Friends talk: Review

A review of a Leicester Friends of the OCHS talk, given by Ramesh Pattni on 2 August 2014.

To an audience of approximately 60, Ramesh introduced his topic – The Three Faces of Vedanta:Shankaracharya, Madhavacharya, & Ramanujacharya – with a brief overview of the six systems of Indian philosophy, giving us a context into which Vedanta sits. He outlined the five schools of Vedanta and explained that the main thrust of his talk would concentrate on the three main schools of Vedanta namely, Shankara’s Advaita (non-dualism), Ramanuja’s Visishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism), and Madhava’s Dvaita (dualism).

He explained how each of the founders developed their conclusions by process of analysis of and commentary on Vedic texts plus philosophical argument. Ramesh went on to outline the life and works of each Acharya. He then elaborated on the different conclusions they reached as to the nature of God, ultimate and physical reality, man’s true identity and methodology of how realization (moksha) could therefore be achieved.

After a Q&A session we socialized over snacks. Here are some comments that people made…..

‘Well done to Ramesh for delivering such a robust outline of the darshanas in such a brief time!’

‘Phew…. a phenomenal amount of information & knowledge was packed into that hour. I didn’t know that much about Vedanta and have now been inspired to go off and look at the subject..’

‘Excellent talk as you would expect from Ramesh’

‘Good talk. I got a bit overwhelmed so will be getting a copy of the DVD of the talk… to re-cap….’

‘It would be good to have future talks that look at just one form of Vedanta individually at each session’

The talk was attended by two Christian friends – The Rev Bonnie Evans-Hills (Bishop’s Interfaith Advisor) and Jan Bryars (Churchwarden, St. Peter’s, Oadby) they both enjoyed the talk and said ‘We really enjoyed the session… fascinating…’ ‘Although the terminology was different, we saw many similarities to the various expressions of Christian faith’

Prafulla Raja and Ron Staff