An Interesting article - any response?

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed Dec 4 04:44:55 CST 1996

Madhava Kumar Turumella has send me a copy of the on going discussion on
dvaita list between him and Sri Shrisha Rao and others on Maya.  I found
the article by Sri Guruprasad below interesting. Any response to the
challenge from the experts.

Hari Om!
Copy of the article as I received in mail from Sri Madhava Kumar Turumella.

Dear Devotees,
   The proponents of "Jeeva-Brahma-Aikya" (identity of Jeeva and
Brahman) invoke the example of dreams to prove their hypothesis.
However their proof is all wrong as we shall see.
  At the outset let me put forth their views in a nut shell:
  The dreams objects seen in the dream are unreal. On waking up they
vanish. Similarly visavis the absolute state of Brahman we are in a
dream state. The world around us , our sorrow, joys etc are all
unreal and will vanish once we wake up to the state of being one with
Brahman. Avidya is responsible for lack of realisation of Jeeva's
identity with Brahman.
   The above (advaitic) stand-point suffers from serious logical
flaws which cannot be remedied inspite of all their mental
acrobatics. Let us examine their arguments in their own setting
and see for ourselves the inherent flaws.
   What is the nature of Brahman in Advaita? Brahman is
attributeless (nirguna), configurationless(nirakara), indivisible
(akhanda), etc. In short their is nothing like a variety in advaitic
   Let us give names to the various states in the advaitic framework
1.The Dream-state: This is state of dreams which we experience
when we sleep ("Svapnaavastha")
2. The waking state: The state of the world we experience when we are
awake, i.e. the world we see around ; the birds, the trees etc.
3. Absolute state: the state of the Advaitic Brahman, i.e. the state
 of the frozen consciousness of the Advaitic Brahman.
    Dream state is unreal visavis the Waking state and the latter
unreal visavis the Absolute state-this is the thesis of Advaita.
   Let us analyse the dream-state. We see several objects in our
dreams. Granting for a minute they are all unreal, what causes them?
In the waking state we see several objects and the impressions are
formed in the mind  and they reappear in the dreams perhaps jumbled
up arbitrarily. In other words the variety that is there in the
waking state accounts for the variety in the dream. Let us even grant
that the waking - state is unreal visavis the absolute -state of
advaita. What accounts for the variety seen in the waking state?
Even accepting the alleged unreality of dream-objects, we can account
for its variety invoking the variety seen in the waking-state.
However we cannot invoke anything to explain away the variety in the
waking state, because their is no variety in the absolute state of
the advaitic brahman which is "akhanda", "nirguna",etc. Even if the
advaitic stand-point of unreality of this world is accepted, the
variety in the waking-state cannot be explained in their own
frame-work. Thus using the method of "reductio-ad-absurdum" ,we
see that the entire edifice on which advaita is built crumbles.
Conclusion: the world is real. Jeeva can never be the same as
Department of Mathematics
Indian Institute of Science
Bangalore-560 012

>Vidya wrote:
>> It seems to me that he accepts only the commentaries on the prasthAna
>> trayI and upadeSasAhasrI to be Sankara's own compositions. This is pretty
>> much the same opinion taken by Ingalls, Hacker and others. As we have
>> already discussed earlier on this list, the reasons for accepting
>> upadeSasAhasrI as a genuine work of Sankara's and rejecting something like
>> the vivekacUDAmaNi are not very satisfactory.
>It is interesting to note that Jnanottama in his commentary on Sureshvara's
>Naishkarmya Siddhi, says that Shankara has written other prakaraNa granthas
>also! Now, Jnanottama is said to have lived in the middle of the 10th century.
>Still, that's a 150-200 years from Shankara and his words may not satisfy
>all Indologists.
>> However, the Swami's contention that one has to go back to Sankara's works
>> to understand advaita vedAnta is well taken. As he points out, the
>Definitely true. The whole problem occurs because one is trying to explain the
>nature of avidya. Shankara himself deftly avoids this and Sureshvara is also
>not keen on explaining this in his Naishkarmya Siddhi.
>Perhaps, the arguments like that of Gaudapada (in II) may not satisfy every
>one and that is why Padmapada et al try to give some account of the nature of
>As for the Swami's contention that advaita has been hijacked by the logicians
>and the Yoga school, I don't know if that is a really bad thing. After all
>taking good points from other schools is not bad. Gaudapada himself has set the
>trend :-).

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

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