Various vAda-s in advaita (was Re: A few questions)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Jan 31 10:20:36 CST 1997


DSV: dR^ishhTi-sR^ishhTi vAda
GK : gauDapAda kArikA
Up.S: upadeshasAhasrI

Jaldhar Vyas wrote:

[ ... ]

>Note the interesting thing about this excerpt is what Abhinava Vidyatirtha
>Maharaj doesn't say.  Although he says both the waking and dream states
>are unreal (which no Advaitin would dispute) he doesn't say the dream
>state and the waking state are the same.  And while he says it a waste of

Note actually that the interesting thing is he says that it is. I presume you
missed my comment about his dialogs which I skipped typing, since they were
similar to the pUrvapaxa arguments in the GK bhAshhya by sha.nkara. In any case
the phrase

  For some people it may appear that the dream state is also real from the
  statement "The waking state is akin to the dream state".

leaves no scope for (mis)interpretations such as yours. Also I will quote from
the GK and Up.S, works of gauDapAda and sha.nkara which you may want to read
before criticizing me.

svapnajAgarititasthAne hyekamAhurmnIshhiNaH |
bhedAnaM hi samatvena prasiddhenaiva hetunA || (GK II.5)

[ Inasmuch as the diverse things are (found to be) similar on the strength of
the familiar ground of inference, the wise say that the dream and waking state
are one ]

saprayojanatA teshhAM svapne vipratipadyate |
tasmAdAdyantavattvena mithyaiva khalu smR^itAH || (GK II.7)

[ Their utility is contradicted in dream. Therefore from the fact of their
having a beginning and an end they are rightly held to be unreal ]

Note: gauDapAda is referring to the waking state objects by the word "Their"

svapne tadvatprabodhe yo bahishchAntastathaiva cha |
AlekhyAdhyayane yadvattadanyonyadhiyodbhavaM || (Up.S XVII.18)

[ The events in the waking state are similar to those in dream. The ideas of
interior and exterior in the former state is as unreal as in the latter like
reading and writing depend on each other ]

I will make it clear that both sha.nkara and gauDapAda say that from the
_point of view of the waking state the dream is unreal_. The point rather is an
objective evaluation of the evidence, which leads to _not_ giving a _higher
reality_ to the waking state as compared to the dream state. There is lot of
philosophical subtlety involved in the GK, not random assertions of the sort
"a 3 sided square and a pot have the same reality".

I did not want to get into this "Dream vs Waking" once more. I have repeated
myself ad-nauseam both here and on srh and am sure the old-timers on this list
will throw-up if I get into it again :-). Please refer GK, especially the
vaitAthya prakaraNa where sha.nkara deconstructs _all_ your objections after
stating them pUrvapaxa arguments. I am talking here about the objections you
made in your discussions with Rushikesh Joshi.

>time to wonder if other jivas exist he doesn't unequivocally come out for
>the ekajivavada.

Huh?!! DSV _implies_ eka-jIva. Oh, well. Here goes anyway (page 168, on
answering another question):

HH: If to a person, who is highly competent and is capable of fixing the mind on
the supreme Being, is said that the world is like a dream, the tattva can be
grasped easily. To that person eka-jIva vAda is appropriate. That is what is
said by shAstra-s also. Difficulty may arise if others are also taught in the
said fashion. So, for them aneka-jIva vAda alone is suitable.

AchAryAL does not come out for any vAda. He was a guru par excellence, who
taught disciples based on how qualified they were. He only says the more
competent sAdhaka-s are only fit for the eka jIva vAda. Obviously he takes into
consideration the lesser qualified people and says that only aneka-jIva vAda is
suitable for them.

>(You have to bear in mind this is from a talk for the
>general public and he probably would explain his views more rigorously in
>an academic situation.)

Actually AchAryAL unequivocally states that that SDV would not be suitable for
the general public since their minds will not be pure enough.

"Yes. So far I was speaking with dR^ishTi-sR^ishTi vAda in mind, but this will
_not be suitable for many people_ because their minds will not be pure enough to
understand this philosophy"

So, obviously, this wasn't from a talk to the _general public_, whatever that
may mean. It was a one-to-one talk with a disciple, who AchAryAL considered
advanced enough to expound SDV to. The book is not a collection of lectures,
but rather dialogs with disciples. Please read the excerpts I posted last
time once more.


Frank wanted to know where he could get this book. An English translation of
the book titled "The Jagatguru answers" has been and published and may be
obtained from:

The Manager
Sri Sharada Trust
Shankar Math Building
Bangalore 560 004

I don't think it's available anywhere here.


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