[Advaita-l] RE: Bhagavan Ramanuja and Madhva haven't written any

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 6 08:37:08 CST 2005

Sri Hari wrote:

"The basic objection in the form of a question against AdhvaithA is; Why 
should the Brahman get obstructed/covered by AvidhyA?"

The answer to this question depends upon whether you consider Advaita a 
philosophical system or a moksha-shastra. If you take advaita as a 
philosophical system you will find several perplexing questions including 
the above and an exhaustive list of others put forth by great acharyas of 
other systems. Every single one of these objections has been replied 
cogently and has been met with equally cogent counter-objections from rival 
systems. Issues have been discussed to death and the debate continues till 
date without coming to a conclusion. Now and then a great scholar will come 
up with a "dvaita-vijaya-vaijayanti" or "advaita-vijaya-dundubhi" and 
declare that objections against his system have been finally replied in his 
work once and for all. However as your question above clearly demonstrates 
that it is never once and for all. In fact no philosophical system can ever 
be perfect. If you are looking for philosophical perfection, you will never 
find one in any system of the world.

However a time comes in our lives when we have to decide whether we want to 
approach a system for intellectual curiosity or for a solution to our 
existential problem. If you approach advaita as a solution to the 
existential problem of feeling limited only then it becomes a 
moksha-shastra. The acid test of a moksha shastra is not whether it is able 
to win the final debate but whether it is able to deliver the goal it 
promises. As a moksha-shastra the goal of advaita is jivanmukti-- not the 
construction of a watertight foolproof philosophical system. It does not 
promise you something in the other world for which you have to die first. 
Jivanmukti is for here and now. If you believe the words of realized 
masters, you do not need any other proof that advaita delivers. It may not 
be perfect as a philosophical system, but as a moksha shastra it is perfect. 
However if you do not believe their words, you can still test the truth of 
advaita because it is not a goal in other world. Approach the shastra with 
the qualification it demands and decide for yourself.

Sanjay Srivastava

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