Two Zeros Take the Ring: Advaita Vedanta vs. Kashmir Shaivism

On the surface, Vedanta and Saivism appear as happy bedfellows. After all, they are both self-proclaimed "non-dualisms," as they both adhere to the being of just one essential reality. And they both prescribe a discerning temperament to tease out truth from untruth. That Truth, in both systems, transcends discourse and any words that might be used to describe it. Truth, in both, is an experiential matter. You can realize Truth in experience, but you cannot "think truth." The best that thoughts can do is point you in the direction of that ultimate, essential truth. As with all good Eastern philosophies, truth is the culmination of a spiritual quest, not a fact of predicative knowledge (as truth is so often presented in Western culture). Where these two traditions differ, however, is on the subject of reality, of what is real. For Advaita Vedanta, only Brahman is real, the unchanging ground of everything. Maya, the world of appearances, is not real and is il

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