Advaita Vedanta : A Philosophical Reconstruction by Eliot Deutsch

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By Eliot Deutsch

An creation to the various structures of classical Indian inspiration akin to Professor Deutsch offers.

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Taittiriya Upani§ad, II, 2. 56 ADV AITA VEDANTA Advaita is concerned only to identify waking consciousness and to point out the kind of self-identification that follows from it. In waking consciousness the self has forgotten itself. Whereas in reality the self is Atman, pure "subject," here it takes itself as a mere object. It is some-thing among other things; it is "estranged" from the fullness of its being. The second level or state of consciousness distinguished by Advaita is that of dream consciousness (svapna-sthana).

By R. D. Karmarkar (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1962), p. 13. , Katha Upani~ad, I, 2, 2. KARMA 77 ment; morality is helpful to enlightenment; he who acts otherwise is doomed to 8arhsara. kara bears out this "convenient" interpretation when he states that "unless a person is aware of the existence of the self in a future life, he will not feel inclined to attain what is good in that life and avoid what is evil. "2 2 The sages of the Upanii:;ads were also no doubt aware that there is an enormous distance that most persons must cover before they are even prepared to pursue a life of the spirit; and also that even if they were able to embark upon the spiritual quest, they still could end in any number and kind of failures.

Cit. 17 It is involved in desire and consequently is dissatisfied, for no object is capable of sustaining our interest in it; no object is capable of fulfilling the demands that we make upon it. We are aware of ourselves initially, then, as waking, time-bound, and enjoyment-seeking, but subsequently as dissatisfied beings. This self that is so dissatisfied, according to Advaita, is the self that has identified itself with its physical body. In waking consciousness we are aware that we are a part of physical nature, that we are formed from it, that we are sustained by it, and that eventually we return to it.

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