Friday, 26 December 2014

Ripe and Unripe Advaita


He who thinks that liberation is something that has to be literally ‘produced’ has in mind a ‘liberation’ that would depend on action of body, speech or mind. The same is true of those who think that the soul has to undergo transformation to become the Absolute. Liberation as conceived in both these views would necessarily be impermanent. (B.S.B. I.i.4)

Nor does liberation depend on action in the form of purification (samskara). Purification is brought about through conferring some new attribute on the thing to be purified, or else removing a defect. But in the case of liberation it is not possible to confer a new attribute. For liberation is the Absolute in its true nature to which nothing can be superadded. Nor can there be purification through removal of defects. For liberation is the Absolute in its true nature, eternally pure and free from defects. (B.S.B. I.i.4)
(from The Method of Vedanta by Swami Satchidanandendraa pg.167)

Presumption is both a method and a danger in advaita. Liberation being our natural state should require no recourse to means. That’s true but as a practical balance to no scales no weights there is the procedure of adhiropa/apavada (attribution and retraction) which is a progressive elimination of false views and the view that there are no views. When Vivekananda met Ramakrishna for the first time he spouted pure advaita to the Master. ‘True enough’, he was told,’ but not for you who are still green and unripe’. (from memory)

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