The most sophisticated system of spiritual-religious thought in India is Advaita... and it is also an expression of the most extreme other-worldliness of the kind which has plagued India since the Ayrans came there. Though sophisticated, it is also metaphysical and most of its variants (and proponents) are distant from all social human concerns. It is all about the desire for liberation (cessation of existence in the world). It ought to be taken apart systematically on all fronts so that gurus and other people living in the past and its superstitions etc. get the rations ground cut away beneath their feet... for this is their main appeal in the West, the involved ideology and labyrinthine meanderings of speculation so as to explain all and everything without any science or empiricism.
I have posted a number of articles criticising Advaita, such as the following:-
Some reflections on Advaita Vedanta
The so-called 'spiritual search' - subjectivist 'teaching' about th...
Mental double-accounting: 'spiritual doublethink' in indoctrination

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Since the links are gone I'll reply here KS.

...which I've heard held up as an excuse for it by believers. 'Don't blame the faith, blame the faithful', etc.

Ah Okay. That explains it. I wasn't aware of that.

Just curious but what is "moksha"?

However, the question of mobility is moot the moment you acknowledge that some sections of humanity, by a defect of birth or ability, must be denied certain rights and privileges that are available to others better gifted than them.

Yes I agree with this assessment.

And the fact that caste is inherited by birth isn't denied anywhere, is it?

Not in this article, that is true.

And I'm unable to find the source right now but I believe that there are some who claim that Pre-Vedas, it wasn't by birth.

Although that source may also be Wiki and Wiki isn't always right.

So, at this point, I can only say I read it somewhere. Lol.
Kalki,

It sounds to me like it fits the definition of a solipsistic belief.

Would you agree?
solipsism denies the existence of the outside world whereas advaita does not.

That's the fundamental difference to start with.
Krishna,

Advaita does not deny the existence of the experienced world ..it only highlights the need to understand the substantive behind the inert world that the Body-Mind-Intellect complex experiences or interacts with.

It's rationally and logically tenable as against Christian,or ritualistic Hindu or Islamic doctrines.


As far as the caste system is concerned, it will never go away and it exists in EVERY SOCIETY.if in India it was governed by the sat-raj-tam ..in Europe it was governed by social standing or imperial hierarchies and in arabia by tribe.

Wherever you find a group of primates living together, some sort of hierarchy is bound to form.One just can't help it.

Today, money is the caste decider(divider) across the world.And it does not take special endeavors from you and i to develop an abject lack of concern for the poor that we come across in our lives.It just happens.

A critique of the caste system of yesterday is nothing but a foundation stone for the caste system of today...it's just that the parameters change and individuals get shuffled in the new order ..creating a pseudo and temporal sense of emancipation
What a load of shit!
from where you stand ..it must be appear so.

my sympathies
Kalki.

Advaita does not deny the existence of the experienced world ..it only highlights the need to understand the substantive behind the inert world that the Body-Mind-Intellect complex experiences or interacts with.

If the above is true, then why the following beliefs?

This true nature is his [man's *my clarification] innermost essence, the Atman, which is nothing other than brahman.

Such a conception of brahman derives from the upanishads, which say sarvam khalvidam brahma - all this is indeed nothing but brahman - on the one hand, and neha nAnAsti kincana - there is no diversity here - on the other. [Brahman and the Universe *my clarification]

Source: Advaita - Vendata Organization
These statements (maha vakyas) no where deny the physical universe.

the only meta-physical assertion here is that the essence is the same ..not that the outside world is non-existent

it's as good or bad as saying that we all are made of same fundamental particles at a physical level
If the Atman is Brahman and the Universe is nothing but Brahman that would appear to be saying that everything is only Brahman, thus inferring that nothing exists except Brahman, IMO.

There is no differentiation being made (as far as I can tell anyway) between essence and existence.
"There is no differentiation being made (as far as I can tell anyway) between essence and existence."

The differentiation is made in other places in the Gita and elsewhere where the body is treated as an inferior thing to the atman. There is a verse in the Gita (I think it's the Gita) where the atman is spoken of as choosing bodies every life as we choose new clothes every morning. If I remember right, it was Adi Shankara who defined the physical world and all its chaos as Maya, a thing of delusion that distracted men from the truth that was Brahman. The trend in Advaita, from what I know, has always been to place their metaphysical Brahman above material existence with dissolution into Brahman being the ultimate goal of all living things.

Kalki,

"it's as good or bad as saying that we all are made of same fundamental particles at a physical level"


Drawing parallels between the idea of Brahman and atoms is as bad as justifying astrology by claiming all stars and planets have a gravitational pull that -obviously- affects the human brain. It's easy pseudo-science, a convenient rationalization to prove a point. If A can be made to look like B, then A is B. Except Brahman was never conceived as a whole mess of whizzing particles in various quantum* states of excitation.

*It just don't seem right to say 'particles' and not say 'quantum' in the same sentence :|
If I remember right, it was Adi Shankara who defined the physical world and all its chaos as Maya, a thing of delusion that distracted men from the truth that was Brahman.

Forgive me KS, but I fail to see how the above definition is not solipsistic and it appears to support my interpretation exactly.
Kalki.

Today, money is the caste decider(divider) across the world.And it does not take special endeavors from you and i to develop an abject lack of concern for the poor that we come across in our lives.It just happens.

I believe that you may be conflating class and caste here.

Class systems are economically based and allow people to improve their lives based on ability, opportunity and other factors.

Caste systems are based on birth and condemn people to a perpetuation of their poverty (or ensure the wealthy their privilege) based on superstitious belief.

I don't agree that they are the same or have any connection other than they are both a reflection of the organization (categorization) of elements of our society.

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