Dvaita and Sophistry - Part 3(Inherent natures of jivas)

kalyan chakravarthy kalyan_kc at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 13 11:44:11 CST 2003


In the previous two parts we have seen how the sophistry of Dvaita is
exposed in prameya#3. Now please allow me to evaluate the logic(sophistry)
behind prameya#4 of Dvaita.

The prameya#4 says that the jivas are graded in quality. Apart from slokas
from the scriptures(which I seriously doubt whether they indicate any
eternal gradation), the following sophistry is given to prove the point.

The sophistry is taken from the same website dvaita.org.

Consider that all do not have identical positions of joy/suffering; why? If
all jîva-s are inherently identical, what causes them to be different in
their positions in reality?

1> If because of the Creator, Lord Vishnu, then He may be accused of
favoritism, malice, etc., and that is unacceptable.

2> If because of past karma, then why is the past karma different for jîva-s
that are identical? What caused those to be different?

3> If because the jîva-s themselves have different desires and thus choose
different paths, how can they be called identical at all?

Thus, it follows from logic as well, that all jîva-s are not identical.


Now consider the following analogy. Let us take a chemical reaction. No one
would say that the inherent nature of all the molecules of a particular
element or compound is different.

OBSERVATION. The inherent nature of all the molecules of a particular
element or compound is the same.

But when the reactants are subjected to reaction conditions, do we have all
the reactants turning into products? No. Anyone who knows some amount of
chemistry understands that it is not necessary for all the chemical
reactants to turn into products even though they are inherently identical.

Now consider the jivas. People enjoy various levels of joy or suffering in
their day to day lives. Does this mean that they are not inherently
identical? No. Let me illustrate this point by this example.

Consider the same person. If he is placed in some advanced country where
food and water are plenty, then he behaves as a nice citizen. Imagine
placing him in a desert region or a country where poverty abounds. There is
a good chance that he can become a criminal or a murderer. Now is the person
inherently not identical to himself? Then why does he behave in such
different ways? Here is where, the sophistry of the dvaitic arguments is
exposed. Just because jivas enjoy different levels of joy or suffering in
this world, it does not mean that their inherent natures are different.

I hope I have shown you why we cannot say that jivas are not identical just
because they behave in different ways. Now please consider the following
counter-argument for the dvaitic argument.

We all know that the nature or the prakriti that we live in is heterogenous.
It is definitely possible that nature can act differently on different
people to produce different actions and desires on each of them even though
they are inherently identical.(Please see the example of the person given
earlier. In the case of the chemical reaction, it is similar to saying that
all molecules do not reach the energy required to get converted to products,
even though they are inherently identical.) I am going to illustrate this by
taking an example directly from the scriptures.

An example (from scriptures) to illustrate that prakriti acts in a
heterogenous manner -

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna about sattvic, rajasic and
tamasic foods. Each kind of food when eaten produces a different result.
Otherwise, if all foods act on the jiva in the same way, then it is useless
to classify them. For example, rajasic foods increase rajas.

Is it not therefore logical to say that the jivas do different actions and
have different desires and differnt levels of joy(in this world)due to
prakriti being heterogenous and acting heterogenously on them and not due to
their own inherent natures being different?

Thus, the attempts to divide jivas based on their different levels of
suffering or joy is mere sophistry.

Best Regards


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