Questions on the history of Advaita

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Thu Aug 8 13:15:16 CDT 1996

Giri wrote:

> > attention, till this century. Most of the attention was given to the brahma
> > suutra.
>         I am quite surprised since it is said in the muktika upanishhad
> that reading (and practising) mandukya upanishhad alone is enough if the
> aspirant is unable to master the 108 upanishhad-s. Naturally, I thought
> people would have paid special attention to this upanishhad.

The muktika upanishhad.h itself is not held as supreme, for eg by dvaitins. The
paramopanishhad which proclaims bheda etc is not mentioned in it. Obviously the
muktika was either written by a non-dvaitin or was written before the parama
upanishhad.h was written (probably by Madhva).

Vidya wrote:

> these theories are considered as other views, each of which has some
> problem or the other with it. Technically, this statement of another's
> views is called pUrvapaksha, in Indian philosophical writing. The
> dvaitins take all these creation theories that are described in the first
> book as endorsing dvaita. According to me, this is a highly mistaken
> approach. However, a comprehensive comparative analysis of both dvaitin and
> advaitin positions on the text needs to be done. This is one deficiency

The point I have always felt is that none of the other systems proceed from an
analysis of the three states, but rest content on trying to interpret shruti.
The analysis of the three states is clearly supported by the maanDuukya and
also to a lesser extent by other upanishads like the kaivalya etc. So unless
the other systems can provide an analysis of all the three states, they cannot
argue with advaita.

> the Mandukya upanishad. And Sarma just present Madhva's interpretation as
> the right one, without comparing it with the advaita position critically.

Not very surprising! However, the comparative analysis of the various
interpretations will no doubt be coloured by the views of the interpreter :-).

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
undermine your entire philosophy)           -- strong Vulcan curse

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