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Swami Vivekananda on Advaita

Swami Vivekananda on Advaita

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Introduction to Advaita Philosophy by Swami Vivekananda.
Introduction to Advaita Philosophy by Swami Vivekananda.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Paul Herman Lodewijk Verbert on Jun 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Vedanta philosophy, as it is generally called at the present day, really comprises all the varioussects that now exist in India. Thus there have been various interpretations, and to my mind theyhave been progressive, beginning with the dualistic or Dvaita and ending with the non-dualistic orAdvaita. The word Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas
the Vedas being the scripturesof the Hindus. Sometimes in the West by the Vedas are meant only the hymns and rituals of theVedas. But at the present time these parts have almost gone out of use, and usually by the wordVedas in India, the Vedanta is meant.The Vedanta, then, practically forms the scriptures of the Hindus, and all systems of philosophythat are orthodox have to take it as their foundation. All the Vedantists agree on three points. Theybelieve in God, in the Vedas as revealed, and in cycles.All the books contained in the Upanishads have one subject, one task before them
to prove thefollowing theme: "Just as by the knowledge of one lump of clay we have the knowledge of all theclay in the universe, so what is that, knowing which we know everything in the universe?" The ideaof the Advaitists is to generalise the whole universe into one
that something which is really thewhole of this universe. And they claim that this whole universe is one, that it is one Beingmanifesting itself in all these various forms. It is this Being, the Sat, which has become convertedinto all this
the universe, man, soul, and everything that exists. How came that Sat which isunchangeable, as they admit (for that which is absolute is unchangeable), came to be changed intothat which is changeable, and perishable? The Advaitists here have a theory which they call VivartaVâda or apparent manifestation. According to the dualists and the Sankhyas, the whole of thisuniverse is the evolution of primal nature. According to some of the Advaitists and some of thedualists, the whole of this universe is evolved from God. And according to the Advaitists proper, thefollowers of Shankaracharya, the whole universe is the apparent evolution of God. God is thematerial cause of this universe, but not really, only apparently. The celebrated illustration used isthat of the rope and the snake, where the rope appeared to be the snake, but was not really so.The rope did not really change into the snake. Even so this whole universe as it exists is thatBeing. It is unchanged, and all the changes we see in it are only apparent. These changes arecaused by Desha, Kâla and Nimitta (space, time, and causation), or, according to a higherpsychological generalization, by Nâma and Rupa (name and form). It is by name and form that onething is differentiated from another. The name and form alone cause the difference. In reality theyare one and the same. Again, it is not, the Vedantists say, that there is something as phenomenonand something as noumenon. The rope is changed into the snake apparently only; and when the

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