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>> No.16123489 [View]
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>>16123482

Raju argues in his Thought and reality: Hegelianism and Advaita (henceforth, TR) that while Hegelians struggle to explain the relation between the infinite and the finite, the proper response to this problem is that, strictly speaking, no such relation can be logically elaborated. If this relation is viewed as an identity-in-difference, this category is simply a restatement of the problem in different terms, for one would have to explain the relation itself between identity and difference (TR, 44). He discusses various Hegelian attempts to relate individuals to the organic whole of the Absolute and argues that they are unsuccessful in logically spelling out the relation between distinct substantial selves and the eternally perfect Absolute (TR, 58). The ‘relation’ of the finite and the infinite, the ‘crux of all monism’, has been most successfully addressed by Śaṁkara: while all finite selves are, sub specie aeternitatis, identical with Brahman, they are, sub specie temporis, characterized by multiplicity.

If one self is liberated, māyā, which structures the phenomenal world, disappears only for it and not for others, so that in this sense each self has a distinct individuality. However, noumenally the self does not exist as a substantial identity, for it is one with Brahman, which is without a second. Therefore, we can move from Bradley to Śaṁkara with only a ‘few steps’: Bradley correctly notes that appearances, such as the finite self, are riddled with internal contradictions, and these must undergo a complete transmutation into the Absolute. However, Bradley continues to retain the appearances somehow in the Absolute, because he is not entirely willing to view the Absolute as totally beyond thought. Raju claims that ‘[h]ad Bradley given up his Hegelian bias, rejected the appearance as such as in no way forming part of reality, and thus saved the eternal perfection of the Absolute, he would have joined hands with Sankara’ (TR, 61).

Raju’s claim that Bradley was inconsistent in holding on to the appearances in the Absolute is a recurring theme in Shrivastava’s Śaṁkara and Bradley: A Comparative and Critical Study (henceforth, SB), which both provides detailed analogues between Bradley’s thought and the Advaita of Śaṁkara, and argues that the former remains contains some contradictions that can be resolved by the latter. On the one hand, Shrivastava argues that various aspects of Bradley’s thought resonate with the basic themes of Śaṁkara’s Advaita. For Bradley, relational modes of thinking, which apply to concepts such as space, time, and self, are riddled with contradictions, so that reason yields only appearances and not truth. The contradictions in the appearances which structure everyday life can be resolved only in the Absolute which, like the Absolute of Śaṁkara, transcends all discursive reasoning.



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