Newark or Trenton? 
I gotta know to avoid the stink.

---In, <> wrote:

 "However, which part of the universe would be Brahman’s ass-hole?"

  New Jersey

---In, <> wrote:

 TeaParty: If you ask a traditionalist like Dayananda, he will deny that Ramana 
had reached the highest level, because he didn't really learn the vedantic 
scriptures, like the Brahma Sutras, from an authorized teacher!
 Ramana was at the intersection of Traditional Vedanta and Neo-Vedanta. He 
emphasized the importance of “experience” (neo-vedanta) along with yoga 
(atma-vichara). All that places him in the lineage of Yogic-Advaita 
(Vidyaranya, et al.) and not in Shankara’s traditional method. Both Dayananda 
and Swartz explain the teachings of Shankara while still maintaining a clear 
demarcation of them from the yoga-darshana. Shankara considered the purpose of 
yoga to be creating purity of heart and clarification of the intellect in 
preparation for âtma-jñâna.
 TeaParty: Kevala Advaita, mark my words, is not a philosophy, it is just a 
teaching device. And it is not complete in itself. To say that the world is 
maya, unreal, and then urge people to follow this teaching, in order to save 
them from this very maya, is a contradiction in itself.
 Maya means measuring. For Shankara, Maya connotes the veil of appearances that 
seem to measure the immeasurable. "Maya" is appearances presenting themselves 
as independent. What is it that Maya actually measures? It measures the 
distinction between appearances and reality (Brahman). In truth, the doctrine 
of Maya simply says that anything that seems different from Brahman (and thus 
stands on its own) does not do so but rather presents a distorted picture of 
Brahman itself. However, for your part you are simply spouting off the same old 
misunderstandings of Advaita (such as Ramanuja’s claim that “mayavada is a 
doctrine of illusion”). For Ramanuja himself, the world (jagat) is eternally 
existent as a part of the body (sharira) of Brahman. Such nice speculation. 
However, which part of the universe would be Brahman’s ass-hole? 
 TeaParty: What Swartz misses is that in traditional Advaita, there are two 
types of knowledge, higher and lower. Traditionally, the lower knowledge is the 
Veda, the Higher is the Vedanta, the end of the Veda. Now you, and he, 
juxtapose yoga/meditation to Vedanta. Wrong, according to tradition you have to 
go through the lower knowledge, in olden times the vedic rituals, so that you 
are purified enough, to receive the higher knowledge, the Vedanta.
 Shankara’s commentary on BS I.ii.21 points out that the divisions into lower 
and higher knowledge (vidya) are according to the results of each particular 
knowledge. To give a synopsis: karma-vidya is for prosperity and felicity while 
jñâna-vidya is for freedom/liberation. The karma-vidya of the Rg-veda deals 
with the elements of the yajña along with the roles of the sacrificial 
officiants. Consequently, it is upon this very sacrifice that they place their 
faith for obtaining the bliss of the heavens. This in spite of the obvious – 
that all the constituents (and the sacrificers themselves) are perishable 
because of their fragility. This ignorantly misplaced reliance upon the hope of 
heavenly bliss only results in repeated old age and death. Thus, the 
karma-vidya can only commence the entry towards the jñâna-vidya and presents 
itself to eulogize the ultimacy of the higher knowledg. Those who are competent 
for the higher vidya are those who reject the necessity of the karma-vidya 
because of its transience. Examining the higher worlds acquired by this lower 
knowledge, they realize that everything which exists at all is a result of 
karma. Thus recognized, they think … “What then is the need to make even more 
karma?” The defect thus identified, they approach a teacher for instruction on 
liberation from bondage to appearances and knowledge of the actual nature of 
freedom. This is the opposite of your claim.
 TeaParty: For example the more devotional or yogic passages in the Upanishads. 
Aurobindo, in his own commentary on the Upanishad pointed this out, as well as 
the Vaishanvic Acharyas like Ramanuja et al. 
 Apparently you haven’t read Shankara’s Bhagavad Gita Bhasya, much less studied 
it. It is the oldest extant commentary and free of the schema of later 
commentaries and their divisions into karma/jñâna/bhakti. That includes MMY’s 
own triple division. What Shankara discusses are the two nishtaa-s (resolute 
observances) of karma and jñâna. Bhakti is not seen in the Gita as a separate 
observance because it is considered intrinsically present. Thus Vedic orthodoxy 
did not envision considering bhakti as an independent viewpoint - whether for 
exegesis of Gita texts or observance of karma and jñâna.
 BTW: In the Taittiriya Upanishad Bhashya 2.2, Shankara says: 
Sarveśāṃ cādhikāro vidyāyāṃ ca śreyaḥ kevalayā vidyāyā veti siddhaṃ – It has 
been established that everyone has the right to the knowledge (of Brahman) and 
that the supreme goal is attained by that knowledge alone.


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