dvaita and advaita

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 6 14:38:17 CDT 2000

On Thu, 6 Jul 2000 08:25:44 -0700, Ravisankar Mayavaram
<miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>By assigning dvaita to vyAvahArika and advaita to pArAmarthika you can
>to some extent resolve it. Anand Hudli wrote in these lines long back
>either here or SRV (or SRH). Please browse through the archives. Some
>of the key names to look for are Anand Hudli, Vidyasankar Sundaresan,
>Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian, Sadananda, and many others.

 The article I wrote may be found at:


 But a word of caution. After all these years since writing that
 article, I am a little wiser now. It is not possible to reconcile
 advaita and dvaita, unless one is prepared to either twist certain
 key tenets or discard them altogether. For example, the tenets of
 Ananda-tAratamya, ie. gradation in bliss (Ananda) in moxa, and
 the eternal damnation of certain jIvas, in dvaita cannot be
 reconciled with advaita. Similarly, the "jIvo brahmaiva nAparaH"
 ("the jIva is Brahman Itself, not anything else"), among other
 tenets, of advaita cannot be reconciled with dvaita, unless one
 were willing to distort it. For example, the GauDIyas say that
 what the advaitins call Brahman is the Brahma-jyoti of Krishna's
 form. So they say that Brahman is only one aspect of Krishna, any
 jIva that merges with Brahman is only merging with this aspect of
 Krishna, and so on. But this is only twisting advaita to make it
 agree with their system.

 In fact, we can see that some sectarian purANas "successfully"
 reconcile their views with others. For example, in a Shaiva
 purANa, we see that ViShNu is made to offer prayers to Shiva and
 ViShNu is praised as the devotee of Shiva.  Again, in a VaiShNava
 purANa, we see that it is Shiva who becomes a devotee of ViShNu
 and Shiva is praised as the top-most devotee of ViShNu. The
 bhAgavata, for example, says: "vaiShNavAnAM yathA shaMbhuH".
 The trick here is to treat the other system as achieving a secondary
 objective, or perhaps, an objective that is crucial to achieving
 the primary objective. At a personal level, this kind of reconciliation
 may be useful. But it cannot be generalized and thrust upon others
 who may be quite unwilling to accept such a "reconciliation."

 I must add one last thing, however. It is easier to "reconcile" (in
 this personal manner) dvaita with advaita looking from an advaitin's
 perspective rather than otherwise, ie. from a dvaitin's perspective.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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