— 2.B.1 Hindu response by Anant Rambachan

(Response to 2.B.1 Mumonkan, Case No. 1: Joshu’s Dog, presented by Ruben Habito)

 

From my location in the Hindu Advaita Vedanta tradition, I discerned several insights and themes in the texts and commentary that seemed similar. These include the following:

  1. Awareness of the limits of language in relation to expressing the nature of the Ultimate. Negative language, though helpful, is not the solution. This is related to a deep sense of the limits of human discursive reasoning.
  2. The highest insight is non-dual, the recognition of the “oneness” of subject and object. The culminating insight of the Advaita tradition is that all is the infinite brahman.
  3. The “distinction” between false self (ego-self) and true self. True self is equated with no-self or Buddha nature.
  4. The ultimate goal of human life is available here and now, since all beings, from the beginning are Buddha. In the Advaita tradition, the fundamental human problem is described in the language of ignorance( avidya). Liberation is already accomplished; we need to understand the self is not different from brahman. The seeker is the sought.

Questions:

  1. Although there is a shared sense of the limits of human reason, how is discursive reason “blocked?” What exactly is the problem with human reason in the quest for enlightenment? May reason be an ally instead of an impediment?
  2. Is non-duality a process of becoming or is it a discerning of the nature of reality as it always is?