Chapter

The <i>Ātman-Brahman</i> Inquiries

Srinivasa Rao

in Advaita

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198079811
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198079811.003.0012
The Ātman-Brahman Inquiries

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The inquiries into Ātman and Brahman and the declaration of their identity in the Upanisads has vital implications for Advaita which Śankara’s commentators completely miss and misunderstand. While the Ātman-inquiry into the inner essence of man used a device of exclusion (like the body is not Ātman etc.), the Brahman-inquiry into the source of the universe did not use it. But yet, whatever was being excluded from Ātman (like the body, senses, mind, etc.) in the first inquiry went on being included under Brahmanin the second, so that ultimately these two inquiries brought under themselves just everything existing in the universe. Therefore when their identity was discovered, non-duality emerged as the only truth. But, missing this completely, the commentators hypostatize ignorance into a beginningless “second entity” and create every possible problem within a perfect doctrine of non-duality.

Keywords: Ātman; Brahman; Upanisads; Śankara; non-duality; ignorance

Chapter.  2393 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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