[Advaita-l] Some 'questions' against Advaita
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 7 13:50:02 CDT 2015
On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 6:46 PM, Srivathsa Rao via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
In one of the posts copied to this forum by the above member there were
some 'questions' from a person who has 'converted' to dvaita after
'finding' advaita to be illogical, foolish, etc. Here are some responses to
them proving how those questions are foolish and illogical. This post is
solely with a view to correct the mistaken notion among some persons that
advaitins do not have answers to their* 'very well-thought out and
penetrating, intelligent'* questions.
> Acharya Madhwa corrected the in-correct norm existing which was
> Adwaitham. We are very proud that he did that.
The Dvaitins boast of Madhva, on the very first day, confronting his
teacher with 32 defects in the Ishṭasiddhi (an advaitic work) which his
teacher could not satisfactorily answer. What are these 'defects'? They
have 'record' of a supposed debate between Sri Vijayeendra Tirtha and Sri
Appayya Dikṣita. Where is the record of those 32 defects? Let them be
posed to the present day advaitins and replies sought.
//But confused persons and, people with less logical power/ less intellect
who will nod their head like a sheep to what their teacher says and, will
repeat like parrot what they heard cannot understand these things. You
seem fit in that category of nodding their head like a sheep and repeating
like a parrot what they heard. Acharya Madhwa corrected the in-correct
norm existing which was Adwaitham. We are very proud that he did that.//
Now what the above person (objector) is doing is also the same: Nodding his
head to what has been taught to him (by his new-found saviours, the dvaita
teachers and Acharya) without questioning and repeating it like a parrot
(?) [For only good scholars of his following of can adjudge how much of
his new-found philosophy he has correctly grasped]. In case this epithet
he applies to Shankara should not apply to him, then he must do what Madhva
did to his teacher: question and oppose the teacher and rebel against it.
Only then he can claim to be not a sheep and a parrot. As long as he does
not do that, he cannot escape the sheep-parrot epithet.
> Subramanyam Chandrashekar the Nobel laureate corrected and, went against
> his teacher Eddington. Eventually Chandra was proved right and, he won a
> Nobel prize in 1983 but, for less intelligent men like you, this would have
> constituted Guru Droham. So, you may wallow in your ignorance known as
In the nyāya śāstra tradition, I have reliably known, there is a case: the
author of the famed work 'Dīdhiti' has criticized his own teacher in this
work and these criticisms are admitted to be true and justified, by the
experts in that discipline. On these two analogies (of the nobel laureate
and the Diīdhiti author,) all *Advaitins* (just like those scientists and
the adepts of Nyāya śāstra) should have approved Madhva's criticisms of
Advaita and found them to be true. Have they? On the other hand the only
ones who approve of his criticisms are none but his own followers. Thus
the Nobel laureate analogy does not help.
1. Adwaitins don't believe even real life experiences and call it all a
dream and, further they don't believe in dreams.
This is a fine testimony of his observation:
//By the way, I am an Adwaithi by birth - born in Iyer family and, became
a Dwaithi after finding Adwaitham to be utterly illogical and foolish.//
If the above understanding is an example of the objector's finding advaitam
'utterly illogical and foolish', let him pl. verify what means he adopted
to arrive at that 'finding'. Which Advaitic texts he read to conclude what
he says at No.1 above? Which Advaita Acharya taught him Advaita which lead
to that impression at No.1? Let the exact quotes from the Advaitic texts
that say the above be produced. This is a standard misconception of
non-advaitins about advaita. Without properly studying and understanding
the advaitic texts, they come up with silly objections that are only
But as far as Jananam of Shankara is concerned they will say that
Shivaguru and Aryamba went to Shiva temple in Tiruchur and prayed for a
son. Lord Shiva came in the dream and asked them if they want a son who
is dull and long lived or bright and short lived. They supposedly chose
the 2nd option!! How can one choose an option in dream? Let us overlook
that for the time being.
Why overlook? If in a dream I go to a friend's place and his mother offers
me a choice between Dosai and Idli. Where is the difficulty in choosing
either? Is a choosing not part of a dream?
Then supposedly Shankara was born. And, the Adwaitins will claim that
Shiva himself was born as Shankara while some will claim that Subramanya
was born as Shankara. And, they will use the above dream as the proof.
Should we laugh at their double standards?
If different people claim different things, where is the double standard in
it? Are not Madhvas differing and quarreling and even initiating court
cases on several things within their school right from ekadasi to maṭhas
and location and identity of mūla brindavanas and performance of ārādhana
at a particular shrine?
> 2. Shankara who propounded that we are verily the Brahman itself defeated
one Abhinava in debate. And, that scholar in anger put black magic on
Shankara!!! How can anyone put black magic on Brahman??? How can the so
called Jivan Mukhta be subjected to black magic??? Then he supposedly went
to Tiruchendur and composed Subramanya Bhujangam and, relieved himself from
black magic? So, a person who claimed that he is not different than
Brahman needed the help of Subramanya to relieve himself from black
magic??? Strange logic indeed of Adwaitins.
Response: Strange is the logic indeed of this person and those who taught
him Advaita. The above only confirms the poor grasp of advaita he and his
school has. He does not even know what is meant by 'I am Brahman'. First
take a good course in Advaita and then talk about logical flaws in it.
Even today at various meets, the Dvaita organizers invite Advaita scholars
and have them expound texts and then listen to them and raise questions.
They try to understand what advaitins say (and not what themselves
understand from reading the texts by themselves) and then respond. They
have realized that the old objections from Dvaita have not made a dent in
advaita precisely for this reason: poor understanding of what Advaita is
and says. To just put him at ease: The Advaitic 'aham brahma asmi' is not
an insulation to the body from disease/pain, etc. No change happens in a
person's body by that realization. If he wants to object on Shankara's
being a Shiva-avatāra and yet requiring someone else to 'cure' him, then I
will point out the case of Krishna, Vishnu-avatāra, propitiating Shiva by a
thousand names and seeking boon of progeny. If the Madhvas have an out of
the world explanation for this event which they accept as genuine and not
an interpolation, then such explanation can be given in the case of
> 3. Shankara was captured by a Kaapalika who wanted to offer him as
sacrifice i.e., human sacrifice. So, what did Shankara do? He called out
for Narasimha and composed a Stotram and, supposedly Narasimha saved him.
Hmm, a person who claimed that he is not different than Brahman,
Response: Same reply as above. The whole story is distorted. Shankara was
not 'captured'. He did not turn down the appeal of the Kāpālika but offered
to satisfy the K's requirement. He did not inform anyone and asked K to
accomplish his mission when he(S) would be in meditation. When the act of
beheading him was about to happen, Padmapāda, Shankara's disciple chanced
to see it. He was a great Narasimha upāsaka with mantra siddhi (There is a
story on how he attained that siddhi). He invoked Narasimha on himself and
slayed the Kāpālika. Shankara never 'called out' to Narasimha One can give
an extra explanation: Shankara, verily Shiva, who is the greatest devotee
of Vishnu being non-different from him, only did that stuti and enacted
that just to demonstrate the glory of Narasimha to the world. Just like
Krishna enacted the propitiation of Shiva for progeny as a lesson for
mortals to emulate (as per Madhvas).
> needs help from Narasimha??? Strange indeed, is it not?
Just as 'strange' as Krishna required Shiva's boon for progeny. Is it not?
> 4. Shankara was walking in the morning and, sees a Chandala with four
dogs in his way. He asks him to move away and, supposedly the Chandala
asks - who should move - this body which is going to become ash when I am
dead or this soul - which is same as your soul and, all of which is
Brahman?!!! And, at that time Shankara realizes his folly and, the
Chandala is none other than Shiva and, the four dogs are the four Vedas. As
> you see - the Acharya who propounded that ALL Aatmas are the same could
not put to practice what he preached when he was confronted with a
Krishna, who is supposed to have created the whole world, could not create
a child for himself!!. He went on a pilgrimage to Kailasa and got
initiated into Shiva propitiation methods from Upamanyu and conducted the
ritual and got the boon. How Krishna could not all by himself manage a
situation when confronted by Jāmbavati for progeny?
Let one stop bringing up foolish objections.
> 5. Sanyasis do not have Agni Kaaryam but supposedly Shankara had promised
his mother that he will come and do Agni/Anthim Kaaryam for her.
Which smriti allows sannyasins to have a sumptuous feast? And eat four
thousand big sized bananas and drink 30 pots of milk?
//Life and History of Sri Madhwacharya - Part 5
By Late M Rama Rao, Kumbakonam
Then he went on a South Indian tour with the two-fold purpose of
piligramage and propagation of his interpretations of the Sastras. He
visited Vishnumangala (Kasargod TK) where after a sumptous feast Sri Madhva
swallowed 200 plantain fruits and yet his belly didn't budge out. Asked by
his Guru about it he said his stomachic fire was so powerful that it could
burn the whole universe too M.V. 10 51, 52. *He ate a thousand bananas at
Isupata and at Goa 4000 big-sized ones and drank 30 pots of milk.//*
Strange indeed, is it not?
> 6. Shankara goes to Bhiksha and, a poor lady comes out and, gives him
Amlaki fruit. He is moved and, invokes Lakshmi and, composes Kanakadara
Stotram and, there is rain of gold coins. Hmm, an Acharya who propounds
> that he is verily that Brahman, needs the assistance of Lakshmi to
create gold?? Strange, is it not.
Nothing strange. Shankara wanted the world to know that they have to
propitiate Mother Lakshmi for wealth. Let the objector try to know from a
good teacher what it means to be brahman for an advaitin. Making such
silly comments will only make him a laughing stock among his own
fellow-Madhvas, some of whom have at long last understood that it is the
Nirguna brahman with which an advaitin identifies on the knowledge of 'Aham
Brahma asmi' and not the saguṇa Iswara who alone is sarvajna and
sarvashakta. A Jnani can have siddhis and he may or may not display them.
> The Adwaitins cannot answer these and, will claim that these are all
Vyavaharika Sathyas and, other ad infinitum nonsense.
Advaitins have not bothered to answer nonsense being posed to them as
'questions'. Let the objector learn to be a worthy asset to his new-found
system to which he has converted and not be seen by his fellow-men as a
liability who has no more than nuisance value to them by coming up with
such immature objections.
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