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By Sengaku Mayeda

This can be the simplest advent to Vedanta and to Sankara's philosophy. The Upadesaasahasri, or one thousand Teachings involves a metrical half and a prose half. within the metrical half, Sankara discusses the fundamental philosophical difficulties of non-dualism, whilst refuting the lessons of alternative philosophical colleges. within the prose half, he explains how you can educate tips on how to self realization--to enlightenment.
Sankara and the nice Abhinavagupta are in most cases considered as the 2 maximum thinkers within the lengthy historical past of Indian philosophy. Sankara represented Advaita Vedanta, a non-dualistic view of final fact. such a lot of his works are commentaries on classics of Indian inspiration. 1000 Teachings is the one non-commentarial paintings that may be attributed to him; the opposite self sufficient writings ascribed to him are most likely spurious.

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II, p. 89; Eigen, p. 255, noJe 1. Therefore, this new truthvalue of avidya, anirvacaniyatva, seems to have existed in Sankara's time. The association of the term with avidya occurs in the doctrine of all Advaitins except Sankara, Surdvara, and Totaka. Cf. D. H. H. " Philosophy East and West, vol. 3 ( 1953), no. 1, pp. 69 ff. lBUpadeshasahasri von Meister Shankara (Bonn: Ludwig Rohrscheid Verlag, 1949), p. 19, note 71. 19Eigen, p. 264-267. 20Cf. S. Dasgupta, A History of Indian Philosophy, vol. I (Cambridge, 1951), p.

According to the Nyaya-Vaise~ika, knowledge is a quality of Atman-substance. The Buddhist and the Mimarpsa systems commonly characterize knowledge as an activity. Sankara and other Advaitins, however, stand on the Upani~adic axiom that knowledge or perception is Atman itself. But the word "perception" (upalabdhi) 48 is generally conceived to mean an "action" of perceiving which is indicated by the verbal root (dhiitu) upa-labh49; action is nothing but change (Upad II,2, 76). 50 It would thus be contradictory to assert that Atman is transcendentally changeless and yet that perception is Atman.

Adjectives such as "absolutely changeless and constant" (kutastlzanitya), which are affirmative in form but really negative in intention, are also employed to characterize it. This Atman is always the same in all beings (Upad I,8,3; l 0, 9); though perfectly stainless and non-dual, it is covered by inverted knowledge (viparyqya) which is avidya (nescience, Upad I, 10,8). 46 INTRODUCTION ATMAN'S IDENTITY WITH BRAHMAN This last is the reason why the highest truth, that Atman is Brahman, is not generally recognized.

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