ११ ॥

95. What one man establishes through reason can be refuted by another more intelligent than he. Even a sage like Kapila is refuted by other sages like Kanada.
96. Hence reasoning having no sure basis cannot upset the conclusions of Vedanta, which are based on the Srutis. But, says the opponent, even this judgment about reasoning is arrived at through reasoning; so it is not true that reasoning has never a sure basis.
97. Sometimes it is perfectly sound. Only we must reason properly. The latter part of the Sutra says that even though in some cases reasoning is infallible, yet with respect to the matter in hand it cannot transcend this defect.
98. For the cause of the world (Brahman) is beyond the senses and has no characteristic signs. It cannot therefore be an object of perception, or of inference, which is based on perception.
99. Or again if we take ‘release’ in the Sutra to mean Liberation, it comes to this: True knowledge of a real thing depends on the thing itself, and therefore it is always uniform. Hence a conflict of views with respect to it is not possible.
100. But the conclusions of reasoning can never be uniform. The Sankhyas arrive through reasoning at the Pradhana as the First Cause, while the Naiyayikas (logicians) mention Paramanus (atoms) as that. Which to accept?
101. So no conclusion can be arrived at through reasoning independent of the scriptures, and since the truth cannot be known through this means, there will be no Liberation.
102. Therefore reasoning which goes against the scriptures is no proof of knowledge and cannot contradict the Sruti texts.

103. I know today's stream is tedious but true student of Sankara & Advaita Vedanta would find it delightful. Pl. bear with me & read these diligently.
104. Let's continue describing Adi Sankara.

105. According to Sankara, reasoning should be based on scriptures, श्रुतिअनुग्रहीत. In commenting on passage in केनोपनिषद वाक्य, he says that the purpose of reasoning is to make scriptural meaning certain निश्चय, for ourselves.
106. If this is what reasoning means –logical interpretation of scriptures– Advaita cannot be claimed to be more rational than the other schools. The real strength of Advaita lies not in its dialectics but in its larger scriptural foundation and greater openness to Reality.
107. Is reason a direct and independent means to the highest spiritual realization? Could anyone realize Brahman merely to the exercise of the reasoning faculty? Sankara’s answer is a categorical ‘No’.
108. According to him the Atman can be known by no means other than the Upanishads. (Sankara’s commentary on Br. U. 3.9.26 - उपनिषत्स्वेव विज्ञेयः नान्यप्रमाणगम्यः).
109. He explains, ‘For this very profound mystery concerning the reality of the world and leading to liberation, cannot even guessed without the help of the Vedas. For, this entity is not an object of perception, as it is devoid of forms etc.
110. And it is not subject to inference being devoid of all grounds of inference etc. But like religious injections, this Atman is known from scriptures alone.
111. Reasoning has a place in self-realization but only as a subsidiary means and the basis of Sankara’s methodology is faith – faith in scriptures, faith in Dharma, faith in Easwara.
112. In this regard his position is not much different from that of the teachers of the other schools of Vedanta, Like all other schools of Vedanta, Advaita too is essentially a religious philosophy and a practical discipline for the direct experience of transcendental Reality.
113. This does not, however, mean that Advaita has only a spiritual value or has relevance only in religious context. There are two universal principles in the methodology of Advaita, which make it highly versatile and a flexible framework.
114. The first principle is that the particular is explained by the general, the general by the more general, until we come to the universal. This is actually the principle of inductive reasoning.
115. In Advaita, ‘one begins the study of Being with the irrefutable experience of one’s own ‘I’.
116. Then, by the process of desuperimposition, larger and larger dimensions of the self are attained until one reaches the infinite, absolute Brahman, which is the highest generalization of Being possible. The second principle is what Western philosophers call Naturalism.
117. It holds that the explanation of a phenomenon must be sought within the system. Of which the phenomenon is a part, and not outside the system.
118. It should be noted here that this principle of Naturalism is inherent in all the schools of Vedanta, as they all accept Easwara as the immanent Supreme Self ‘अन्तर्यामिन् ‘of the universe.
119. But, except Advaita, all other schools conceive the supreme self as an anthropomorphic deity and this restricts their scope. The impersonal outlook of Advaita makes it universally acceptable.
120. Advaita as a philosophy, became popular and overshadowed all the other systems and schools of philosophy in India. We have discussed some of the wrong notions, which this popularization produced.
121. In recapitulation it may be pointed out that many of the well known concepts such as Brahman, अज्ञान, सत्-चित-आनन्द, Self-Realization etc., are not exclusive feature of Advaita but are shared by all schools of Vedanta.
122. All schools of Vedanta accept certain tenets of like the divinity of aatman, liberation through the direct experience of the union of the Atman with Brahman and the basic solidarity of the universe.
123. This last doctrine means, among other things, the oneness of matter and energy (Is anyone reminded of Nityananda whom they got great pleasure in ridiculing from their abysmal ignorance?) the immanence and transcendence of Easwara,
124. who is both the material, ‘उपादान’ and the efficient, ‘निमित्त’ cause of the universe and the cyclic theory of creation.

125. What, then, are the unique principles of Vedanta, which distinguish it from other schools of Vedanta?
126. What are the primary dialectical principles with which the philosophical edifice of Advaita has been built? We are here chiefly concerned with the original theories, on which Sankara based his dialectics.
127. What is concerned in Sankara’s exhaustic commentaries on the basic triple texts ‘प्रस्थानत्रय’ i.e. the Upanishad, Brahma Sutra, and Bhagavatgita may be briefly sketched under the following five principles:
128. Existence of the Self: - (1) The starting point for Sankara is the indubitable experience of ‘I’ Consciousness. It is, however, important to note Sankara’s reference to this experience usually contains a qualifying clause.
129. According to him, the existence of one’s self is self-evident, स्वयंसिद्द but the Real Nature of the self is not self-evident. These two points need careful treatment.
130. (2) The argument offered by Advaitins to prove the existence of the self, Aatman, is similar to the famous argument of Descartes; ‘cogito ergo sum; I think, therefore I exist. Advaitins would reverse this statement; ‘sum, ergo cogito’; I exist, therefore I think.
131. The most primary, basic and intimate of human experience is the awareness of one’s own existence. One can never doubt the existence of one’s self; for, it itself is the doubter of the doubt.
132. Another experience, which is equally self-evident, is the unchanging persistence of ‘I’. The ‘I’ is the common denominator of all thoughts, experiences and expressions. It gives continuity to human existence.
133. ‘I’ was a boy, ‘I’ am now a young man, ‘I’ will soon be an old man – to have this kind of experience or thought, there must be an unchanging ‘I’.
134. Sankara, therefore, says, ‘It is not possible to deny such a self; for, only an adventitious thing can be repudiated but not one’s own nature. The self constitutes the very nature of the person, who would deny the self. Fire cannot cancel its own heat.
135. Thus, when a man says, ‘It is I myself who know the present object now, it is I who knew the past and the remote past and it is I who shall know the future and the remote future’,
136. it is seen that, though the object to be known has different modes varying with the past, present and future, the knower remains unchanged. {यावद्विकारं तु विभागो लोकवत् ॥ ७ ॥ (BS 2.3.7) (But in all effects whatsoever (there is) separateness, as (is seen) in the world.)
137. Sankara’s commentary ‘…न चेदृशस्य निराकरणं सम्भवति ; आगन्तुकं हि वस्तु निराक्रियते, न स्वरूपम् ; य एव हि निराकर्ता तदेव तस्य स्वरूपम् ;
138. न ह्यग्नेरौष्ण्यमग्निना निराक्रियते ; तथा अहमेवेदानीं जानामि वर्तमानं वस्तु, अहमेवातीतमतीततरंचाज्ञासिषम् , अहमेवानागतमनागततरं च ज्ञास्यामि, इत्यतीतानागतवर्तमानभावेनान्यथाभवत्यपि ज्ञातव्ये न ज्ञातुरन्यथाभावोऽस्ति, सर्वदा वर्तमानस्वभावत्वात् |…”}
139. So then, two experiences of our ‘I’ are self-evident and need no other proof, its existence and its unchanging continuity. But what is the real nature of the ‘I’? Is it also self-evident? Does everyone know his own real nature? No, states Sankara categorically.
140. The vast majority of people can know only they exist, that they are so and so and they want such and such etc., nothing more about themselves. If everyone knew his real nature as pure Aatman, there would have been no problem in the world.
141. If the real nature of the self as the Aatman were self-evident, says Sankara, there would have been no ‘divergence of opinion among the different schools.
142. Were the existence of the self in a future body a matter of perception, the materialists and Buddhists would not stand opposed to us, saying there is no self. For, nobody disputes regarding an object of perception such as a pot saying, ‘it does not exist’.
143. (Part of Sankara’s introduction to his bhaashyam on BrihadaaraNyakopanishad is reproduced below),
144. तत्प्रत्यक्षविषयमेवेति चेत् , न ; वादिविप्रतिपत्तिदर्शनात् । न हि देहान्तरसम्बन्धिन आत्मनः प्रत्यक्षेणास्तित्वविज्ञाने लोकायतिका बौद्धाश्च नः प्रतिकूलाः स्युः नास्त्यात्मेति वदन्तः । न हि घटादौ प्रत्यक्षविषये कश्चिद्विप्रतिपद्यते, नास्ति घट इति ।)
145. We will continue with the gloss on Adi Sankara tomorrow.
146. Let me continue the परिचय of Sri Adi Sankara.
147. (3) It should be remembered that Buddhist philosophers attribute the cause of all suffering to the wrong belief in the reality of the self and through careful logical analysis, try to prove ostensibly the non-existence of Aatman, soullessness, नैरात्म्यक.
148. In the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, the conception of self never attained a high degree of development. There is a good deal of vagueness regarding the nature of the self in the writings of Western philosophers and psychologists.
149. Even in Hinduism different systems of philosophy hold different views on the nature of the Aatman, though they all accept the Aatman as the self. All this shows that the real nature of the human soul cannot be known through ordinary means.
150. How then, can we know it? Only through the revealed scripture, specifically the Upanishads; this is Sankara’s unambiguous answer. This does not, however, mean that Sankara underrates the importance of direct realization of the true Aatman,
151. But for him this higher experience is the ultimate goal of human life and, therefore, belong to the realm of values ‘Purushaartha’. It is not the starting point.
152. An aspirant bent on discovering the true nature of the Aatman can start his journey with only two indubitable pieces of knowledge; his ‘I’ consciousness and the intellectual or verbal knowledge of the Aatman gained from the scriptures.
153. Though the real nature of Aatman can be known only from Scriptures, all the statements in the Scriptures do not directly deal with it.
154. The Mimaamsaa – Vedanta tradition classifies vedic statements into three groups: विधि i (injunctions) अर्थवाद , (eulogy and explanations) and ज्ञानवाक्या or वेदान्त-वाक्या (statements about the nature of Brahman). The Advaita school is chiefly concerned with the last group.
155. This group again consists of three kinds of statements: (a) ब्रह्मेतर-निराकरण-वाक्या, the famous negative phrases, neti neti, (not this, not this), which differentiates Brahman from everything that is not Brahman, belong to this category.
156. (b) जीव-ब्रह्मैक्य-उपदेस-वाक्या. The four well-known mahaavaakyaa like Tat-tvam-asi (That thou art) etc., which speak of the unity of individual self and the Supreme Self, belong to this group.
157. (c) ब्रह्म-स्वरूप-निरूपण-वाक्या, include those definitions, which indicate the nature of Brahman. These are of two types: indirect and direct.
158. Indirect definition (तटस्थ लक्षण) points to some characteristics, which are not intrinsic to Brahman but, nevertheless, serve as its distinguishing marks.
159. The statement, ‘Brahman is that from which all these beings originate, in which they live and into which they return’ (यतो वा इमानि भूतानि जायन्ते । - Tai. Up 3.1.1.), is an example of this.
160. Direct definition (स्वरूप लक्षण) points to the intrinsic characteristics of Brahman such as ‘Truth, Knowledge, Infinity, is Brahman’ (सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म – Tai. Up. 2.1.1.)
161. (ii) The real nature of the self:- We have seen that, according to Sankara, though the existence of the self is self-evident to everyone, its real nature can be known only from Scriptures. What do the Scriptures say about the real nature of the self?
162. This is one of the vital questions which divide the different schools of Vedanta. The fact of the Brahma Sutras devote no less than 38 aphorisms (BS 2.3.26 to 53) to this discussion, shows the importance attached to the nature of the self in Hindu philosophy.
163. Advaitins emphasize two chief characteristics of the self. One is consciousness, cit or caitanya, or intelligence or प्राज्ञया.
164. Some schools of Indian philosophy, especially the Nyaaya – Vaiseshika, hold that Aatman is a substance, द्रव्य, whereas the knowledge or intelligence is a quality, गुण, inheriting in it.
165. But according to Advaitins (and also the Samkya School), Aatman is not merely conscious or intelligent but is Consciousness itself – is nothing but pure intelligence.
166. The second characteristic of the self is its inseparable oneness with the Absolute Reality, known as Brahman. This identity implies two things. One is that it denies the plurality of selves.
167. Secondly, it means that Consciousness is an undivided whole and the Absolute Reality is nothing but Consciousness. This takes us to the third important principle of Advaita.
168. (iii) Objectless Reality:- (1) Consciousness is associated only with the subject, Hence if the whole Reality is nothing but Consciousness, it means that there is no such thing as an object.
169. A similar view has been held by the school of Buddhism, known as योगाचार, (a sort of subjective idealism), according to which विज्ञान, knowledge, alone is real and all objects are unreal.
170. Sankara has refuted this Buddhist view as follows:-

नाभावः, उपलब्धेः ॥ (Brahma Sutra 2.2.28)

Non-existence (of things external) is not (true), on account of their being experienced.
171. From this Sutra begins the refutation of the Idealists among the Bauddhas, according to whom only ideas exist and nothing else.
172. According to them the external world is nonexistent. Does it mean that the objective world is absolutely non-existent like the horns of a hare, or does it mean that it is unreal even as the world seen in a dream is unreal.
173. The Sutra refutes the former view. In that case we could not have experienced it. The external world is an object of experience through the senses and cannot therefore be altogether non-existent like the horns of a hare.
174. The Buddhist may say that he does not affirm that he is conscious of no object, but only that what is seen in his consciousness alone shines as something external.
175. But then the very nature of consciousness itself proves the existence of external things different from consciousness, for men are conscious of things or objects of perception, and nobody is conscious of his perception merely.
176. The very fact that the Bauddhas say that the internal cognition appears ‘as something external’ shows that the external world is real. If it were not real, the comparison ‘like something external’ would be meaningless.
177. No one says that Devadatta is like the son of a barren woman. There are two points of difference between the views of yogacara (of Bauddhas) and Advaita (of Sankara) on objectivity.
178. In the first place, the Buddhist school denies the reality of external objects even at the empirical level, whereas Advaita denies it only at the transcendental level.
179. Secondly Yogacara regards external objects as absolutely unreal, whereas Advaita regards them as only apparently unreal; for, behind them, there is the Reality of Consciousness.
180. We will continue with the gloss on Adi Sankara tomorrow.
181. Let me continue my pravachanam on Adi Sankara.

182. (The reason why Buddhists have to hold this view different from the Advaitins is because they deny that there exists a Transcendental Reality.
183. So they have to opt to deny the object at the empirical level because it where they can tell you the objects you are seeing do not exist by resorting to मायावादं.)
184. (2) It was to counter the Yogacara view that Sankara adopted the theory of the two levels of truth - पारमार्थिक सत्ता (Absolute Reality) and व्यवहारिक सत्ता (empirical reality) –
185. which had been propounded earlier by Nagarjuna, the founder of Maadhyaamika school of Buddhism. At the Absolute level, Consciousness is non-dual and free from subject-object dichotomy.
186. (3) The argument that the Advaitin uses to prove this, is based on the principle of self-luminosity, स्वयंप्रकाशत्वा, of Consciousness, accepted by all Vedantins (and Samkya philosophy).
187. But therte are basic differences in the way this doctrine is understood. According to the other schools, self-luminosity means that knowledge, when it manifests an object, does not itself require anything else to manifest it.
188. The function of knowledge is to reveal an object. When knowledge reveals an object, it does not require to be revealed by another knowledge, knowledge reveals itself as well as the object.
189. Advaitins accept this meaning of स्वयंप्रकाशत्वा as only partially true. According to them, Consciousness is self-luminous in the sense that it can never at any time become the object of another knowledge.
190. Citsukhaacaarya puts it, ‘Self-luminosity is the capability of being called immediate in empirical usage, while remaining at the same time a non-object of knowledge.’
191. (4) Samkya philosophers had shown earlier that, since Consciousness is associated only with the subject, anything that is an object must be unconscious, जड. Advaitins adopted this view.
192. An object can be known only through the subject, that is the self. So, these two are entirely different from each other. Sankara makes this very first point, to begin his great exposition of Brahma-sutra. He says:
193. युष्मदस्मत्प्रत्ययगोचरयोर्विषयविषयिणोस्तमःप्रकाशवद्विरुद्धस्वभावयोरितरेतरभावानुपपत्तौ सिद्धायाम् , तद्धर्माणामपि सुतरामितरेतरभावानुपपत्तिः इति|
194. (Since it is evident that the object and the subject, which are the contents of the concepts ‘you’ and ‘we’ (respectively) and
195. which are by nature as contradictory as light and darkness, cannot logically have any identity, it follows that their attributes can have still less identity.)
196. (iv) Impermanence and Unreality:- (1) Till now our discussion has been centered on the subject. We now turn to the fourth cardinal tenet of Advaita, which deals with the objective world.
197. From time immemorial every saint and philosopher has pointed out the constantly changing and impermanent nature of the objective world and it does not require much reasoning to be convinced of this fact.
198. But Sankara saw something more in impermanence. He equated with unreality; whatever is impermanent, अनित्य, is unreal, असत्य. This अनित्य-असत्य equation was a startling new concept introduced into Vedantic thought and it altered the whole conception of reality.
199. All Vedantic teachers accept the impermanence of the world as axiomatic but none of them except Sankara and his followers, equate it with unreality.
200. (2) The dialectic behind this equation had already been developed before Sankara. Nagarjuna and his followers had used change and contradiction as a means of proving the unreality of the world.
201. Later on, the Mimaamsaka used non-contradiction as a test of truth. Since, for Advaitins, knowledge (consciousness) and Reality are one and the same, it was easy for them to use non-contradiction (अबाधितत्व) as the test of reality.
202. Reality is that which is not sublated or negated at any time (past, present,future) and in any state (waking, dreaming, deep sleep).
203. ‘True Knowledge’ says Dharmaraja Advarindra, ‘is the knowledge of the uncontradicted object - अबाधितार्थ विषयकज्ञानं, प्रमा (Vedaanta Paribhaashaa). The Aatman alone satisfies this condition and so the Aatman alone is real.
204. (v) Superimposition and Maayaa:- We now come to the last and most important principle of Advaita philosophy. But, before taking it up, it is necessary to recapitulate the main points so far discussed:-
205. (a) The existence of the self is self-evident but the real nature of the self can be known only from the Upanishads.

206. (b) According to the Upanishads, the self in its real nature is pure Consciousness and is identical with the Absolute Reality.
207. (c) Pure Consciousness is ever the subject and so the Absolute Reality is never objective.

208. (d) The objective world is impermanent and whatever is impermanent is unreal.
209. These were the fundamental presuppositions, which gave rise to Advaita as a system of philosophy.
210. The ground was now ready for Sankara to make a great leap, to take the most crucial and revolutionary step, ever attempted in the history of Indian thought after the Vedic period – his formulation of the concept of अद्यास (or अध्यारोप) superimposition.
211. (2) What is superimposition? Sankara himself asks this question and answers, “ स्मृतिरूपः परत्र पूर्वदृष्टावभासः । तं केचित् अन्यत्रान्यधर्माध्यास इति वदन्ति । केचित्तु यत्र यदध्यासः तद्विवेकाग्रहनिबन्धनो भ्रमइति ।
212. अन्ये तु यत्र यदध्यासः तस्यैव विपरीतधर्मत्वकल्पनामाचक्षते । सर्वथापि तु अन्यस्यान्यधर्मावभासतां न व्यभिचरति । तथा च लोकेऽनुभवः — शुक्तिका हिरजतवदवभासते, एकश्चन्द्रः सद्वितीयवदिति ॥
213. “ (Superimposition is the apparent manifestation, in the form of memory, of something ‘previously observed in some other thing’).
214. Sankara mentions three different interpretations of the definition prevalent during his time, and concludes that all are agreed on the fact that superimposition is the
215. ‘appearance of one thing as something else’ – like the mother of pearl appearing as silver, or like a rope appearing as a snake in the dark. Brahman alone is real but the world somehow appears in it. This is the advaitic superimposition.
216. (3) Two important points are to be kept in mind in this context; otherwise, this concept is likely to lead to gross misunderstanding. The first point to note is that the superimposition of the world takes place in the self, not outside.
217. The rope-snake example may give the impression that superimposition is an external phenomenon, taking place somewhere out there in the space. The real ‘rope’ is not outside but inside the self.
218. It is in the Self that the world appears, and only through self-knowledge can man dispel the illusion. No amount of study or external investigation can sublate the world unless one’s own consciousness is transformed.
219. The second point is that this superimposition upon the self is itself unreal. Nay, it is something impossible, says Sankara. Why is it impossible?
220. Because, as already mentioned, the subject and the object can never be the same and so no identity of the attributes of the two is possible.
221. Sankara says, “अस्मत्प्रत्ययगोचरे विषयिणि चिदात्मके युष्मत्प्रत्ययगोचरस्य विषयस्य तद्धर्माणां चाध्यासः तद्विपर्ययेण विषयिणस्तद्धर्माणां च विषयेऽध्यासो मिथ्येति भवितुं युक्तम् । “
222. (Therefore, the superimposition of the object (indicated by ‘you’) and its attributes should be impossible.
223. But Sankara adds, “तथाप्यन्योन्यस्मिन्नन्योन्यात्मकतामन्योन्यधर्मांश्चाध्यस्येतरेतराविवेकेन अत्यन्तविविक्तयोर्धर्मधर्मिणोः मिथ्याज्ञाननिमित्तः सत्यानृते मिथुनीकृत्य ‘अहमिदम्’ ‘ममेदम्’ इतिनैसर्गिकोऽयं लोकव्यवहारः “
224. (Nevertheless for want of discrimination between the attributes, as also between the substances, which are absolutely different from each other, human beings continue to identify the subject and the object and say
225. ‘I am this’, or ‘this is mine; the mixing up of truth and error is caused by false knowledge.) So, then, the mixing up of the subject and the object is a logical impossibility. Nevertheless, we find this happening constantly in empirical life. What does this mean?
226. It means the superimposition is simply a natural existential phenomenon, which is beyond logic, is irrational and instinctive. It is to account for this most common but mysterious phenomenon that Sankara brought in the concept of Maayaa.
227. For him Maayaa is the inscrutable divine power of Easwara, which keeps people deluded. This is clear from the well known rhetorical passage in his commentary on the Kathopanishad.
228. “ अहो अतिगम्भीरा दुरवगाह्या विचित्रा चेयं माया, यदयं सर्वो जन्तुः परमार्थतः परमार्थसतत्त्वोऽप्येवं बोध्यमानोऽहं परमात्मेति न गृह्णाति, अनात्मानं देहेन्द्रियादिसङ्घातमात्मनो दृश्यमानमपि घटादिवदात्मत्वेनाहममुष्य पुत्र इत्यनुच्यमानोऽपि गृह्णाति ।
229. नूनं परस्यैव मायया मोमुह्यमानः सर्वो लोकोऽयं बम्भ्रमीति | “ (‘Oh, how unfathomable, inscrutable and strange is this Maayaa owing to which every creature, though in reality identical with the supreme Entity and though instructed as such,
230. does not grasp the fact, ‘I am the Supreme Self’; whereas even without being told, he accepts as his self the non-selves, ‘I am the son of so and so…’ Verily, deluded by Maayaa of the Supreme Being, all people are wandering.)
231. It is this sense of mysterious power (and not the material cause of the universe, as it was made out later on) that Sankara has used the term, Maayaa in his commentary on Brahmasutra.
232. In the hands of post-Sankara dialecticians the concept of Maayaa underwent several changes, and superimposition, which for Sankara was an existential phenomenon to be confronted in the depth of one’s soul, became a pure logical issue.
233. Some of the basic principles on which the philosophy of Advaita was originally established by Sankara, have been stated briefly.
234. He is the perennial spring of this great thought and all those who wish to know what Advaita truly means, must go direct to that original source to renew the spiritual experience of non-dual self-awareness in one’s own Atman.
235. Today's exposition on Sankara reveals his quintessential teaching. I ask serious readers to go through this several times and meditate on these to have full grasp.
236. I will write the concluding words on this great treatise tomorrow.
237. Hinduism signifies both a vision and a quest. The vision inspires and sustains the quest, giving it an orientation and leading it towards a final consummation. The heritage of Hinduism is at once a heritage of thought as well as aspiration and attainment.
238. The substance of its significance is conveyed by its twin concepts of Veda-Vedanta which connotes both religion and philosophy in a fundamental sense.
239. The great honor and importance justly due to Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta system may be inferred from the following statement of Lowes Dickinson,
240. ‘The real antithesis is not between European philosophy and Indian system but between Advaita on the one hand and the rest of the world’s philosophical systems on the other.
241. Tradition conserves the past and steadies the pace of progress without arresting or counteracting it. Systematized by reason and reflection, the authority of tradition is made to carry conviction as प्रमाण (i.e. a standard for value) to the Hindu mind.
242. The original source of the Hindu tradition lies in the Vedic lore, in the Veda no less than in the Upanishads, containing in themselves the rarest and most profound intimations of the spirit.
243. The Veda and Upanishads are aglow throughout with the radiance of the true seership.

244. The concept of Veda-Vedanta reveals the need for an integration of practical activity with metaphysical reflection and mystical intuition.
245. It establishes the significance of a synthesis between action and reflection or meditation in terms of spirituality.
246. It shows also that the essence of religion never got isolated from philosophy in India and that the way of life commended in Hinduism, is illumined directly by the light of wisdom and truth.
247. Vedanta is no mere exercise in theoretical metaphysics any more than Veda is just a ritualistic religion inspired by dogma and meaninglessly meticulous in its conformities. Indeed, there are Vedantic echoes that reverberate in the heart of Veda.
248. Vedic utterances are surcharged with mystic power and meaning, and they reflect awakened man’s earliest intuitions. The vedic man, too, has had his initial vision of the highest truth, of the ultimately real and supremely worthy.
249. Vedic religion is a self-complete spectrum, comprehending a whole range from the grossest and most superficial to the subtlest and most mystical, in doctrine and practice. It has something to offer to the earnest seeker at all level.
250. But neither ritualism nor naturalism nor any kind of naïve symbolism would suffice to bring out the profounder aspects of vedic religion. The Veda themselves provide a clue, revealing the necessity for a transition to Vedanta.
251. Vedic deities are powers and personalities of the Universal God-head. Vedic imagery is not intended to falsify ‘the many’ but to utilize it in the comprehension of the ‘the one’.
252. The Vedic God has, of course, his ‘nature aspect’ but naturalism is far to inadequate to explain vedic theology. It is obvious from every point of view that the Veda are no less significant to the thought and tradition of Hinduism than the Upanishads or Bhagavat Gita.
253. As Sri Aurobindo would remind us, ‘We can no longer enshrine the Veda in the folds of an ignorant reverence or guard it by a pious self-deceit. The keynote of philosophy is the quest for truth, although the same truth may be articulated in a variety of ways.
254. The synthesis of religion and philosophy which the veda-vedanta blend accomplishes, demonstrates how the philosopher’s quest for truth fulfils itself in the mystic’s experience of the Divine.
255. Whether we tread the path of philosophy or of that religion, our aim is to reach the summit that rises in the realm of spirituality. The quest for Truth is also the quest for Peace and Perfection.
256. And the highest truth in the tradition of thought of Hinduism, is that which liberates and perfects man even as it illumines and enlightens him.’ And Advaita Vedanta has been enshrining that Truth continuously for these about fifty centuries.
257. Vedanta is in its own way highly scientific with its precise goal, methodology and investigation.
258. The great principles of Advaita Vedanta have attracted the imagination of many of the scientists and they have appreciated them highly for its holistic outlook, giving primacy to spirit over matter.
259. Its cosmological and spiritual conclusions are based on investigation and demonstrable principles, which lift Vedanta from mere theology to a spiritual science.
260. Modern materialistic science is gradually veering round and there may be a paradigm shift to accommodate consciousness in its world view.
261. In that event, there is every possibility of each supplementing the other in understanding the nature of manifestation of the ultimate Reality more completely at all levels.
262. As the Gita puts it, “ क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत । क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम ॥ २ ॥ (The knowledge of the whole field of experience, both internal and external, and that of the knower of the field, is true complete knowledge.”13.2)
263. In the final analysis, what is determinative of theory, in science or philosophy or religion for that matter, its rise and decline, is our conviction regarding the nature of things;
264. in the language of the debate between Einstein and the Quantum Physicists – whether or not God plays dice?
265. When belief or conviction is spoken of in this context, it does not mean mere emotional fervor attached to this or that end;
266. it stands for that fiduciary power, which stems from the immanent force of a presenced – that which is present – reality and is an attribute of that reality itself. It has an upanishadic ring. The word, Upanishad comes Upani-shad, meaning ‘near down sit’.
267. It means sitting down near the teacher to receive instruction. The seemingly different attitudes of Einstein and others referred to, indicate but a firm faith to know the yet unknown by trying to sit near it as much as possible.
268. To dismiss such a faith either learnedly or superciliously as mere subjectivism or glorified solipsism, is highly improper.
269. We have examined some aspects of modern science and ancient Vedanta. It reveals, on the part of the scientific method an overemphasis on objective side. As for Advaita Vedanta in its current phase, its acute logic and epistemology have almost kidnapped Brahman itself!
270. Maayaa or superimposition, for Sankara, was an existential phenomenon to be confronted in the depth of one’s soul, instead of being argued about endlessly as a logical issue. Caution and circumspection are called for on both sides.
271. For monomania, lurking in the wings, may pounce upon both Physics and Metaphysics and make short work of both.

272. This ends my gloss on my treatise on Adi Sankara.
273. @threader_app Pl. compile ! Thanks!
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