Prelims 306

With regard to philosophy of Advaitavada, consider the following statements:
1. It believed in dualism.
2. It rejected the path of Bhakti.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
1 only
2 only
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation :
Advaitavada philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara also called the doctrine of non-dualism, did not reject the path of bhakti , but rather the bhakt or the devotee had to first clean his heart through jnan or knowledge which can only be attained through Vedic scriptures. In other words, Sankara confirmed Vedas as the fountainhead of true knowledge. He propounded that God, soul & the created world are both one. At the practical level, there may appear to be differences but at the ‘parmarthik’ level there are no real differences. Hence, statement 1 and 2 is incorrect.
Advaita Vedanta believes that an enlightened guru, having the knowledge of both the scriptures and Brahman, is indispensable for anyone seeking salvation. Mandukya Karika of Gaudapada is considered to be the first available treatise on Advaita Vedanta, while the monumental works of Shankaracharya constitute its core literature.
Pramanas are the standards of ascertaining right knowledge, truth, or valid knowledge. In this world duality it is very difficult to know which is right knowledge and which is reliable for salvation or to ascertain truth. Advaita Vedanta recognizes six Pramanas, of which three were proposed by Shankaracharya and three by his followers. They are as stated below.
1. Pratyaksha: knowledge that comes through perception. This is objective knowledge which is experienced directly either through the senses or in deeper states of consciousness.
2. Anumana: knowledge that comes by means of inference. This is speculative knowledge based upon supposition or belief.
3. Upamana: Knowledge that comes by means of analogy, comparison and contrasting. This is relational knowledge.
4. Arthapatti: knowledge obtained by meaningful assumptions based on common sense and previous experience. This is hypothetical knowledge.
5. Anupalabdhi: Knowledge gained through negation.
6. Agama: Knowledge that comes through study of scriptures. This is pure theoretical knowledge.