[Advaita-l] Advaita THE Vedanta

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Jul 29 20:31:22 CDT 2012

The following post was found in the URL:

Here it is copied and taken up for a short analysis purely with a view
to show how there are misconceptions pertaining to
Advaita Vednta that form the basis of such 'attacks' on Advaita. It
will give an opportunity to know the positions the different schools
take on different concepts. No personality attack is intended in this

Inicio del mensaje reenviado:

>* De: "K A Harnahalli" <nharnaha at rediffmail.com <http://dvaita.info/mailman/listinfo/dvaita-list_dvaita.info>>*>* Asunto: Advaita is Vedanta?*>* Fecha: 12 de julio de 2012 5:32:46 p.m. GMT+05:30*>* Para: <dvaita-list-owner at dvaita.info <http://dvaita.info/mailman/listinfo/dvaita-list_dvaita.info>>*>* *>* Brahma satyam, jaganmithya a Hindu Mahavakya? While all Vedantins are one in upholding tha satyatva of Brahman,
great two(Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhva) of the triumvirate have rejected
jaganmithyatva. So have the remaining three

 acharyas viz. Nimbarka, Vallabha and Chaitanya. So 'Brahma satyam,
jaganmithya' is only a mahavakya of the Advaita branch
of Vedanta.

Satayatva need not always be accompnied by nityatva though the
whatever is nitya is always satya. Satyatva is

connected with 'being there' while nityatva-anityatva are concepts
relating to the length of time.

*Advaitin's Response:

Actually 'satya', real, is that which has a 'sattA', existence.  Says
Dr.B.N.K.Sharma  (maybe in the book 'A History of Dvaita Vedanta and
its literature'):

// Though *existence is thus ‘reality’*, Madhva recognizes that its
highest expression must be metaphysical independence of every other
form of

existence in finite reality, in respect of its being, powers and
activity. Everything in finite reality is therefore grounded in the
Independent Reality,

known as Brahman and needs it for its being and becoming. // (emphasis mine)

 My comment: On the basis of BNK’s words above, it is pertinent to
note that just as in Advaita, ‘existence’ ‘sat/sattaa’ is the same as

‘reality’, ‘satyam’ in the Madhva system. In the famous definition of
‘Satyam’ provided by Shankara in the Taittiriya Up.bhashyam for the

‘satyam’ occurring there it is said: ‘sadeva satyam’. It is now
confirmed that in the Madhva system too, this equation is valid: sat

= satyam (Reality).

// yadadhInA yasya sattA tat tadityeva bhaNyate' // (quoted by Sri
Raghavendra Tirtha in the PuruSha sUktam bhaShyam for the line: 'पुरुष
एवेदं सर्वम्..)This quote is
eminently applicable (only) to the general concept of adhyAsa. No one
can deny this. That the dependent is sva-sattA-shUnya and it derives
its sattA ONLY from an
entity different from itself is an essential and unique feature of the
rajju-sarpa illusion. And hence there is nothing wrong in my citing it
And it amounts to that alone for there can be no example in the world
other than the rajju-sarpa type to demonstrate that cited line. It
cannot escape the definition:
// svasattA-shUnyatve sati anyasattA-adhInasattAkatvam
स्वसत्ताशून्यत्वे सति अन्यसत्ताऽधीनसत्ताकत्वं परतन्त्रसत्यत्वम् is
what paratantratvam is.//
The superimposed sarpa is dependent on the rajju's sattA for its own
(imagined) existence. Thus the world in the Dvaita school has no
independent existence
(and therefore reality) just as in Advaita.

Here is what Dr.B.N.K.Sharma says (culled from an article which
appeared on this page till a few months ago:
(maybe now moved to some other location):
//The dependence of the world of matter and the souls on Brahman is in
the sense that both are functioning at His will, which is the
essential condition and
sustaining principle that *invests them with their reality* and
*without which they would be but void names and bare possibilities.*

['His will' or 'IshwarecchA' is substituted in Advaita with the word
'Brahman's Maya' or some other equivalent.]

The above explains the rajju-sarpa condition in exact terms.

Thus, going by Dr.Sharma's words, it is clear that the world does not
have the fundamental 'existence' itself of its own. And therefore, it
can be concluded
that it does not have the absolute 'reality' also.  Just like the
superimposed serpent has to depend on the substratum rope for its
seeming existence and reality.
**>* The theory of Brahma satyam, jaganmithya is closely associated
with an attributeless and formless Brahman,
two levels of stayatva and Maya/avidya. **

*Response:*  *The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy says:

* *// Madhva (1238-1317 CE)

According to Madhva there are two orders of reality: 1. svatantra,
independent reality, which consists of Brahman alone and 2. paratantra,
dependent reality, which consists of jivas (souls) and jada (lifeless
objects). Although *dependent reality would not exist apart from brahman’s
will*, this very dependence creates a fundamental distinction between
brahman and all else, implying a dualist view. //

That the two pairs Paramarthika-vyavaharika and Swatantra-paratantra are
only synonymous has been elucidated in an article:


That the Brahman of Dvaita system also ultimately amounts to an
attributeless one is clear if we understand that:

   - The 'attributes' attributed to Brahman are all only jagat or jiva
   - It is suffice to say that independent of His creation there will be
   nothing for Brahman to
   know about Himself. In such a scenario He will be the Advaitic Brahman.
   For all
   the Kalyana guNas (jagatkAraNatvam, sarva niyAmakatvam, kAruNyam,
   sarvaishvaryatvam, et., etc.) that the Dvaitins speak of are invariably
   jiva or jagat specific. If these two are removed from the slate there is
   nothing to talk about Ishwara's/Brahman's guNa. Thus the Swatantra
   'independence' is ever dependent on the paratantra jagat/jiva.

Dvaita also accepts mAyA.  It goes by the name 'IshwarEcchA'.  In the
Mandukya shruti: अनादिमायया सुप्तः यदा जीवः प्रबुध्यते..Sri Madhvacharya
says: the jiva-s are in samsara due to IshwarEcchA and are released from
samsara due to the same IshwarEcchA. In Advaita the jiva-s are in samsara
due to anAdi mAyaa.

>>By designating Brahman as 'ekamevaadviteeya' reality, you have to deny the reality of everything else.
Since, as shown in the foregoing, there is no fundamental existence
for the paratantra, its reality is as good as being denied.

Only that it is not said so explicitly. *

>>As a result the sadhaka, his sadhana, his sadhya (i.e.liberation or God realization and
ultimately God Himself), dharma, shastra and all else become unreal.

*One serious misconception about Advaita is: The Advaitic
Self-realization or Brahman realization is mistaken to be God
realization.  In Advaita
'God' is Ishwara and is not the same as Brahman that is realized for
mokSha.  So the above statement/charge is based on
a wrong idea about Advaita.  The sadhaka's sAdhya is not Ishwara-realization.
>>The vyavaharika level of reality is nothing but an honourable designation for something which ultimatey is going to be sublated.

Thus whatever the man does to achieve higher paramarthika level also
gets discounted, if not discredited.

*This is because in Advaita 'bandha and moksha' are not absolutely real.*

>>I hear that about jaganmithyatva, Dr.Radhakrishnan has said somewhere that you cannot condemn the world and still be
a part of it.

*I would like to have the exact reference of this to determine what
exactly was said and in what context.*

**>> As for Jeeva, you cannot accept the theory unless you accept the
theory of Brahman Himself being covered by
 ajnana because you are none other than Brahman!

*This is because there is no chetana vastu (for whom alone avidya can
be there and consequently samsara and the release from it) other than
the secondless Brahman See an article here:

>>Similarly, Maya is associated with Brahman in such a stupendous  phenomenon as the Creation(and sustenance
and ulimate destruction).

*The Lord says in the Bh.Gita:* *मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते *सचराचरम्*
। हेतुनानेन कौन्तेय जगद्विपरिवर्तते ।।१०।।
With Me as the presiding One, prakRti (mAyA) creates the world of
moving and unmoving.
>>Also, an Akhanda Brahman has to be divided as  Brahman and Apara Brahman to undersatnd association of sarvajnatva

and kartrutva etc. with the Creator; only to sublate all (except
ekamevadviteey Brahma devoid of attributes and forms) later on.

*I have shown how the apara brahma is only dependent on the paratantra
world/jiva and therefore cannot be the svarUpa guNa of
Brahman. *

 *>* I know the debate on Dvaita and Advaita in all their aspects is
an endless one. It means that the issue
is far from clinched. If at all, Dvaitins believe theirs to be the
ultimate Vedantic siddhanta ('ante siddhastu siddhantah' -

 Shri Vadirajateertha) because it has not bee rejected by any
subsequent Acharya of the stature of Shri Shankara and
 Shri Ramanuja. *>* It therefore does not call for Advaita being
designated as THE Vedanta. *>* *>* K.A.Harnahalli
In fact the above is exactly the subject matter of a book
'vyAsatAtparya nirnayaH' of Sri AyyaNNa DikShita of the 18th century.

He has shown how all the non-Vedantic schools have stated and refuted
ONLY Advaita by taking it alone as the Vedanta.  And this Vedanta that

they have refuted, has itself refuted all these schools which are
dualistic in nature: the salient feature being: 1. jagat satyatva
and 2. jIva nAnAtva, which are the salient features of VishiShTAdvaita
and Dvaita as well.  Since these two features are
the key subject matter of contention, by upholding them those schools
(sAnkhya, vaisheshika, nyAya, pUrva mimamsa and yoga) have
refuted Vedanta (because Vedanta does not approve these) and Vedanta,
in turn, has refuted all these schools. Hence the post-Shankara
schools stand already refuted even before they took these present-day
forms.  The arguments contained in these post-Shankara schools against
Advaita are already present in the pre-Shankara schools enumerated
above in their arguments against Vedanta.  If it is required that
subsequent Acharyas
must refute the post-Shankara schools, we have Swami Vidyaranya,
Madhusudana Saraswati, Appayya Dikshita, etc. who have done this
and established Advaita, in the face of any 'new' opposition.
Thus 'Vedanta' continues to be only Advaita or Advaita alone
continues to be 'Vedanta'.*

*Om Tat Sat


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