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Views on Advaita Vedanta here...

Just felt like asking what people feel about Advaita Vedanta on this board. Myself, who still consider myself a Hare Krishna devotee, have also decided to follow, more faithfully, the Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
I have gone through many of the texts and read many publication on the philosophies, and have realized that this philosophy is not only as close to the "truth" as one can get, but a philosophy I am prepared to dedicate my life too, "come hell or high waters".
I know many Hare Krishna's, including Prabhupada, look down to Advaita Vedantas, though I have not understood why.

So please share with me. If you are a followr too, please post, and if you dislike the philosophy, please tell me why ;)

first of all i can assure you

first of all i can assure you that Provhupada hadnt look down advaita at any time.so,you cant say that!
avatars are the part of supreme Krishna and they are same on their work.Advaita's philosophy and deeds are same as Chaitanya and other avatar.
so,he is perfect on his position and advaita bedanta philosophy is also praiseworthy!

Hare Krishna....

advaita? no, thanks

Not so, Nayan. Please post some SP quotes supporting your statements.

Equating Sri Caitanya with advaitins is a gross misinterpretation. Sri Caitanya is not praying for moksa but for prema bhakti _life after life_:

mama janmani janmanIZvare
bhavatAd bhaktir ahaitukI tvayi

'Ahaituki bhakti' means 'bhakti without a cause (hetu)'. Thus He rejects bhakti as a mere tool for achieving impersonal moksa, which is the typical approach of advaitins.

All Vaisnava acaryas spoke strongly against advaita for the simple reason that it tries to eliminate the individuality of bhakta and Bhagavan. This is contrary to sastra, esp. Bhagavad gita and Vedanta sutra, two major Vedantic sastra pramanas.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti says at the beginning of his Madhurya Kadambini:
"Taittiriya Upanishad (shruti), after discussing the different coverings (annamaya, etc.), emphatically declares that superior to Brahman, who is the shelter or support of these coverings: brahma puccham pratistha (2.5.2), is the param anandamaya purusha or paratpara tattva (most supreme truth) by describing Him as the embodiment of rasa: raso vai sah rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati, the Lord is rasa itself and, attaining that rasa, the jiva becomes blissful (2.7.2)."

Also the most prominent advaitins, Adi Sankaracarya and Madhusudana Sarasvati, ultimately praised Krsna as the topmost reality. The first one in his Prabodha Sudhakara, allegedly his last work, the latter in his Gudharta dipika commentary on BG.

In my email sig I use this quote:

dvaitaM bandhAya mokSAt prAk prApte bodhe manISayA
bhaktyarthaM kalpitam dvaitaM advaitAd api sundaram

"Duality is bondage before moksa and wisdom after realization. The duality accepted for the purpose of bhakti is sweeter than even non-duality." (from mangalacarana to Advaitasiddhi sara sangraha by Madhusudana Sarasvati, former advaitin)

Below is my reply to the question: "Advaita Vedanta is everywhere. It's very popular with people on a spiritual path. Why?"

In a brief historical look from the Vaisnava point of view, Advaita Vedanta, monism, is just an intermediate stage between Buddhism and monotheism. First there was Vedic monotheism and when it became to _degrade_ the Vedas were rejected by Gautama Buddha. Then Adi Sankara came to establish the authority of Vedas again, although he stressed an impersonal nature of Brahman, and after him several Vaisnava acaryas came with their variations of monotheism, Vaisnava Vedanta.

Advaita and also atheistic Buddhism are popular because they give people a sort of spirituality _without a need to surrender_ to someone higher, ultimately Brahman/God: 'If everything is one, there is no higher or lower, right?' ;) Well, it's only a half-truth. Everything in this world is an energy (sakti) of Brahman/God and thus in some way one and in another way different from Brahman/God. Like a cup of sea water and the whole sea. They are one in quality but different in quantity. This is the acintya bhedabheda tattva taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the perfect synthesis of advaita and dvaita.

To surrender to and develop love of Brahman/God, which is the main feature of monotheism, one needs so-called sukriti. Otherwise one will tend to monism. It is love-less since it removes all individuality - and for love there must be two.

Through monism one can realize the light of Brahman, which is its first stage of understanding according to Bhagavata Purana (1.2.11). This Purana also says that this stage is not a permanent liberation (10.2.32).

By thinking 'everything is one' our pains won't go away because this is just a mental state. One has to achieve real spiritual realizations to be able to bear suffering. It starts with understanding who we are - spiritual particles of Brahman, one and different. For more you can read some Vaisnava rendition of Bhagavad-gita, ch. 2.

You can find more about advaita in our article:
http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/mayavada.htm

Hari Hari
ys Jan

I do not agree that Advaita

I do not agree that Advaita excludes surrender to a higher power.
It only means that one surrenders to a non-subject power, like the powers of nature. One Does let the ego die, and allows the Narguna-Brahman to envelop you.
This seems, to be, a more pure notion of surrender, as one is not surrendering to some "cosmic-daddy", but allows your soul to be free.

Worshipping a deity like Krsna only projects parent-issues.

To assume that the supreme force must be a force with a (male) human form is not only illogical but very authoritative. Why must the supreme force have human form? Outside the caste system, why must we assume that humans are the highest form on earth? Could not the supreme force be an animal, if it Must have a form?

Even most Hare Krishna seems to say that, in the end, the ultimate consciousness is indeed without form and ego, one only +enters+ through Krsna.

As for duality or non-duality, it is semantics. In the end there is only non-duality, since the only true form is Krsna-Brahman.
Just like Krsna's reject sense enjoyment, Advaitas reject all physical nature as Maya (illusion)

There is no fakery or lazyness within Advaita, it is indeed a much more difficult and harder faith to practice, as there is no God to speak to.

To require a Sukriti is only necessary if one doubts the ability to truly surrender. Sukriti is just training wheels.
I do not need to "worship" or communicate with my ego; All is need is to understand that my mind and the universes mind is the same mind. This I can... know, but not understand yet; Once I do I will be close to enlightenment.
And the very idea +is+ to remove individuality! There is no such thing. We are all part of the great oceanic feeling of Narguna-Brahman.

"By thinking 'everything is one' our pains won't go away because this is just a mental state. One has to achieve real spiritual realizations to be able to bear suffering. It starts with understanding who we are - spiritual particles of Brahman, one and different"

The aim is not to remove pain, that is what pain killers are for, the aim is to understand that All is illusion apart from Brahman.
And YES, we are all particles of Brahman. Of Narguna-Brahman. And the aim, in order to relive suffering once and for all, is to understand this.
One +cannot+ approach Brahman with the ego (which is used in deity worship) but through karma yoga, meditation and Hatha yoga.

Love, Anr

Advaita and Krishna Consciousness

Anr, I enjoyed reading your comments because I also have some attraction to advaita (impersonalist) philosophy. In fact, for almost 40 years I practiced impersonalist meditation daily. I made some progress spiritually but since I never seriously submitted myself to an enlightened guru for an extended period, my progress was minimal. Through the years I would occasionally hear a part of the impersonalist teaching that I would brush aside because it was disturbing in nature. That part of the teaching refers to what happens to the enlightened person after the death of his physical body, that is, since the individual consciousness of the person enlightened on the path of advaita has been dissolved and replaced by the nameless, formless, impersonal Brahman, any awareness of individuality is gone. Finished. That means that after the death of the physical body, there is no one left to experience Enlightenment, bliss, love, God. There is no one left to experience anything. Period. For Eternity. Does this sound like an attractive future? It actually is a form of spiritual suicide. So, let's see. You meditate for most of your life , and maybe around 60 years of age you reach Advaitic enlightenment (dissolution of individual consciousness into the impersonal Brahman), and live a care free, blissful life for about the next 25 years, and then you die. After that, Nothing. No one is left to experience anything. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, not really, huh? So I decided to see what Krishna meditation and devotion was all about and found that enlightenment on the Krishna path grants not only unimaginable Eternal transcendental bliss in Krishna's company, but also the advaitic awareness of the Brahmanic oneness. In short, I felt that advaitic enlightenment was a depressing rip-off and Krishna enlightenment was the A-1, blue ribbon deal. I switched paths and now contentedly practice Krishna meditation/worship.
Good luck to you, Anr and I wish you success in whatever spiritual path your heart directs you.

This puts advaita into the

This puts advaita into the proper perspective:

yadA tadA yathA tathA tathaiva kRSNasatkathA
mayA sadaiva gIyatAM tathA kRpA vidhIyatAM
pramANikASTakadvayaM japatyadhItya yaH pumAn
bhavet sa nandanandane bhave bhave subhaktimAn |9|

O Lord KRSNa! Please bless me so that I may sing your glories and pastimes, regardless of the position I am in. Anyone who studies or recites these two authoritative aSTakas will be blessed with devotion to KRSNa in every rebirth. (Adi ZaGkarAcArya, KRSNASTaka)

Hari Hari
ys Jan

no-no

Anr, why don't you read our books before you start creating one strawman after another? All of your objections are unfounded. Your Western worldview coupled with superficial knowledge of philosophy (it's nirguna, not narguna) brought you to where you're now. If you want to learn Gaudiya Vedanta you'll have to overcome them. Maybe it's not too late for you. The Gita and Vedanta sutra are enough to put advaita on ice. The debate happened in the past.

Hari Hari
ys Jan