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How Does Vedanta Differ From Other Teachings?

Postby eadenshantay » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:40 pm

Dear Friends,

How does vedanta differ from other teachings? Specifically?

Thanks, Eaden
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Postby Stan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:07 am

Hi all,

As it seems we`ve started chapter 3 of the study group mid month, I feel we should stick with chapter 3 for the last weeks of february and continue into march inclusive.
We`ve been off line for a while so this should put us back on track again re the 1 month per chapter of `The Essence of Enlightenment` study group.

I`ll make a new post shortly of the full chapter 3 taken from the E of E book for the benefit of those who don`t have it or just want a quick reference to it.
I shall do the same for all of the chapters fairly soon.

So, All questions are now welcome ! Thanks everyone.
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Re: How Does Vedanta Differ From Other Teachings?

Postby Mira » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:28 am

Hi Eaden,
Great question. Here are my thoughts:

1. Vedanta differs from other teachings or religions, in that it is a comprehensive viewpoint of multiple rishis who saw the truth. As swamiji says, vedantic teachings are inserted into the fabric of creation itself and so the rishis were able to access them in deep states of meditation. All other teachings/religions, to the best of my knowledge are based to a large extent on the experiences of their founders. There is no founder of Vedanta and so we don't have to go off an individual's experience like many other teachings do.

2. Vedanta (as it should be taught) is a highly systematic and scientific revelation of self-knowledge. If one listens to a qualified teacher, then initially (in the shravanam phase) an open mind and faith in the teacher is required. After that, (in the mamanam phase,) the teacher actually encourages the student to express all their doubts which the teacher addresses. In most other teachings, faith is encouraged but doubts are not. To me, this is an important point which separates it from other teachings: Vedanta has the quiet confidence that it can answer all doubts of the student.

3. Vedanta offers a complete cosmology. It shows you that you are consciousness. But it also describes maya in detail. It describes how maya manifests (gunas, three bodies, 5 sheaths etc). It describes the relationship between maya and brahman. To the best of my knowledge, no other teaching or religion is able to describe creation in a way that actually aligns with modern scientific thinking (e.g.,in physics and neuroscience).

4. Finally, the practices offered by the Vedas and Vedanta for purifying the mind (Karma/dharma yoga, upasana yoga, bhakti) are so relevant to today's lifestyle. That is, vedanta does not discount the jiva. Through these practices, it makes life easier in a practical and useful way for the jiva.

I can highly recommend a 14 part series by Swami Paramarthananda called Introduction to Vedanta.
It is basically tattva bodha but placed within the context of the vedas and santana dharma as a whole.
Let me know if you would like the link.

Best wishes, Mira
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Re: How Does Vedanta Differ From Other Teachings?

Postby Stan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:38 am

Hi All,

Could you please post all new `Means of self knowledge` questions in the new " chapter 3. The means of self knowledge" study group topic in chapter 3. Many thanks.

I was a bit slow on the uptake i`m afraid so I can`t blame anyone but myself for posting before i`m ready. :oops:

Hi Eaden, it`s great to see you with us ! :-) please feel free to post a link to your own excellent study group in the announcements section if you wish.

Note to other mods ... I can`t seem to move the first 2 chapter 3 self knowledge posts into the study group topic. If anyone is able to do that, i`d be grateful. I seem to be going round in circles with it. thanks.
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