[Advaita-l] pasupatha - mayavadam

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 22:42:42 CST 2011

Dear Shri Kalyan,
On Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM, Kalyan K <kalyankc.81 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Rajaram-ji,
> >Based on discussions with Shri Subrahmanian, it is clear that the Padma
> >Purana verses (mayavadam asat sastram) do not refer to Advaitam of
> Shankara
> >because the description of the puranic verses do not perfectly fit advaita
> >tradition.
> These verses are most certainly referring to advaita, since this
> so-called "mAyavAda" is referred to as a "prachanna-bauddha"
> philosophy. The latter is an oft-repeated allegation against
> advaita-vedanta.

Rajaram:  There are two reason why Advaitam is called prachanna bauddham.
One, it uses buddhist terminology. Two, it is similar to some buddhist
schools in denying the reality of this world. But the terminology and
concepts are both traceable to the upanishads. Even if the terminology is
not, it seems to be a method of advaitins to agree with the opponents on
all common points instead of arguing over nomenclature but focus on
pointing out where advaitam differs and why. So, the charge that advaitam
is prachanna bauddham seems to be unfounded.Just because some schools call
advaitam prachanna bauddham, it cannot be said that the smrti verse refers
to advaitam only.  It is quite possible that pauspatha madham was also
called prachanna bauddham for valid reasons and the smrti verse refers to
it. But the verses were misinterpreted by these schools as referring to
advaitam because pasupatha madha almost became extinct when these schools
flourished. Before we go in to why Pasupatha Madham is the probable target
of this verse (assuming it is not an interpolation), we will have to see
why it cannot refer to advaitam.

1. prachanna bauddham - it is like saying capitalism is covered communism
because both share the principle of market regulation
2. brahmana rupina - shankara did not have shika and upanayanam thread when
he taught advaitam. he identifies himself with atma and rejects his
brahminical status even when he meets his guru.
3. sarva karma paribhramsam - shankara insists on adhering to the
injunctions of karma khanda. not only shankarites but also madhwas renounce
agni-hotra on taking sannyas. and sannyasis in shankara sampradaya have to
perform action (danda tharpanam, pranava japa etc.). dasanami sannyasa
order is scriptural and not arbitrary

Let us see why the verses (assuming they are not interpolations) most
likely refer to pasupatha madham:

1. prachanna bauddham - as a school that flourished around 2 BCE and 2CE,
the pasupatha madham had buddhist influences. they adopted the tantras and
gave relaxations to grahasthas like the buddhists. i have not found textual
references yet but it is quite likely that contemporary vaidhikas accused
them of being prachanna baudhhas based on this
2. brahmana rupina - they believe that shiva incarnated as a teacher named
lakulisha, a Gujarathi brahmin
3. sarva karma paribhramsam - they are an ascetic tradition and even today
blatantly violate injunctions of the scriptures to shock the masses out of
adherence to karma without realising that the world is but an illusion.
4. jiva brahma (siva) aikyam - lakulisha taught abhedha tattva

We have to look in to Shankara's critcism of Pasupatha madham, which will
give an insight in to this investigation.

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