This is a course of four lectures on the Nondualist (Advaita) Vedanta theological system as propounded by Sri Sankara, the 8th century CE Hindu theologian. The aim is to focus on the contribution of Sankara to Vedanta theology in general and to Nondualist Vedanta in particular. Theistic Vedanta, articulated by later Vedanta theologians such as Ramanuja, Madhva, and Vallabha, cannot be fully understood without a proper understanding of the works of Sankara.
In this lecture Dr Sarma will examine the distinguishing characteristics of Madhva Vedanta, a school of Hindu theism that was developed in the 13th century by Madhvacraya. He will explore, in particular, the kind of God that Madhvacarya envisioned.
If ultimate reality is beyond language, how can language comprise the only valid method of acquiring knowledge of it? And if no language whatsoever can describe ultimate reality, what guarantee could there be that what Vedic language purports to disclose is anything other than a chimera?
These are problems that lie at the heart of Shankara's Advaita Vedanta, but occur, in different guises, in a wide range of religious traditions. They are problems which raise questions about text and interpretation, about 'revelation' and the ways in which language is held to work.