• Religion

    The Unity of Vedic Philosophy

    At the present, most people view Gauḍiya Vaishnavism as one among the many sects of Vaishnavism, with the others being Viśiṣṭādvaita, Dvaita, Dvaitādvaita, and Śuddhādvaita. Vaishnavism is itself considered one of the three sects—namely, Shaiva, Shakta, and Vaishnava. The three sects are together believed to constitute personalism as opposed to impersonalism: the claim being that the four Vedas and Upanishads portray an impersonal truth while personalism (Shaiva, Shakta, and Vaishnava) is a later development. Together, the personal and impersonal are considered different views of Vedanta. And Vedanta itself is regarded as only one of the six schools of theistic Vedic philosophy, with the others being Sāńkhya, Yoga, Mimānsa, Vaiśeṣika, and…

  • Overview,  Philosophy

    Advaita – The Partial Truth

    Many people who look at Vedic philosophy in current times, understand it as Advaita, which is an interpretation of Vedanta, that claims that the ultimately reality is a singular, unified existence called Brahman, from which the world is produced as māyā or illusion. The Brahman is equated with consciousness, although how consciousness comes under illusion has been a contentious issue since the time of Śaṅkarācārya who first propounded Advaita but did not provide a clear explanation of the fall into illusion. Subsequent interpretations of Vedanta have tried to address these problems, but they are generally ignored by Advaita philosophers. This post discusses the problems in Advaita, how they have been…