Why the name Advaya? ll (Philip Renard)


 

The term advaya (or its equivalent, pu-erh in Chinese, fu-ni  in Japanese and gnyis-med in Tibetan) is being used explicitly in a few traditions which, because this explicitness, could be together called ‘the one advaya tradition’, ‘the one direct way of liberation’. These traditions are:

In the first place, a few Buddhist ways of direct teaching, namely Zen (originally called Ch’an) from China and Japan, and Dzogchen and Mahamudra from Tibet. Next to these are two traditions from India: Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. It needs to be mentioned that in many original texts of both Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir shaivism, the term advaya has been used more frequently than its synonym advaita.

These traditions distinguish themselves by strongly emphasising, more than other traditions do, the non-conceptual as the ultímate truth, and the necessity of the immediate experience of this truth. In this respect, the mentioned Buddhist traditions are in fact more related to the ‘induistic’ Advaita than to the more dualistic schools within Buddhism.

In spite of the gratitude towards the Eastern non-dualistic traditions, non-duality may be recognized to be the common ground of all spiritual traditions, and so to be the real basis of all religions, East and West. This is why this website can be summarized as ‘Universal Non-duality’ .

This can be summarized this way because, as earlier said, in fact there is only one advaya-tradition (also called ‘the direct path’). The focusing of the attention on non-duality, without being distracted by all kinds of incidental circumstances silted up in the course of time within the various traditions, makes it posible that non-duality becomes the starting point for evaluating and discussing all events of life.

If not put in the centre of the attention right from the start, the odds are that non-duality remains interpreted as an elevated ideal, as something abstract unrelated to life, which possibly might be ours in a far future at most.

How then can non-duality, which precedes and goes beyond all concepts become the starting point for evaluating events of life, something that indeed is made up of concepts?

That is possible by actually gaining the direct experience of non-duality, the recognition of one’s true nature, and to learn to translate this experience.

Even though non-duality is ultimately identical to non-discrimination, the way to experiencing  the non-dual Understanding  goes directly via the power of discrimination. (To be continued)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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