Tuesday, 25 October 2016

A Method of Enlightening the Disciple Upadesa Sahasri (5)

43. When ignorance is uprooted with the aid of the Sruti, Smriti and reasoning, the one-pointed intellect of the seer of the supreme Truth becomes established in the one Self which is of the nature of pure Consciousness like a (homogeneous) lump of salt, all-pervading like the ether, which is without the interior and exterior, unborn and is within and without. Even the slightest taint of impurity due to the diversity of ends, means, evolution, dissolution and the rest is, therefore, not reasonable.
(Upadesa Sahasri Chap.1: Para.43)

It is the mention of the Sruti (Scripture) and Smriti (exegesis) that has given rise to the notion that Sankara is primarily a theologian and not a philosopher and that the bit of philosophy he does is cancelled out by his acceptance of the incorrigibilty of scripture. He holds that scripture is an evidence (sabda pramana) on a par with others such as perception, evidence etc. The verbal testimony of the divine sages delivered by the Vedas is authoritative. Sankara in the view of many in the academy is not an epistemic peer. Stick your thumbs in your ears and waggle your fingers when you say that. A couple of years ago this was thrashed out. My observations on it are here:philosopher or theologian

The original post that sparked the discussion:
sankara is a theologian

That quote above is from the last paragraph of the first chapter entitled A Method of Enlightening the Disciple. Please note that it is ‘a method’ and not ‘the method’. It draws primarily on sruti and smriti with extensive quotations from the scripture. (a free download of the text can be got at :
Upadesa Sahasri
In the next chapter entitled The Knowledge of the Changeless and Non-Dual Self a greater emphasis will be laid on the reasoning element.

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