Chapter-4. Swami Sri Adi Sankaracharya - The Genius ( Sankara Jayanti ) :
It is not easy to understand the gospel of Adi Sankaracharya.
I do not believe that even today the majority of mankind really understands it.
It is not just a glib word 'Advaita'.
What is the meaning of Advaita?
That itself is a difficult thing to conceive.
It is not a system opposed to other systems, but a method of interpretation of values by which we can healthily coordinate the existing systems of thought and construct a system of philosophy according to which we can live happily in every stage of our life.
I do not intend to go into the details of this philosophical background.
But suffice it to say that the Vedanta of Sankara came as a remedy to the diversified ways of thinking which created an unnecessary conflict even in daily practices of human beings, and this he did without going contrary to the injunctions of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Scripture and reason were the two aids in the arguments of Sankara.
He was a tremendous logician, the like of which it is difficult to imagine ordinarily, who based his arguments entirely on the principles of logic, but without contradicting the intuitional revelations of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Every argument was logically precise, culminating in an irrefutable conclusion.
But it was based on the evidence of the scriptures like the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita and the Samhitas of the Vedas.
He came to combine the validity of scripture with the limitations of reason and the value of reason. Intuition is not opposed to intellect, was what Sankara proclaimed.
Nor can we say that intellect is complete in itself.
The conclusions of the intellect have to be corroborated by the revelations of the Srutis.
Sruti, Yukti and Anubhava – scripture, argument and experience – have to go parallel along a path leading to a single goal. Scripture is the support for the argument, while argument supplies the strength for the exposition of the scripture, both of which lead to the direct experience or Anubhava.
Reality is experience. Brahma Sakshatkara is the same as Anubhava of the Supreme Being.
To be continued ....