[Advaita-l] Bondage and Liberation - Logical or Illogical?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Jan 27 05:42:59 CST 2013

The following is sourced from

// See the beauty of how Mahan Sri Vijayeendra Tirtha (Paramaguru of Sri
Raghavendra Tirtha)
explains the illogic of Adwaitham through a simple analogy or Upamaanam.
Mahan Sri Vijayeendra Tirthar jestingly asks:* "Will a mother willingly and
knowingly give poison to her child and, then also give an anti-dote for the
poison? The answer is NO. Similarly, would anyone knowingly enter/
jump into dirt and then clean oneselves up from dirt? The answer is NO. So,
why would the Lord create Jivatmas and knowingly put Avidya, Agyanam into
them that then makes them think that they are different from the Paramatma
which supposedly they are not, as alluded by the Adwaitins? Then why would
the Lord also give them ways and means as prescribed by Adwaitins (i.e.,
study of scriptures, atma vichaara etc. etc.) by sending a messenger who
propounds Adwaita, as an anti-dote to overcome this Avidya? Similarly, why
would the Jivaatmas enter into dirt knowingly if they were originally
unsullied that makes them deluded and, then later study scriptures to
realise that they are the same as Brahman???Just does not make any logical
sense, isn't it?  Same with Adwaitham - just doesn't make any logical
sense.  People hear these Adwaitham from some Swami ---nanda (there are so
many of these Adwaitham propounding Swami ---nanda) or read their books and,
then repeat what they have said like a parrot or copy and paste from their
sites without thinking.*  //

A Response to the purported criticism by Sri Vijayeendra Tirtha

[ Sri Vijayeendra Tirtha (1539 - 1595 AD) a revered Acharya of the Dvaita
school is said to have been a contemporary of Sri Appayya Dikshitar.
According to the Madhwas both have had  a number of debates and  Appayya
lost every time. I have heard from a research scholar that both schools
record about a particular  between the two and both schools have written in
their books that  their side won and the other, upon the humiliation, made
a secret exit from the location.]

Sri Madhwacharya in his bhashya for the Mandukya passage

//anAdi mAyayA supto yadA jIvaH prabuddhyate
ajam anidram asvapnam advaitam budhyate tadA // [This is a kArikA (1.16) as
per Advaitins and a shruti passage for Dvaitins]

[16 When the jiva, asleep under the influence of beginningless mAyA, is
awakened, it then realizes the  birthless, sleepless and dreamless
Non-duality. ]

The Mandukya bhashya of Madhwa is available in this pdf:


Here the mantra of this Upanishad is numbered 2.8 in Sanskrit numerals on
page 11 of the pdf:

Sri Madhwacharya comments by citing a 'prakAshikA' verse:

This verse that comes as the commentary for the above mantra can be found a
few lines below the above mantra on page 12 of the pdf:

anAdimAyayA viShNorichchayA svApito yadA

tayA prabodhamAyAti tadA viShNum prapashyati.

[Due to anAdimAyA which means ViShNu's Will, the jIva has been made to/put
into the slumber of samsara. When the jIva, owing to  ViShNu's Will wakes
up, then he gets the vision/realization of ViShNu.]

   1. From the above it is clear that according to Madhwa the jiva is in
   samsara because Vishnu has willed so. And the jiva's waking up to the
   asamsAric truth is also due to the Lord's will.  Sri Vijayendra Tirtha's
   analogy of: //*a mother willingly and knowingly giving poison to her
   child and, then also giving an antidote for the poison // accurately fits
   the commentarial statement of Madhwa.  For, samsAra is something to be got
   rid of even for the Dvaitins.  And The Lord (mother) has caused the jiva to
   be in samsara (poison) by willing so.  **And by providing **the jiva
   ways and means (antidote) as prescribed by dwaitins (i.e., study of
   scriptures, bhakti, atma vichaara etc. etc.) by sending a messenger who
   propounds dwaita which is the antidote for the poison of samsara the Lord
   (mother) wills that the jiva comes out of samsara. *
   2. Madhvas accept that the one who gives ajnAna to the jiva is also Hari
   alone  (A verse from the nyAyasudhA-parimaLa 1-1-2 has been cited by
   Dr.A.V.Nagasampige in his Kannada book 'mata traya sameekShA p.154: 'tvam
   muktido bandhado ato mato naH. tvam jnAnado ajnAnadashchAsi viShNo. [O
   lord, we know You as the one who gives (us) liberation and who gives
   bondage. You are the One that gives Jnana and ajnAna.]
   3. According to Madhwa siddhAnta
   12. What is the swaroopa of jeeva? - There are three swaroopaas // 1)
   Mukti yogya - jnaanananda swaroopa,// those who are truly jnAnAndasvarUpa
   have been put into samsara by the Lord by His willing so.  According to the
   above cited Kannada book, jivas are of chidAnanda svarUpa. That book does
   not differentiate between jiva-s on this ground.
   4. Why does the Lord do so? 9. What paramathma will get by srushti?
   - Paramathma will not get anything by srusti. He does not need anything.
   He does it as if it is his leela.
   5. All  the attributes of the Lord remain in Him inseparably.
   6. 15. How does the jeeva get moksha from janmantara kleshaas? - by the
   mercy of Srihari only.
   16. How does it happen?
   - by Shravana, manana, hariguru bhakti, and shama damaadi.
   7. The prospect of the jiva in Advaita 'knowingly' coming to samsara is
   also farfetched since the shAnkara bhAShya for the said kArikA is clear
   that it is due to its own avidyA that the jiva is in samsara.
   8. The answer to the question //* would anyone knowingly enter/
   jump into dirt and then clean oneself up from dirt?// is also available in
   the Madhva siddhAnta: Hari gives the jivas ajnAna in order that they remain
   in samsara. And jivas are paratantra-s and have to depend on Hari for being
   in bandha and getting mokSha.  *
   9. Neither Dvaita nor Advaita lends to the theory of 'the Lord creating
   jivAtma-s'. They are anAdi in both schools.  Only that in Advaita jIvatvam
   is a bhrama, again not caused by Ishwara.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that whether in Dvaita or in
Advaita, bondage is due to ajnAna and moksha is due to jnAna.  While Dvaita
stresses Hari's instrumentality explicitly, Advaita acknowledges
IshvarAnugraha for AdvaitavAsanA but does not admit that Ishwara is
responsible for bondage.  I have reported before in this forum that during
the nyAyAmRta-Advaitasiddhi deliberations that I have attended in Bangalore
at the pUrNaprajnA samshodhana mandiram, no difference of opinion came
about on the question on 'how samsara comes about'.

When the various points mentioned in the foregoing are kept in mind there
will hardly be any room for the kind of criticism purportedly made by Sri
Vijayendra Tirtha.  And most importantly, anAdimAyA and  samsara are not
within the gamut of logic.  However much one might try, one cannot explain
them logically.  That is why Advaita holds all this 'anirvachanIya'.

Om Tat Sat

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