These essays formed the core of the discussion on ‘The Real and the Unreal’ on the Advaitin Egroup July – August 2004. There are nine essays, which will be followed by a summary and glossary. There is a large amount of material, well-researched and erudite, drawing upon Western philosophy as well as Advaita and the view that it espouses challenges the more generally accepted position represented by the kArikA of gauDapAda in the mANDUkya upaniShat. Nevertheless, the ultimate destination is the same and the journey, possibly as a result of the relative novelty of the sites to be seen en route, is a rewarding one.
It should be noted that, owing to the length of the material, I have not yet been able to edit it for typographical errors, nor check all of the Sanskrit for correct ITRANS representation. If anyone would care to volunteer assistance in this regard, I would be very happy to email them an essay for editing.
The Real and the Unreal is the core topic of Advaita. I felt, therefore, that it would not be appropriate for me to venture into a discussion on the topic without prior preparation, especially as I seemed to be taking the less beaten track of saying that Advaita is a darshana of realism. I had accordingly planned, back in the month of March, to write down my thoughts in a systematic way before the time came for its discussion on the list, but for one reason or another, I was unable to get down to the task. Last week, I decided that I must do something about it, and accordingly I took a few days leave from the office and sat down to write. This effort has resulted in nine essays, and it is these essays that I shall be posting here - in nine parts - to form the central thread for the discussion. While the first two parts are a kind of prelude, the actual topic of the Real and Unreal begins with Part III and reaches its culmination in Part VII. The last two parts deal with some related issues that I felt I should add for the sake of completeness.
I need to mention here that whatever I have written constitutes my own understanding of Advaita. I claim no authority for what I say - they are simply what I have understood in the lucid moments of my life. My postings are therefore more in the nature of sharing a perspective, while also being an opportunity for me to learn from the enlightened comments and corrections from the respected members of this group. Last but not least, I thank the moderators for giving me the opportunity to present the topic on the list.
Proceed to first essay.
- List of Essays in this series:
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