harivayustuti

Paramatha Khandana III

Hare Srinivasa !!!
Jai Bedi Anjaneya !!!
Jai Vijayaraya !!!
Shree Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

In this article we shall see objectively how dvaita stands head and shoulders above other systems.

We have seen in Paramatha Khandana II that Dvaita or Tattvavada is distinct from

other philosophies in that all other philosophies state equality with God at some

or the other point. advaita claims equality now, vishishta advaita claims equality

in moksha, dvaita-advaita claims difference and equality, iskcon claims continuous

difference and continuous equality.

Dvaita alone stands firm that you are not GOD and can never become GOD at any time !!!

Pure milk is white; even if there is a spot of black it’s not pure. There is no use in arguing that the spot is not black but blue or green. Not pure means not pure; no room for compromises.

Now, there are many accusations on Dvaita

#1) Dvaita scholars have not understood advaita
This is probably the most common accusation. The hidden agenda being, they can

refute any argument saying first understand then debate. But as long as you object;

you will never have “understood”.
I had a discussion with my friend on this, I did’nt speak much and let him talk. He

did’nt tell me anything new that I had’nt heard, but I let him speak. When the

train reached our station, he said “Anyway, this is not of any use practically”. I

picked him up on that and said what is the use of such a philosophy if you can’t

apply it to your life.

An advaitee has to accept bheda and taratamya in his daily life. His bank account

number and signature is distinct; his juniors are juniors and seniors are seniors.

Not only this; if he is in pain, he cannot claim illusion; he has to treat his

pain. In his day to day life he has to accept Dvaita.So GOD makes him learn Bheda

Gnyana and Tartamya throughout his life; then why should it disappear with Gnyana?
It is like GOD making us study for a Maths paper and then setting a language paper

in the exam !!!

So what is the use of understanding a philosophy that cannot be used (according to

themselves) and one that is counter productive.

#2) Quoting Bhagavad Gita for advaita.
advaitees quote Bhagvad Gita for definiton of Maya and other quotes they claim to

support advaita.

Let us see the end of Bhagvad Gita:
Aham Brahmasmi?? Was Arjuna feeling he is the same as Sri Krishna or as his eternal

servant?
Jagat Mitya??? Was Arjuna feeling real or illusory? If it was all maya; then Sri

Krishna could have finished it in a few sentences; why worry Arjuna it’s all maya?

Finish. But the detailed explaination and hierarchy proves it’s absolutely real

!!!!
Nirguna Brahma??? Did Arjuna see nirguna or Vishwa roopa ? SriMadAcharya asks this

question after showing Vishwaroopa how can you still uphold nirguna roopa.

Even an advaitee will answer the questions the same way. So if Bhagavad Gita was

really teaching advaita; then why this outcome?

After receiving Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna knew Sri Krishna was sarvothamma and not him;

he knew his duties and felt real and he had seen a Paripoorna guna roopa of Sri

Krishna; which makes it an out and out Dvaita text !!!
Note Arjuna sees the various deities within the vishwa roopa, which shows the

deities are seperate even in the Vishwa roopa hence refuting Vishishta advaita

which claims that we become one with God on Moksha.

So just by taking a few quotes and twisting the meaning; it is wrong on their part

to quote Bhagavad Gita as supporting advaita. On the contrary the thunderbolt

statement on advaita comes in

BG 16.8
asatyam apratishtham te jagad ahur anishvaram

The demonic people say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in

control.

#3) Dvaita is always attacking advaita.
The claims are that Dvaita scholars are ill mannered and always attacking; where as

advaita scholars are more dignified and have always welcomed dvaita scholars.

This claim is very wrong; biggest proof is Sri Raghavendra Swamy; who graces

everyone. Secondly all the biographies of the Dvaita scholars clearly state that

the defeated advaita opponents were also honoured. In fact many a times it is they

that arrange for the Vijaya utsava for the Dvaita scholar; the claims are utter

nonsense. Some biographies infact shows the humiliating conditions for the debate

thrown by the advaita scholars and how the Dvaita scholars have excused the loser

of the debate from his own conditions. Sri Vyasa Yogi Charitre is a biography of

Sri Vyasarayaru; written by a advaitee; his tremendous respect for Sri Vyasarau is

evident in his writings. A lot of Dvaita scholars were tried to be ill treated and

poisoned because the advaitees were not able to defeat them.

As for attacking the philosophy part, Paramatha Kandana is part and parcel of

philosophy; so there really is no point for that. As for calling shankara a demon;

please see his philosophy and see BG 16.8; why is there any confusion at all ?

#4) shivoham
Most of non dvaita meditation techniques consists of thinking yourself as Shiva or

some other deity; just imagine you are imagining “Paravati Pattitva”??? The whole

scriptures shows who has such feelings and their fate.

The clarity of Dvaita is crisp compared to the confused mind of non-dvaitee

Conclusion: Most of the advaitees I know, have a bigger photo of Sri Raghavendra

Swamy than shankaracharya; they want the fruits of Dvaita. But they follow advaita;

when the chips are down Dvaita; when the mind has no tension advaita; more like a

fiction novel; but has no practical purpose.
Honestly, what problem can you solve by mithya gnyana, nirguna brahma and thinking

you are GOD?  So like my friend said; it’s of no use in practical problems. So Why

waste time with something that cannot be used?

I have taken just bottom line statements; to make the choices simple and clear. This is to counter advaita quiet simply, without going into any intricate details.

Any mistakes are solely mine.

BharatiRamana MukhyaPranantargata SriKrishnarpanamastu !!!

Jai Bharateesha,
Hrishikesh

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63 Comments »

  1. SRI GURUBHYO NAMAHA!; HARIHI OM!

    A very thought provoking post indeed! Bravo!.

    I had some clarifications though

    1) “An advaitee has to accept bheda and taratamya in his daily life. His bank account number and signature is distinct; his juniors are juniors and seniors are seniors.
    Not only this; if he is in pain, he cannot claim illusion; he has to treat his pain. In his day to day life he has to accept Dvaita.So GOD makes him learn Bheda”

    Agreed! But, these types of Taratamya and Bheda are totally on the physical, mental and intellectual planes. For example Taaratamya is definitely present between my body, mind and intellect and that of yours. But, our identities are not limited to our Bodies, Minds or Intellects. Consider these and follow what comes to your mind at that instant…
    My Body(Annamaya Kosha)- Is it ME?
    My Prana(Pranamaya Kosha)- Is it ME?
    My Mind(Manomaya Kosha also called Chitta)- Is it ME?
    My Intellect(Vignanamaya Kosha also called Buddhi)- Is it ME?
    My Self(Anandamaya Kosha-The core of my being, My Soul)- Is it ME?

    As I interpret both Srimadacharyaru’s and Shankara Bhagawadpadaru’s work, both in a subtle sense state the same thing. It is due to this subtlety that, there is so much of a contradiction.

    Srimadacharyaru’s work in an epitome states that “All Jivatmas are totally dependent on Paramatma and thus Paramatma is so close to me-the Jivatma, that I call him “My Father””

    ShankaraBhagavadpadaru says the same thing this way “If Im the Jivatma, Paramatma is so close to me for my existence, that without Paramatma, I the Jivatma am non existent. So I can call him nothing less than “Myself”. All these references to the so called Jivatma is simply a reference to Paramatama, because the Jivatma in its essence is non existent without the Paramatma. Same thing applies to material(Jada) existences.

    2) Regarding the Maya aspect of the Jagat
    The Sanskrit term Maya is in a sense wrongly translated into English as ‘Illusion’. Maya in its idea is centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by our sense organs. Whatever we perceive is through our 5 senses and we are pushed into a delusion that the ‘percieved universe’ is all that exists. Imagine if we developed a sense of perceiving Magnetic and Electric Fields, just as we perceive Sound and Light. The whole universe would appear phenomenally different from what we see now. So The closest English term for The word Maya is ‘relative’. Thus the Advaitist simply states that Jagat is Maya, in the sense that The Universe which we perceive is actually relative(relative in perception, relative in existence). The relativity of existence is proved scientifically today by the fact that Anti-Matter is confirmed to be present. The interaction of Matter(Jada) with these AntiMatter particles leads to Annihilation(vanishing into space). Thus all matter and beings we see around are simply projections, manifestations of that Absolute(call it Brahman, Paramatma, Shiva, Narayana, God- anything you wish), which is beyond all relativity and delusion.

    If what everything really is, is but that Absolute-manifest, what is wrong if I say “Tat Tvam Asi”, “Aham Brahmasmi”, “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma”?
    If my identity is really my soul, which is absolute, What is wrong if I say ‘Im It’ or ‘Shivoham’?

    It reminds me of Purandaradasaru’s kriti; “Jagava Suttihudella Ninna Maayavayya; Ninna Suttihudella Enna Manavayya; Jagake Ballida Neenu; Ninage Ballida Naanu; Kariyu Kannadiyolu Adagippateranante; Neenu Yennola adagippe Purandara Vitthala”
    meaning
    “This world is simply a Maya of you; My Mind Encircles You; You are in me(my identity-Soul) just like there is the coating hidden behind the Mirror.”

    3) “On the contrary the thunderbolt statement on advaita comes in “BG 16.8 asatyam apratishtham te jagad ahur anishvaram””

    This, I must admit that we Dwaitists are being totally ignorant, fanatic and foolish. Lets go word by word in parallel with ShankaraBhagawadpadaru’s philosophy.

    Brahma’Satyam’-What ShankaraBhagawadpadaru’s philosophy says is that the ‘perceived’ Universe is Unreal(Relative) and that beyound all these, there is a foundation(‘Pratishtitam’)- Brahman who is the the ‘Ishwara’.

    I must continue BG 16.8 for you have only chosen the part ‘convenient’ to you 🙂

    asatyam apratiṣṭhaḿ te
    jagad āhur anīśvaram
    aparaspara-sambhūtaḿ
    kim anyat kāma-haitukam

    “The demonic people say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control. They say it is produced of no cause other than lust.”

    In your ‘understanding’ of the Advaita, give me one reference to Kama being stated as the source of creation in Shankaracharyaru’s work.

    The Purandara dasaru’s Kirtane I quoted says the world is filled with your Maya and is unreal. Will you dare call Purandaradasaru a demon?

    What right do we Dwaitists have in calling Shankaracharyaru demonic? Are’nt we by fallacious accusations being demonic ourselves? We have simply shown the ‘littleness’ of our so called ‘followers’ of Srimadachayaru. I am personally deeply hurt, for we have brought down Srimadacharyaru to such a low and cheap state.

    4) Advaita has no real-world utility
    Are we dealing in Business here? Are the works of Srimadacharyaru and Shankaracharyaru so cheap, that they are brought down to a utilitarian perspective? Anyways, as you have included this, Im trying to clarify.

    You are basing this conclusion on the statement of an ignorant advaitist friend of yours. Let me suggest you a simple task. Next time you are in fear or in pain remind yourself that ‘The soul in You(Not your Body for God’s sake) is Brahman residing in you and is therefore without suffering and pain. Just take your attention from the pain or fear to this idea.

    BG 2.24
    acchedyo ‘yam adāhyo ‘yam
    akledyo ‘śoṣya eva ca
    nityaḥ sarva-gataḥ sthāṇur
    acalo ‘yaḿ sanātanaḥ

    “This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same”

    We are but, that Soul. You will definitely feel a lot more better(although you may not admit it).

    Im waiting for your reactions…

    Hare Srinivasa!
    Nikhil Rao

    Comment by Nikhil Rao — August 5, 2012 @ 10:45 am | Reply

    • Hare Srinivasa !

      I tried to present the differences between dvaita and advaita; comparing just conclusions. This is because many advaitees accuse Madhwas of twisting scriptures; so if we present the conclusions agnostic to their derivations and compare apples to apples so to speak; what would be the verdict. I have just given a very cursory glance at that.

      I have observed that everyone carries their own brand of advaita; down the ages there has been an advaita hugging trend in Madhwas and finally ending up in cocktail philosophy.

      Firstly advaita’s final conclusion is You(as in you/me everyone are GOD; no matter how much one twists this is the base conclusion that all advitinis must and will agree upon.

      Dvaitas or Tattvavadis ( correct technical term ) reject the conclusion itself. Because the definition of GOD is sarvatantra Swatantra. In all aspects and eternally; GOD is sarvatantra swatantra. We will never become GOD; we cannot even hope to become GOD; we cannot even understand GOD completely. This is an unthinkable mistake from Tattvavada point of view.

      All of advaitas philisophy and reasoning flows from this Eeshoham attitude as opposed to “Dasoham attitude” of Tattvavada.

      See itihas and shastra what has happened to those who have thought themselves to be GOD !

      Secondly advaita says we are fragments of GOD and we are affected by agyana. Tattvavada again questions; fragment of GOD is also GOD; svagata bheda vivarjita. No matter how tiny the portion of GOD; it is GOD himself. Harivamsha says SriKrishna is just a black hair of moola roopa of SriHari. With just one hair SriHari shows Vishwa roopa; can we with any conviction say we are GOD? Also if agyana can cover GOD himself; then we it means agyana is more powerful than GOD which again contradicts the very definition of GOD.

      The rest of the proofs are built around these basic premises. We can go into detail about each statement.

      I request you trace each derivation to conclusion. In software we have RTM ( Requirements Tracability Matrix ) where each requirement is tracked till the feature is delivered. But if you keep the big picture in mind; you’ll be more open and understand the direction it is headed in.

      For example:

      ShankaraBhagavadpadaru says the same thing this way “If Im the Jivatma, Paramatma is so close to me for my existence, that without Paramatma, I the Jivatma am non existent. So I can call him nothing less than “Myself”. All these references to the so called Jivatma is simply a reference to Paramatama, because the Jivatma in its essence is non existent without the Paramatma. Same thing applies to material(Jada) existences.

      Let us assume that we cannot stay for one second without breathing oxygen ( a reasonable assumption); in this case what is proved is that we are extremely dependent on oxygen. So should we call ourselves oxygen? or oxygen should be renamed to each of our names?

      In any case this would assume that there are two separate entities us and oxygen; even in your translation it assumes that you and GOD are seperate entities and there is a strong dependecy; this violates advaita principle ( a-dvaita not two but one).

      I have some personal emergencies because of which I cannot type lengthy responses; I have requested some of my friends to respond more appropriately and they can do it much better than I can do.

      Jai Bharateesha !!!

      Comment by hrishikesh — August 5, 2012 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

      • Thank You for your reply. This is really getting into a healthy and interesting discussion 🙂

        1) It is true that there exist many different versions of Advaita. Advaita is a very subtle philosophy. As far as I am concerned, I initially would laugh and find the idea of ‘Eeshoham’ blasphemous. It takes a lot of mental reasoning and understanding to grasp the essence of Advaita. It is more like a philosophy for the scientist. This subtlety is what creates many misunderstandings and thus many versions of Advaita. This philosophy is the chief foundation for the Jnana Marga (The path to attain Mukti through Knowledge)
        Tattvavada on the other hand is easy to grasp. It is definitely easier to practice than Advaita. So It is more suitable for the masses. But there always will be certain people who are inquisitive. Advaita is for these people. Tattvavada is the foundaton of Bhakti Marga (The path to attain Mukti through Devotion). The Dasa Bhava or the Dasoham attitude is totally related to this Bhakti Marga.

        2) “Dvaitas or Tattvavadis ( correct technical term ) reject the conclusion itself. Because the definition of GOD is sarvatantra Swatantra. In all aspects and eternally; GOD is sarvatantra swatantra. We will never become GOD; we cannot even hope to become GOD; we cannot even understand GOD completely. This is an unthinkable mistake from Tattvavada point of view.”

        True! we as worldly beings can never become God. It is the inner core of you- The Atman, which the Advaitins say is God. It is through Him and His will that we exist, We(as worldly beings) are being eternal servants of the Master i.e our Atman. This idea, in a counter perspective is the extreme case of the DASOHAM attitude. Technically the Eeshoham attitude of the Advaitin has gradually brought him to the Dasoham attitude of the Tattvavadin and vice versa. So the Eeshoham and Dasoham attitudes are simply two ways leading to the same core. The Bhakti Marga follower and the Jnana Marga follower, both reach the same end. It is in the preliminary stages that there appears so many contradictions between them. This worldly existence of ours, We assume as ourselves as Tattvavadins. The Advaitin assumes the core of his being i.e his Atman as himself. This is all the difference I find between the Tattvavadins and Advaitins

        3)”Let us assume that we cannot stay for one second without breathing oxygen ( a reasonable assumption); in this case what is proved is that we are extremely dependent on oxygen. So should we call ourselves oxygen? or oxygen should be renamed to each of our names?”
        In any case this would assume that there are two separate entities us and oxygen; even in your translation it assumes that you and GOD are seperate entities and there is a strong dependecy; this violates advaita principle ( a-dvaita not two but one).”

        Oxygen dependence-Not a reasonable assumption for the discussion at hand. Remember, We are discussing on a level which is beyond the Body, Mind and Intellect. We are dicussing on the dependence of the Atman.
        Oxygen dependency is only on a gross level i.e We need oxygen only for our body to live.(We are dependent on a whole lot of other things also is a different issue altogether).
        Similarly our Mind is dependent on Rest, Joyfulness for its proper functioning.
        Our Intellect is dependent on our learning.
        We can observe that the dependencies on various levels of our existence reduce as we move away from the Gross Bodily form. It is for this reason that We in Hinduism say that the Atman is Birthless and Deathless for it has only the Lord in it. You may call it a case of extreme dependency on the Lord and say it is the Lord Himself or say The Lord is like my Father. This makes no difference.

        This is why we Tattvavadins say “We will never become GOD; we cannot even hope to become GOD; we cannot even understand GOD completely.” because God is beyond the Body, Mind and Intellect. Whatever we become is on a grosser(bodily) level. Whatever we hope for is on a Mental Level. Whatever we understand is on an intellectual level. But God is something higher and beyond all these levels. This is also the reason for Buddhist ideologies being agnostic.

        It is initially necessary to assume God and Me are separate entities because we are operating in the Intellectual plane during the discussion. We are still in that relativity of the Jagat. It is after a thorough discussion that we realise that the assumption of two entities was delusive and thus there was actually only one. It is here that we came back to the assumption and corrected it.

        4) RTM ( Requirements Tracability Matrix ) where each requirement is tracked till the feature is delivered. But if you keep the big picture in mind; you’ll be more open and understand the direction it is headed in.

        Im not of Software background and I am not privy to RTM methods. But taking what you have said about it, we need to keep the bigger picture in mind. The Advaitin does the same thing. He keeps the end result of Jnana and Bhakti Margas in Mind during his quest to self realisation. The unification of Jivatma and Paramatma at the highest level of existence, The Soul. ‘

        We tattvavadins have to correct our view that the Advaitin states that every Worldy creature is God. This is totally wrong on our part. What the Advaitin states that the essence of all these lives (The Atman-beyond bodies, minds, intellects) is God.

        Comment by Nikhil Rao — August 6, 2012 @ 5:43 am | Reply

        • I agree with the subtlety aspect; if I understand your position correctly; advaita says that we beneath layers of skin; flesh; blood; body; mind; kosha etc etc… utlimately it is GOD that lies at the core of everything. Therefore what is wrong in saying that I am GOD.

          What is wrong is; saying that I AM God ! The concept is that GOD is PRESENT in everybody is very different from BECOMING or BEING GOD.

          Let me give a worldly example to illustrate; electricity passes through various devices. A tubelight lights up; computer powers up; fan starts turning etc; now in essence if you keep stripping down the layers of functionality it will boil down that electricity is the reason for everything. So can we then conclude that everything is electricity?

          To compare this with philosophy; each jeeva has unique attributes; just like each device has it’s own build and design. SriHari enables each jeeva to exhibit it’s characteristics; just like electricity powers up each device. If there is no electricity that does not mean that the device does not exist; it merely does not work. Inspite of having all the wiring and capacity; even to show it’s capacity it needs electricity. Similarly GOD’s presence enables the jeevas to exhibit their characteristics. GOD and jeevas are anadi ( eternally present ) at no stage do they merge. They are like milk and water ( two distinct entities ); even if you mix the two you will get milky water or watery milk i.e. the water does not become milk and vice versa. advaita proposes exactly this ! No matter what deviation you take it will ultimately claim that you become GOD

          Comment by hrishikesh — August 6, 2012 @ 7:37 am | Reply

          • That is exactly what I was trying to convey.

            By saying I(Aham) cannot become God, and calling Advaitins demonic, We are forgetting what the advaitin refers to as ‘Aham’. The Nirvana Shatakam of Shankaracharya clear states the reference made by Aham.

            manobuddhyahaṃkāra cittāni na āhaṃ
            na ca śrotrajihve na ca ghrāṇanetre
            na ca vioma bhūmir na tejo na vāyuḥ
            cidānandarūpaḥ śivo’ham śivo’ham

            I am neither the Mind nor the Intellect nor am the Sensorial Body (Worldly Body)
            Nor am I the Earth, Wind, Light or Ether
            I am something beyond all these
            I am Existence Knowledge and Bliss- Absolute (Atman)
            Im It; Im It

            In a similar sense with I replaced as Aham,

            Aham is neither the Mind nor the Intellect nor the Sensorial Body (Worldly Body)
            Nor is it the Earth, Wind, Light or Ether
            It is something beyond all these
            It is Existence Knowledge and Bliss- Absolute (Atman)
            It is Him; It is Him

            So the word Aham refers to the Atman when the Advaitin uses it. With your example as a parallel, The Advaitin is simply refering to the Electricity and not the device when He says Aham.
            Whereas, We use the word Aham in Tattvavada as the Deha(Worldly Body). We Tatvavadins refer to the device when we say Aham. Thus, the Idea of ‘I am God’ here becomes blasphemy.
            Therefore, I see only a referential difference between the two philosophies. It is because of our Fanaticism and Ignorance that we simply fight over these subtle issues not wanting to unbiasingly understand each of these two greatest philosophies mankind has ever produced.

            As far as the God and Jeevas being Anadi is concerned.
            We say God and Jeevas are eternally present. It is in a sense that both are without limitations of Time, Space or Causation.

            BG 2.24
            nityaḥ sarva-gataḥ sthāṇur
            acalo ‘yaḿ sanātanaḥ

            It conveys the idea that God and Jeevas(as per Tattvavada) are Nitya, Sanatanah (Infinite in Time), Sarva Gatah(Infinite in Space- Omnipresent), sthanur achalam(Unchangeable, Infinte w.r.t Causation)

            Now there can be no Two infinites. If there were to be two infinites, each would limit the other, so that both of them lose their infinity. So there must be only one Infinity. The Advaitin takes God to be the infinite and says Jeevatma is actually Paramatma, because it has no real existence.Thus, the term Jeevatma is only a rhetorical reference we have created for the purpose of understanding the subtleties. I hold Tattvavada as being a simplification of the complexity in Advaitavada.

            I must also admit that Advaitavaada is one of the most misunderstood and abused philosophies in the world. The so-called Advaitins themselves dont understand their own philosophy properly and they start guiding people as if they are Shankaracharyas reborn.

            “Andhenaiva Niyamanaah Yathaandhaaha”

            Like “The Blind leading the Blind”

            Also Please change the name ‘Paramatha Khandana'(It gives a very bad potrayal of us Tattvavadins). True, It is a part and parcel of philosophy. But, We no longer have the ages of philosophical thought nor have we such great Vidwamsas. Only those who have the deepest understanding of each of these philosophies have the right to demean the paramatha. Therefore The Khandana act is irrelavent in present days. You are actually doing Swamatha Khandana by such an act… 😦

            Comment by Nikhil Rao — August 6, 2012 @ 9:36 am | Reply

            • Hare Srinivasa,

              BG is very very advanced and should be interpreted very carefully …

              For example

              After describing Kshara and Aksharaha; the next verse says

              uttamah purushas tu anyaha paramatmety udahrtah
              yo loka-trayam avishya bibharty avyaya ishvaraha | BG 15.17

              The Ultimate personality is different; paramatma who is imperishable, the controller of everything who permeates the three divisions of the universe sustaining all beings

              In this there is a clear distinction between SriHari and the jivas and declares outright the supremacy of SriHari. To be noted is if you see my example above; the devices are distinct from the power that runs them. So he supports the jeevas; the distinction has to be made. Therefore equating devices to current is not as per BG.

              Now regarding your objection to 16.8 , the various criterias of demonic philosophies are being enumerated. If any of the criterias are met; it is to be treated as a demonic philosophy.

              Matha Khandana is discussion of idealogies; if you google there is no shortage of articles where Dvaita is being put down. This article(s) is to help those who have harbored doubts and may come here. If you notice I have avoided derivation because if you prove with conclusions even laymen can understand.

              Regarding your own understanding; I think you acknowledge the Jeeva-Eesha Bheda; but your claim was what is wrong in calling the closeness as yourself. If you are very close to a police officer; does that mean your an officer too ?

              Please do write back… I had a lot going hence couldn’t catch up

              Jai Bharateesha!

              Comment by hrishikesh — October 26, 2012 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

              • Sorry for my last comment being very long. Let me brief it up before we go ahead as I feel we are reaching a convergence.

                1. In Adwaita, ‘Aham’ refers to the soul and not the body because of various reasons. Therefore, when an Advaitin says “Aham Brahmasmi”, He is not equating the his physical existence i.e his body(device in ur example) with God(current in your example). So, I did not equate devices to current but only meant that the ‘working-device’ is only a manifestation of the current and the device without the current is as good as the device being non existent because it serves no real purpose when it does not work.

                2. In Dwaita, we refer to the Body when we say the word ‘Aham’. Therefore Aham Brahmasmi appears to be illogical and demonic. Dwaita caters to the mass, while Adwaita caters to the class. Both tell the same thing from a different stand-point. That is all.

                3. I am against ‘khandana’ of any ‘matha’ with half-knowledge.(Please make it clear that I do not support Khandana of Dvaita as well).

                –>Yes, I agree with BG 15.17. I did not say BG is totally Adwaitic in its words(nor will I say it is totally Dwaitic or something else). That is exactly where the beauty of BG or any Hindu Literature lies. It is an all embracing universal philosophy that Hinduism preaches. The contradictions are simply apparent and are intended for the purpose of adaptation into different mindsets.

                –> I do not agree that 16.8 is a list of ‘criteria’.
                It says “They(Demons) say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, no God in control. They say it is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust.”

                –>Please point out where the advaitin says these. Where does he say there is no God in control? All he says is “It is all God”. True, He says that the universe is Maya meaning to say that its perception is illusory. It is as per BG 7.14 where Krishna says that the world is an divine-illusion created by Him which is difficult to overcome. Even in Madwacharya’s in his commentry for it. says that those who renounce all else and take exclusive shelter of Him(Krishna) alone can surmount this maya.

                –>Khandana does not mean discussion, It means ‘to put down’.

                Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 27, 2012 @ 8:12 am | Reply

                • Firstly responses can be as elaborate as possible … there is no restriction on that; I took some time to respond for personal reasons. I should be able to respond more frequently now. Personally I need some time to get back to typing huge responses, but I’ll get there soon 🙂

                  Coming to the main point; the very theory that everyone can make their own philosophy out of BG is wrong; for a philosophy to be complete it must give satisfactory explanation for each and every verse. The fact advaita escapes responsibility for all verse that don’t explain advaita; they term it as unimportant. This is escapism at it’s very best. If BG is holy; then each and every verse is to revered ! There are multiple commentaries on BG where saints have explained all the verses in Dvaita tradition.

                  You said that Dvaita equates aham as body; based on this I take it that you are not familiar with detailed expositions of aham brahmasmi given by Dvaita exponents. If you read these explanations it will be clear what is for the masses and which is for the classes. I will post a detailed exposition on this.

                  How can the device be non existent without current? It is not useful true but it is definitely present. This is the exact type of extrapolation that people take liberties; they are trying so hard to fit their theory they don’t take the facts into consideration.

                  In fact even in BG; SriKrishna says that the souls are anadi ( always existing), he says he is above everything and then says he energizes the universe. Putting these three statements; it is clear that Dvaita is as per BG. The problem starts when you take a few statements and spin your own philosophy.

                  The BG 16.18 is a list of criteria; whether you wish to believe or not is your choice. Shastra has multiple lists; for ex. Varaha Purana has list of 32 aparadhas for doing pooja does this mean that each of the 32 have to be avoided or as you interpret as long as your not doing all 32 at a time; you are fine.

                  Similarly you have doshas in bhakti; you have to work towards removing each of them.

                  The list is relevant even today; For Ex. Advaita; Evolution; atheism all of these fit the list. Whatever philosophy you take it will have a trace of some or the other element. Dvaita is the only exceptional philosophy that is totally free from the defects.

                  Khandana is indeed putting down; when I meant discussion, I meant attacking the problem not the person.

                  Comment by hrishikesh — October 27, 2012 @ 10:13 am | Reply

                  • Khandana is an attack on philosophy; every philosophy must prove it’s mettle. It must have a good defense. There is no point is being “decent” and “good” in this respect; you have to give it all you’ve got and if it still stands; then it’s worth considering.

                    Comment by hrishikesh — October 27, 2012 @ 10:18 am | Reply

                    • 1. True! Khandana is an attack on philosophy…What i am trying to say is that people today are too immature to go to the extent of Khandana because they neither understand their own philosophy nor the one they are attacking, which makes Khandana meaningless. You simply cannot call a blog post Khandana just because you are putting some points against a philosophy. You are clearly attacking the person and not he problem by calling Shankaracharya a demon.

                      2. When i talked about the device, I said ‘as good as’ being non existent and not ‘vanishingly’ non-existent. What is the real utility of a Light bulb without electricity? It would make no difference whether you had it or not because it is simply useless. It is like finding intended utility in a corpse just because it is existent in Time and Space.

                      3. I have gone through some explanations of Aham Brahasmi by dwaita exponents and i felt that the same ‘trying so hard to fit their theory by not taking other facts into consideration’ happening. I am keenly waiting for your post regarding this. May be it will change my perception.

                      4. I hold that the BG is both Advaitic and Dvaitic. The Advaitin does not explain verses which are dvaitic in their meaning by terming them unimportant and the Dwaitin explains the Advaitic verses with extreme ‘text torturing’ to suit his philosophy. It is just not the Advaitin but both of them who are to be blamed here. The Advaitin advocates escapism and the dwaitin takes shelter under sophistry. All that I am trying to say, is to go beyond this ‘frog in the well’ attitude and take a broader perspective. Things will be much clearer then.

                      4. I agree to your point that Sri Krishna says that the souls are never bound in time or space and are infinite (anadi, achala, sanātanaḥ, sthanuh) and that he(Krishna) is above everything and he energizes the universe. I too can put all these three sentences together and say that Mathematical Logic dictates there can never be two infinites (One being the Jivatma and the other being the Paramatma) because they would limit out each other. If Jivatma and Paramatma are assumed to be different, both would simply lose their infinity in relation to each other thereby making God mutable and destructible. Thus Jivatma must be equal to Paramatma and Advaita is as per BG.

                      5. You seem to have become adament on the BG16.18 issue. The comparison of it to the 32 aparadhas is not convincing.

                      6. You are trying to force Dvaita saying it as the ‘only’ philosophy which is right and the other philosophies are demonic. This is very dangerous because it will lead to fanaticism amd religious extremism. Look at what Jihad has done to the Mohammaden religion and the World today.

                      BTW i had a small doubt: I am unclear about how evolution fits in the list of Doshas?

                      Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 27, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

                • I have numbered my comments corresponding to your responses

                  1. A person is spreading lies (“jagat mithya”) and I say that is wrong; why don a garb of decency and ignore the pink elephant in the room. To be honest; in your last comment you called Dvaita for the masses and advaita for the classes. That is belitteling Dvaita; that is Khandana of Dvaita. So what happened to your no-khandana policy? Do you think Rayaru’s grantha is not for the classes ?

                  2. At least now you have acknowledged it’s existance 🙂 By acknowledging the presence of distinct entites; you deviate from advaita.

                  3. We can defer the “Aham Brahmasmi” to the next post.

                  (You had two number 4.)
                  4a. Once again philosophy should be formed so that there is no conflict between statements. Whatever interpretation is given by Dvaita; it is fully supported by Shastras. In such a case it can hardly be called torturing; in fact the way the meanings are elicited out of each verse it is the work of a connesieur and needs a connesieur to be appreciated 🙂

                  4b. You seem to be stuck with BG 2.24 or rather you have interpreted jeeva as infinite and therefore are forcing meanings. BTW there is taratamya in infinity as well;
                  because SriHari alone is called ananta ananata guna paripoorna . ananta-ananta ( infinite quantitatively; infinite qualitatively ); jeeva can never achieve this.
                  When BG 16.18 clearly states that SriKrishna is beyond everything; that clearly is to show that SriKrishna is infinetly superior to Jeeva. If you closely see you statements; because you want GOD = jeeva equation; you have text-tortured the meaning. The infinity logic you use cannot be used for SriKrishna; because GOD is beyond logic. SriHari has achintya adbhut shakti that means he cannot be known through logic but by SadAgamas alone.

                  BTW the interpretation of jeeva being infinite of the same scale of SriKrishna is not correct; but we’ll get to that later on.

                  5. You asked about Evolution; BG 16.7 says demonic people say that the world is without a creator. Evolution is the backbone for atheists.
                  Regarding the list of aparadhas; I think you are biased and hence don’t want to accept it is a list. Mebbe you can ask an unbiased person for an opinion.

                  6. Again fanaticism is if I am not prepared to discuss or debate; since I’m open to both I’m allowed to place my claims on the table.

                  Comment by hrishikesh — October 27, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

                  • Im Sorry about the mistake in numbering 🙂 …i’ve renamed 4a and 4b to 4 and 5..

                    1. What is called “Mithya” by you may not necessarily qualify to be “Mithya” to all humanity…It is your personal view and you dont have any right to force a particular sect or belief you find to be “Jagat Satya” on anybody. And for the mass-class thing, calling something of the mass is not belittling it. I only meant that Dwaita appeals to the common man and Adwaita to the Scientist that is all. No question of Khandana in it.

                    2. Yes, I acknowledged its presence in time and space. Afterall Death does not annihilate matter. True there is distinction between electricity and the bulb in Time-Space-Causation. But as soon as you consider Time-Space-Causation, You enter the veil of ‘relativity’ which the advaitin calls to be Maya. Beyond Time, Space and Causation, there is really no distinction between these two. I think you are unable to imagine anything beyond what you perceive in the Time-Space-Causation domain.

                    3. Agreed

                    4. I dont understand why it should be done. The dual nature of radiation(which is a conflict of facts) is accepted in Science. Why not a similar thing in philosophy?.

                    5. As per BG Atman is anadi- ever existent- infinite in time; achala- immovable- infinite in Space; sthanuh- unchangeable-infinite(beyond) in causation; Mine is no assumption.The argument that God is beyond logic a lot of what you had caled ‘doshas’ come into picture. The atheist will say God is beyond logic, So there can be No God. The Adwaitin will say God is beyond logic, So I am God. There is simply no end to the number of conclusions u can arrive at when u say God is beyond Logic. Yes Krishna has Achintya adbhuta shakti, It means he’s infinite and not beyond logic. We cannot quanitfy infinity through our small minds. Thats why he’s achintya and aadbhuta. All the efforts of ‘knowing’ Krishna are directed towards getting out of relativity(Maya) sphere.

                    There can be never be a LESSER-INFINITY and a GREATER-INFINITY. All inifinites are but one infinity.

                    6. But is’nt evolution a perfectly accepted theory? Look at the Dashavataras It starts from Matsya and Goes into Human forms which is totally as per evolution. Well, this will lead to another discussion. I will leave it for now. I will surely ask someone about the list of aparadhas.

                    7. I dint mean to say that you were a fanatic, and I greatly appreciate your openness to discussion. But what I meant was that when you say yours is the ‘only’ True belief and the others are false, over time people following your claims become fanatics, which is dangerous.

                    Well, Thank You for pointing out that im not a Connesieur. It has greatly helped me reduce ‘ahamkara’. I consider myself lucky to be interacting with a connesieur such as yourself. 🙂

                    Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 28, 2012 @ 5:07 am | Reply

                    • 1a. Jagat being mithya is not my statement; it is Shankara’s own statements. If I understand correctly; advaita says the world is neither real nor untrue; but some intermediate state called mithya.

                      If you have any objection with Jagan Mithya vada it has to taken up with shankara himself.

                      1b. Masses and Classes – Now you’re saying Dvaita will not appeal to a scientist; philosophy should be fact scientist or not.

                      2. I would like to restate that philosophy should have backing of sadagamas; otherwise it is to be termed as fiction and cannot be applied to reach SriKrishna.
                      In BG SriKrishna himself states that he is teaching what is already there in the Vedas. He is re-transmitting the knowledge that he passed on earlier. So BG itself is re-transmission; so philosophies formed on BG have to answer to all statements in BG itself.

                      I myself; took a lot of to time for this principle to sink in. But this is absolutely essential; you cannot take a few statements and make your own cocktail philosophy. Each and every statement has to be accounted for.

                      3. Defered

                      4. Technically, in philosophy there are as many possible as you want; only necessary condition is that they satisfy all the sadagamas.

                      5. This is shastra and not an argument; GOD is to be known through sadagamas. You are free to draw as many conclusions as you want.

                      Imagine the gap between two fingers now imagine there is a column between your fingers below and above infinetly; you have infinite particles in this column. Now strech your hands and imagine the same thing; again you have infinte particles. The latter infinity is greater that the former. Which is why I introduced 2 dimensional infinity ( ananta-ananta )

                      6. Evolution theory has been framed to prove that there is no need for GOD to create life. SriKrishna has infinite roopas and there present always; when we say 1’st avataara the reference is the time that he shows it to the world.

                      7. There should be openess to debate and discussion; as long that is there; I am allowed to make my claim.

                      Coming to the connesieur remark; it was intended as a potshot. connesieur’s are known for their attention to detail; spend many a hours labouring over quality and handle the objects very delicately, gingerly and with utmost respect and love. To draw a parallel; I used it in the context of Aham Brahmsmi interpretation; if you see how dvaita’s elicit meaning’s of each word and provide shastric backing for everything; it would leave my hair standing each time and send me into raptures of joy.

                      This is something you called “text torturing” and “force fitting”; on the other hand there is the interpration that “I am GOD”. So you can understand where I was coming from when I made that remark again remember everything is backed by sadagamas.

                      To be honest; I am not following Madhwa just because I was born into it. I had a lot of questions; questioned a lot of core principles. Over time I saw that the most satisfactory answers came from Tattvavada alone.

                      Comment by hrishikesh — October 28, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  2. “If Im the Jivatma, Paramatma is so close to me for my existence, that without Paramatma, I the Jivatma am non existent. So I can call him nothing less than “Myself”…acharya madhva never said jiva is non existent….he said its dependant….just as a minor is considered depedant on elder/guardian by law not non existent…

    Comment by Viju Rao — August 5, 2012 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

    • True!, This is exactly what Im saying…..These were Shankaracharya’s words….I’ve pasted the lines below for the purpose of brevity….Please read them again
      “Srimadacharyaru’s work in an epitome states that “All Jivatmas are totally dependent on Paramatma and thus Paramatma is so close to me-the Jivatma, that I call him “My Father””
      “ShankaraBhagavadpadaru says the same thing this way “If Im the Jivatma, Paramatma is so close to me for my existence, that without Paramatma, I the Jivatma am non existent. So I can call him nothing less than “Myself””

      Comment by Nikhil Rao — August 6, 2012 @ 4:44 am | Reply

  3. There was no reply option in your last comment, So im putting it here

    1a. I was speaking about your statement “A person is spreading lies (“jagat mithya”)” in your last comment and not Jagat being Mithya. A little misunderstanding has occured.

    1b. Philosophy to be a fact must be verifiable. For a something to be verified, we need science.

    2. The Advairtin also claims that his claims are accounted by sadagamas and is as per BG. What do you say to him? We are back to square 1 when you say “He is wrong and I am right”.

    4. If u agree ther can be as many contrary views in philosophy as we want, Why not accept both Dwaita and Adwaita for the Advaitin claims that his is also as per sadagamas.

    5. This is just a discussion, NOT an argument. Shaastra can never be illogical and open ended. They are the most logical and verifiable pieces of work ever produced by Humanity.

    You seem to be having difficulty imagining infinity. With your example, You are ‘REDEFINING’ infinity into a mere number.

    infinity + infinity + infinity = infinity
    2 x infinity = infinity
    30 x infinity = infinity
    100000000 x infinity = infinity

    If you are still unclear, I suggest you ask someone with a mathematics background, if there can ever be a two infinites-a LESSER and a GREATER infinity.

    6. I totally agree with your point that “SriKrishna has infinite roopas and there present always”. But I state this in a different way when referring to evolution. No disagreement between us here.

    7. You are allowed to make your claim, agreed!; But imagine what Good it will do to the world, if your claims breed hatred fanaticism in your followers.

    8. I personally find “My Atman is God”(“I am God” as you put it) interpretaion more straight-forward. You are definitely free to choose your beliefs. I am extremely SORRY if I have hurt your beliefs with the “text torturing” comment. I never intended to change your beliefs. All I am trying to bring in is mutual respect amongst the two(Dwaita and Adwaita) greatest philosophies which Mankind has ever produced.

    Exactly, I too am a born Madhwa. I did the same thing. In fact I used to question the existence of God himself and used to laugh at “Aham Brahmasmi” before I understood things. Over time, I found that both Tattvavada and Adwaita are equally valid. Just because you personally found only Tattvavada appealing, doesn’t mean You can go about belittling the other one without knowing its real claims.

    Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 29, 2012 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

    • 1a & 1b are not really making any points worth contradicting so I’ll skip them.

      2. You are going in circles; let me state the condition again.
      For a philosophy to be valid it cannot simply chose a few statements; it has to account for each and every statement. Like you admitted there Dvaita statements in BG that advaita ignores. Such ignorance is not acceptable; they have prove each and every statement in accordance to their philosophy.

      Your exact words were
      Quote
      The Advaitin does not explain verses which are dvaitic in their meaning by terming them unimportant
      Unquote

      Who gives them the right to term these verses as unimportant? Just because they can’t explain it they supress it.
      This shows that rather than take the purport of BG; they have already decided the conclusion and then quote whatever takes their fancy. Is it clear why ignoring some statements is not valid.

      4. My statement was “as long as you satisfy all sadagamas; your philosophy is valid”; see 2) I have explained that all statements have to accounted for.

      5. Now comes an interesting part:

      Infinity to us humans is an unimaginable number; unreachable number. Therefore whatever operation you do with infinity; since it is indeterminate the value remains as infinity. This is a mathamatical approximation; because there is no use of doing anything to the rhs or lhs because of the infinity.

      Quantitatively though; 2* infinity > infinity. There is no mathematical determination of the value; but still quantitavely 2* infinity is more than infinity.

      To make it clearer; let’s 1 beam of light extends to infinity above and below; it is not possible to determine how far it goes either way.
      Now imagine 10 beams of light; same case, now even though you cannot mathematically determine how far it goes; there is no denying that throughout infinity; it will be 10 times brighter than the pervious one.

      If you want to represent it mathematically; 10* infinity will be infinity; but that because infinity itself is indeterminate. Qualitatively you can see the difference in brightness. So there is hierarchy in infinity as well.

      Now SriKrishna is ananta ananta; that is each point is ananta and there are ananta points. Infinity^Infinity; is each point of the beam is ananta and the beam itself is ananta; is it possible to even comprehend?

      Ask your manas sakhsi are you so infinitely infinite? Then what is your claim to GOD hood ? Aham Brahmasmi interpretation; doesn’t it seem logical that the statment might have more far deep reaching meanings than equating yourself to such infinitness ? The closer you are to a person; the more you respect the person. If you are extremely close to GOD; then if somebody asks are you GOD ? Your answer will (should) be that GOD is infintely better than me.

      Comment by hrishikesh — October 29, 2012 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  4. 2. My exact words-COMPLETE VERSION (without ‘chosing a few statements’) were:

    “The Advaitin does not explain verses which are dvaitic in their meaning by terming them unimportant and the Dwaitin explains the Advaitic verses with extreme ‘text torturing’ to suit his philosophy.”

    Now who is taking up parts and cooking up cock and bull stories??? The view that you totally accept the explanation of the Tattvavadins to Advaitic texts is something personal to you. I definitely will not accept the Tattvavadin’s attempt to turn Advaitic texts into Dvaitic and also will definitely reject all attempts by the Advaitin to turn Dvaitic texts into that of Advaitic.
    It is both of them who are to be blamed here.

    4. Technically, neither Advaita nor Dvaita satisfy all sadagamas because as i said the advaitiin does not explain dvaitic parts and the dvaitin does not (or fails) to explain the advaitic. It is the combination of both Advaita and dvaita that remains.

    5. Yes infinity is an unreachable, unimaginable entity. Now you are trying to quantify an unimaginable entity and conclude that 2* infinity > infinity. ‘Indeterminate’ is different from infinity in mathematics. 0/0 is an indeterminate quantity, Infinity is not known to be indeterminate. The very attempt of yours to ‘quantify’ infinity is flawed.

    The beam of light example: You are mercilessly comparing a distance which is infinite with brightness which is a number. This attempt of yours is a typical example of the way the Tattvavadin explains Advaitic texts of the BG.

    Now Sri Krishna is as you call ananta ananta(2 dimensionally infinite). I may argue that your idea of Krishna is demonic and Krishna really is ananta ananta ananta ananta ananta……infinite times. But then, we both are wrong. As soon as we bring in dimensions, we are referring to Space. We are binding Krishna into Space just to prove our philosophies. Sri Krishna is said to be achintya and adbhuta, because it is the weakness of our minds to associate everything into the realm of Time- Space and Caustaion. We can never associate Atman with Time-Space(Dimensions)-Causation. It is something beyond.

    There is one thing to be made extremely clear: that the assertion—I am God—cannot be made with regard to the sense-world.
    So, I say “I(My physical Body) am not infinite, But My Atman is”. It makes more sense to me to call myself The Atman rather than the Sensory Body. God is the highest level of Abstraction in the Universe and in Me.

    If someone asks me if I am close to God, I would say “I am closer to HIM, infinitely more than than the closeness I have with myself, that I find no other word to describe that closeness, so I call Him ‘ME’.”

    Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 30, 2012 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

  5. Sri Nikhil…lets go back to the basics and discuss from there. Leave the khandana part for the time being. Lets take each others views of how agama should be interpreted and whether agama as a whole supports Dvaita or advaita. There should not be and there cannot be any tertium quid as that would defeat the very motto of Vedanta that it speaks about the truth in one voice. So why do you think Vedas, Upanishads and the entire sacred works lore is in favour of advaita?

    Comment by Mohan — October 31, 2012 @ 8:15 am | Reply

    • OK…Let me make my view very clear here. Please bear with me for my long responses… 🙂
      Let me present Vedanta from a slightly different perspective. Please temporarily keep aside all yours present views about Vedanta before going through this.

      First thing is that Vedanta does not force anything on anybody, but contains many viewpoints which people of different mindsets can adopt. For example

      a. For the emotionally oriented who want a simple God and religion, it is Bhakti Yoga which has in it a ‘Ruler’ God who is considered the father. It is DVAITA which is followed by the Bhakti Yogis. They find God through various rituals such as vratas and upavasas. Also religions such as Christianity and Islam are Bhakti oriented. These followers form the majority of the world’s population.

      b. For the inquisitive person who brings in lots of Science and logic, who does not believe in a personal God or a creator God, Jnana Yoga is what is offered by Vedanta, which brings in the concepts of relativity, superlative existences in the realm of the Atman etc..ADVAITA is followed by these Jnana Yogis. They find God through Knowlegde in the form of logical answers to their questions. The number of such followers are very small. A combination of Jnana and Bhakti forms the Vishishta-Advaita type.

      c. For the person who believes ‘Work is Worship’, Karma Yoga is what is offered by Vedanta, It preaches selfless work. The followers of this path do a lot of Social and philanthropic work. They find God in that.

      d. For the person interested in activity, Vedanta provides him with Raja Yoga which brings in God-Realization through Asanas and Pranayamas.

      Now, If we force a person to adhere to a single path or Yoga, It is like injuring his personality. Neither Vedanta nor the BG declare any supremacy amongst these paths or place strict rules that this path alone must be followed. These various paths amongst themselves may contain contradictions as in the case of Advaita and Dvaita. But these contradictions serve a higher purpose of catering to different people with different mental tendencies.

      Vedanta preaches a Universal Philosophy which encompasses every aspect of the universe, caters to every mindset, embraces the saint and the sinner alike and still has space for development and further addition of ideas. The greatness of Vedanta lies here. If Vedanta were to force a particular beleif or sect, how different is it from any other religious book? We have millions of such books in the world today. But why dont they even come close to Vedanta?

      This is as per my view the real Vedanta. Doesnt it make more sense if we looked at Vedanta this way?.

      Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 31, 2012 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

      • PS: My stand was NEVER to say that the “Vedas, Upanishads and the entire sacred works lore is in favour of ADVAITA or DVAITA.”

        Comment by Nikhil Rao — October 31, 2012 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

        • You seem to have the notion advaita is highly scientific … can u give some examples ?

          Comment by hrishikesh — October 31, 2012 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

          • Do you know about Schrodinger wave equation? The basis upon which the entire quantum physics subject rests. Refer to the same Schrodinger’s paper ‘What is Life?’ He beautifully starts with basic questions about the living cell and then concludes by explicitly stating the conclusion of Advaita ATMAN=BRAHMAN in his paper. He also explains the real meaning of it and How and Why Christians (Dualists) find this notion blasphemous.

            Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 1, 2012 @ 5:54 am | Reply

        • Thanks Sri Nikhil. let’s take up your viewpoints one after the other and discuss: NR stands for Nikhil Rao and MS stands for self.

          NR: First thing is that Vedanta does not force anything on anybody, but contains many viewpoints which people of different mindsets can adopt.

          MS: That is a nice assumption to start with. As you can see, philosophy or philosophies cannot be started based on assumptions, but that is how many world philosophies are. There are gradations in people’s capabilities and hence there are different paths people follow. But that doesn’t mean there are different goalposts. Goal post is one but the paths are many. I agree there.

          NR: For the emotionally oriented who want a simple God and religion, it is Bhakti Yoga which has in it a ‘Ruler’ God who is considered the father. It is DVAITA which is followed by the Bhakti Yogis.

          MS: Nopes. Bhakti is a means of course. But that is not meant for (or exclusively for) emotionally oriented. May be your experience with people would have given you that perception but reality is different. I am not an emotionally charged/oriented person however my concept is not a “simple God and religion”. My efforts do not start and end with Bhakti alone. There is a lot of jnAna activities that I engage in. But I am a Dvaitin by conviction. My mother and father, who hardly know any “philosophy” per se, are nevertheless Dvaitins but they are not emotinally oriented either.

          NR: They find God through various rituals such as vratas and upavasas.

          MS: A grand misperception I must say. I do chAturmAsya vrata because it is “prescribed” for me as a mandatory ritual just like the prescription of “naming ceremony” for my child. It is not something where I find God through the rituals. It is prescribed as a “law” and I abide by it. It is a different thing that it pleases the Lord but that doesn’t mean that it is the only-exclusive way for Dvaitins. That does not even represent Dvaita that way. If such were the case, the Dvaita stalwarts like Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha would not have written treatises like Vadavali, Tarka Tandava, Nyayamrta etc which deal more with philosophy, logic, etc than with rituals and even God.

          NR: For the inquisitive person who brings in lots of Science and logic, who does not believe in a personal God or a creator God, Jnana Yoga is what is offered by Vedanta, which brings in the concepts of relativity, superlative existences in the realm of the Atman etc..ADVAITA is followed by these Jnana Yogis.

          MS: It is your misperception again that a Dvaitin is a “non-inquisitive” person and that he has no other jnAna business other than upavasa rituals, (if that is what you imply above). Again, you could mean that Dvaitin’s Vishnu or Narayana is a personal God. Again, it is a misperception. The RgVeda clearly expounds etymylogically who Vishnu is and who Narayana is. They are no personal Gods. It merely espouses the attributes which refers to one the same Supreme principle, which we use different names to address. That’s it. There is no concept of Personal God in Dvaita.

          Vedanta brings many concepts besides what you say. But that doesn’t mean that they are irrelevant to Dvaita or visistadvaita but applies only to advaita. They are very much appreciated and addressed by many philosophies, both Indian and the world, and is not a advaita-exclusive at all. Also, the very notion of vyavahArika and paramArthika is concocted. There is no incontrovertible verses in any of the sacred lore supporting such a concept. We shall discuss the concepts in detail after we close the basics.

          NR: They find God through Knowlegde in the form of logical answers to their questions. The number of such followers are very small.

          MS: Logical answers to questions. Now why is it adviata-exclusive. Why do you think athAto brahmajignAsa is not answered by other Vedanta schools? What makes you feel that this is solely a advaita domain?

          NR: A combination of Jnana and Bhakti forms the Vishishta-Advaita type.

          MS: This shows your ignorance of Visistadvaita philosophy. I suggest we stick to Dvaita and advaita if it is fine with you.

          NR: For the person who believes ‘Work is Worship’, Karma Yoga is what is offered by Vedanta, It preaches selfless work. The followers of this path do a lot of Social and philanthropic work. They find God in that.

          MS: Oops. You seem to have hit the road block again. Selfless work is in no way related to social or philanthropical work. The karma yoga talks about doing day to day actions without attachments and expectations and leaving/offering the outcome to God. There are no Mother Teresas in Vedanta.

          NR: For the person interested in activity, Vedanta provides him with Raja Yoga which brings in God-Realization through Asanas and Pranayamas.

          MS: There is no God-realisation without Bhakti, irrespective of whether you perform an asana upside down for years or hold your breath till your death. The yoga of asanas, pranayamas are different from the yogas the Bhagawad Gita says. We are getting too confused with terms.

          NR: Now, If we force a person to adhere to a single path or Yoga, It is like injuring his personality. Neither Vedanta nor the BG declare any supremacy amongst these paths or place strict rules that this path alone must be followed. These various paths amongst themselves may contain contradictions as in the case of Advaita and Dvaita. But these contradictions serve a higher purpose of catering to different people with different mental tendencies.

          MS: There are various classes of people and various types of people, who have various paths to follow. A soldier in the war is supposes to perform his karmas, while the same soldier under his guru is supposed to acquire the jnAna. Various modes of one’s life has various activities to perform and this is where dharma steps in guiding a person what to do and when to do. It is within the ubmrella of this dharma that your various yogas fall under. There is no supremacy attributed by Vedanta or any other sacred work for the very reason that they apply to various facets of life, applying to various people in the varnasrama dharma. There are no contradictions in the paths. It is our poor understanding that breeds contradictions but not the paths or source books themselves.

          NR: Vedanta preaches a Universal Philosophy which encompasses every aspect of the universe, caters to every mindset, embraces the saint and the sinner alike and still has space for development and further addition of ideas.

          MS: That Vedanta embraces saint and sinner alike is not true. There is no Jesus Christ in Vedanta to absolve everybody’s sins all by himself. Vedanta mandates people to reap what they sow. If there is one Universe (that God creates…not to mistake with multiverse theory. By Universe, it compasses all existence), then there is one philosophy and one goal. The paths are different but the goal is one. But in the case of Dvaita and advaita, the goal posts are different. So there is every need to debate and settle whose goalpost is the correct and ultimate one. We shall discuss further.
          The word “Vedanta” has several meanings but the most apt one being the conclusion (anta) of the Vedas. So, the conclusion is already there. There is no space for “further addition of ideas”.

          NR: If Vedanta were to force a particular beleif or sect, how different is it from any other religious book?

          MS: Why should not Vedanta offer only one belief, the belief that God is superior and everything else is dependent on God? There might be thousand other religious works, but how much of them are rooted in truth is what matters. This leads to the discussion on the authenticity of the source books, whether they are authored by humans or not, whether those humans are “perfect people” to author such “perfect religious books” etc etc. We can debate on that too.

          NR: But why dont they even come close to Vedanta?

          MS: That is because the source of Vedanta is far superior and flawless than the source for those other religious books.

          NR: This is as per my view the real Vedanta. Doesnt it make more sense if we looked at Vedanta this way?.

          MS: The question to you here is, how much of Vedanta have you read and reconciled to present this “varied view” than the “unified view”. We shall anyways debate and settle whether we can have such views at all or not.

          Got your PS note. Appreciated.

          Regards
          Mohan Suswaram

          Comment by Mohan — October 31, 2012 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

          • A very thought provoking reply indeed…Thank You… Will get back with my reply 🙂

            Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 1, 2012 @ 6:01 am | Reply

  6. I think before you reply, it would be nice if you could present Vedanta from your perspective in brief…

    OK here we go..

    Your objections regarding the Bhakti Marga– The term ’emotional’ I have used is to indicate that the actions of these Bhakti Yogis are driven by their love towards God and does not indicate emotionally charged people. The names given to God such as Bhaktavatsala, Swaramana are indicative of this extreme love. Also, I never said that the mindsets of people conform to only the 4 I have mentioned. There can be as many combinations of mindsets as the number of people in the world. I find that the religion we practice as Bhakti Yogis like chAturmAsya vrata, upavasa a simpler notion of God and religion when compared to the Jnana yogis religion which consists of a lot of intricate concepts and details.
    The fact that you engage in Jnana activities as well as Bhakti activities and still follow Dvaita is something unique to your mindset and that may not be the case in every Man.You said “I do chAturmAsya vrata because it is “prescribed” for me as a mandatory ritual just like the prescription of “naming ceremony” for my child. It is not something where I find God through the rituals. It is prescribed as a “law” and I abide by it.” You are a typical Bhakti Yogi because you never question these things and conform to it as a law. However, you can never deny the fact that though very small in number, there are people in the world who ask questions like “WHY is chAturmAsya a LAW?”; “WHY should I have a ceremony to name my child?” “WHAT happens if I do not conform to it?” “Why should I worship GOD?” “Is there a God?”. Example for this are the hardcore scientists who question everything putforth before them. They are the pure ‘Jnana Yogis”. I do not deny the fact that Dwaita has in it elements of Jnana Marga. But the concentration is more towards the Bhakti Marga. Whereas in Advaita, the concentration is towards the Jnana Marga with some elements of Bhakti Marga.

    MS: It is your misperception again that a Dvaitin is a “non-inquisitive” person and that he has no other jnAna business other than upavasa rituals, (if that is what you imply above). Again, you could mean that Dvaitin’s Vishnu or Narayana is a personal God. Again, it is a misperception. The RgVeda clearly expounds etymylogically who Vishnu is and who Narayana is. They are no personal Gods. It merely espouses the attributes which refers to one the same Supreme principle, which we use different names to address. That’s it. There is no concept of Personal God in Dvaita.
    NR: I did not mean that the Dvaitin never asks questions and all he does is upavasa and vrata. If you propose that Dwaita proposes Narayana to be a non-personal God, why is there a vehement opposition to Nirguna Brahman in the blog above? It is established that the Dvaitin believes in a Saguna deity(a God with attributes or a personal God).

    MS: They(Vedanta principles) are very much appreciated and addressed by many philosophies, both Indian and the world, and is not a advaita-exclusive at all.
    NR: I made it very clear in my PS comment, that I never would say that Vedanta is Advaita or Dvaita exclusive; but, contains in it elements of both. It was an attempt from your end, to make Vedanta a Dvaita-exclusive work.

    MS: Logical answers to questions. Now why is it advaita-exclusive. Why do you think athAto brahmajignAsa is not answered by other Vedanta schools? What makes you feel that this is solely a advaita domain?
    NR: Each of these Vedanta schools fit better into one of the margas. Like Dvaita fits into Bhakti Marga better than Advaita, Advaita fits into the Jnana Marga better than Dvaita. That is all.

    MS: This shows your ignorance of Visistadvaita philosophy. I suggest we stick to Dvaita and advaita if it is fine with you.
    NR: I said that Vishishta Advaita is a combination of Bhakti and Jnana, because Vishishta Advaitins assert that God is the material cause of the universe and the Universe is his body which is as per the Saguna belief of Bhakti Marga. They further say at the end of a kalpa, the universe takes a finer form without attributes which is as per Nirguna belief of the Jnana Marga. Agreed to keep it within Dvaita and Advaita!!

    MS: Oops. You seem to have hit the road block again. Selfless work is in no way related to social or philanthropical work. The karma yoga talks about doing day to day actions without attachments and expectations and leaving/offering the outcome to God. There are no Mother Teresas in Vedanta.
    NR: It is a very shallow understanding of selfless work by you. I agree with ‘karmanyeva adhikaraha te, mA phaleshu kadAchana’. But when can you really not expect anything in return but still work? Just sit back and think for a while if we really are able to forgo the thoughts of the results of the day-to-day work we carry out. If really there were no Mother Teresas in Vedanta (as you claim), I would certainly have rejected Vedanta, for any religion is based on Morality and a religion which does not preach Morality and philanthropy in its followers is not a religion at all.

    MS: There is no God-realisation without Bhakti, irrespective of whether you perform an asana upside down for years or hold your breath till your death. The yoga of asanas, pranayamas are different from the yogas the Bhagawad Gita says. We are getting too confused with terms.
    NR: It shows your ignorance of the BG when you say BG does not contain asana and pranayama. BG discusses the Ashtanga Yoga which is a part of Raja Yoga and consists of asanas and pranayamas in chapter-6. See BG6.3, BG6.11 and also See BG6.28.

    MS: That Vedanta embraces saint and sinner alike is not true. There is no Jesus Christ in Vedanta to absolve everybody’s sins all by himself. Vedanta mandates people to reap what they sow. If there is one Universe (that God creates…not to mistake with multiverse theory. By Universe, it compasses all existence), then there is one philosophy and one goal. The paths are different but the goal is one. But in the case of Dvaita and advaita, the goal posts are different. So there is every need to debate and settle whose goalpost is the correct and ultimate one. We shall discuss further. The word “Vedanta” has several meanings but the most apt one being the conclusion (anta) of the Vedas. So, the conclusion is already there. There is no space for “further addition of ideas”.
    NR: I agree Vedanta mandates people to reap what they sow, but it never mandates these ‘sowing’ people not to follow a religion. Vedanta teaches them to fish rather than giving him a fish. How do you say that Advaita and Dvaita dont share the same goal? I think it would be clearer if you elaborate this. Vedanta is simply like an epilogue to the Vedas and does not mean that it ends the Vedas, for Vedas by their very nature, are without a beginning and without an end.

    MS: Why should not Vedanta offer only one belief, the belief that God is superior and everything else is dependent on God?
    NR: It does offer this belief. The notion of an all-powerful and omniscient God runs horizontally through every path offered by Vedanta. This is the Goal, whatever may be the path. The difference is only in the way to get to this. The Advaitin or any other follower for that matter, DOES NOT present a universe independent of God. or an inferior God.

    MS: That is because the source of Vedanta is far superior and flawless than the source for those other religious books.
    NR: I agree with the source being authentic concept. This aside, if we looked at Vedanta from the perspective of what it preaches, taking your view into consideration, how different is it different from books which also provide me with a ruler God. A heaven, A hell, Demons etc..

    MS: The question to you here is, how much of Vedanta have you read and reconciled to present this “varied view” than the “unified view”. We shall anyways debate and settle whether we can have such views at all or not.
    NR: I humbly accept that I personally have not read Vedanta completely. But, I have gone through many a great people’s works on Vedanta and individually weighed the “varied view” and the “unified view”. I have over time found the universal view more appealing to me.

    Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 1, 2012 @ 11:16 am | Reply

    • Sri Nikhil

      Here are my responses:

      NR: It is not something where I find God through the rituals. It is prescribed as a “law” and I abide by it.” You are a typical Bhakti Yogi because you never question these things and conform to it as a law.
      MS: Elsewhere in other forums, I have taken the role of a prativAdi and have argued against not just Dvaita but many Vedanta as a whole. I kept asking why should one believe in Vedanta at all. I even questioned that the very vratAs that we discussed above are part of only Puranas and not of Vedas or Upanishads. Given that, why should it not be construed that it was interpolated to reflect the contemporary socio-religio-political circumstances. That apart, let’s me respond to you as a Vedanta believer. No body questions why there is a Indian Penal Code. A judge when pronounces a judgement citing a penal code clause, it is accepted as final. You can appeal but the same set of laws are invoked and adjudged. Same with Vedas. They contain the rituals, injunctions, prohibitions and atonements. Veda itself says that one must adhere to it. And since Dvaita or advaita and other Vedanta-based systems swear by it that they follow the prescriptions. I heard that Chandrasekhara Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti mutt is the one in recent times who had sat for maximum number of chAturmAsyas (87 times).

      NR: I do not deny the fact that Dwaita has in it elements of Jnana Marga. But the concentration is more towards the Bhakti Marga. Whereas in Advaita, the concentration is towards the Jnana Marga with some elements of Bhakti Marga.
      MS: I agree with this. Given the amoung of intricacies involved in jnAna mArga that not many Dvaitins would step in to inquire. Same with advaita. The advaita metaphysics is not something easy to comprehend (irrespective of how much of it is rooted in the Vedanta) and hence I see many advaitins resorting more to spiritual path than the knowledge path.

      NR: If you propose that Dwaita proposes Narayana to be a non-personal God, why is there a vehement opposition to Nirguna Brahman in the blog above? It is established that the Dvaitin believes in a Saguna deity(a God with attributes or a personal God).
      MS: It is not my proposal. It is how Sri Madhvacharya himself seems to have put it. The term Nirguna (absolutely attributeless) does not apply to God, or for that matter to any entity. The very etymylogical derivation of Brahman has its dhAtu as brh..which means ever increasing..resulting in Infinitude. Hence the opposition to an attributeless God and nothing else. It does not amount to saying a Personal God. As otherwise one can turn the tables towards advaita and question that since Nirguna Brahman is a type that advaitin believes it, why not consider Nirguna Brahman as advaitin’s personal God?

      NR: I never would say that Vedanta is Advaita or Dvaita exclusive; but, contains in it elements of both. It was an attempt from your end, to make Vedanta a Dvaita-exclusive work.
      MS: It was not my attempt. It was Badarayana’s message through his Brahmasutras.

      NR: Each of these Vedanta schools fit better into one of the margas. Like Dvaita fits into Bhakti Marga better than Advaita, Advaita fits into the Jnana Marga better than Dvaita. That is all
      MS: Once again, there might be many paths but the goalpost has to be one and the same to attain. Irrespective of the mArga if one can reach the same goalpost then all is well. But is that the case?

      NR: It is a very shallow understanding of selfless work by you. I agree with ‘karmanyeva adhikaraha te, mA phaleshu kadAchana’. But when can you really not expect anything in return but still work?
      MS: Yes. A person is supposed to attain that stage, which is what transformed Arjuna into a true warrior following his kshatriya dharma and killed his cousins etc. One must strive to be selfless in their work and day-to-day activities.

      NR: If really there were no Mother Teresas in Vedanta (as you claim), I would certainly have rejected Vedanta, for any religion is based on Morality and a religion which does not preach Morality and philanthropy in its followers is not a religion at all.
      MS: It is your personal take. I have no qualms about it. Just because there are no Mother Teresas does not mean there is no morality etc. A rishi in his deepest meditation, if he intuites that someone needs his help, it is his dharma to go out of meditation and help the needy. Morality and ethics are what is dharma all about. I am sorry if I had sounded indifferent in my comment above on this aspect.

      NR: It shows your ignorance of the BG when you say BG does not contain asana and pranayama. BG discusses the Ashtanga Yoga which is a part of Raja Yoga and consists of asanas and pranayamas in chapter-6. See BG6.3, BG6.11 and also See BG6.28.
      MS: I did not mean to say BG does not contain or prescribe them. I meant they are within the Bhakti framework.

      NR: How do you say that Advaita and Dvaita dont share the same goal? I think it would be clearer if you elaborate this.
      MS: That’s where the crux lies. One treats God as Nirguna and the other as Saguna. For advaita, achieving non-difference between jIva and Nirguna Brahman is moksha while for Dvaitin that is a direct route to andha tamas. Are the goal posts not different?

      NR: Vedanta is simply like an epilogue to the Vedas and does not mean that it ends the Vedas, for Vedas by their very nature, are without a beginning and without an end.
      MS: What do you mean by the statement of Lord Krisha in BG when He says :
      “sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
      mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
      vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
      vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham”
      Once you answer this, we can take this question up for further discussion.

      NR: The notion of an all-powerful and omniscient God runs horizontally through every path offered by Vedanta. This is the Goal, whatever may be the path.
      MS: But is that advaita’s path?

      NR: if we looked at Vedanta from the perspective of what it preaches, taking your view into consideration, how different is it different from books which also provide me with a ruler God. A heaven, A hell, Demons etc..
      MS: Other books extent is limited but Vedanta’s extent is much more than mere basic entities of existence. The metaphysical concepts of Christianity and Islam, Judaism etc do not stand the scrutiny of logic and internal consistency, which is why they are different.

      NR:I have over time found the universal view more appealing to me.
      MS: Difference in opinion occurs to everybody. It is only upon jignAsa that we resolve the conflicts. So let’s carry this discussion forward.

      Regards
      Mohan Suswaram

      Comment by Mohan — November 1, 2012 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

      • Regarding you following bhakti marga- Alright, You may be following Dvaita and Bhakti Marga because it simply appeals to you. There are people following Advaita and Jnana Marga because it appeals to them. Who gives you the right to claim that Dvaita and Bhakti Marga are the only ways just because you are following it? I did not claim that Advaitins never do Vratas or indulge in Bhakti activities. I simply said the conclusions offered by Advaita are more appealing to people asking questions. That is all. And one is free to choose a combination of Jnana and Bhakti to suit his mindset, as done by Chandrasekhara Saraswati of Kanchi..

        MS: The advaita metaphysics is not something easy to comprehend (irrespective of how much of it is rooted in the Vedanta) and hence I see many advaitins resorting more to spiritual path than the knowledge path.
        NR: Agreed, thats why I said the number of ‘real’ Advaitins are very small. In fact Shankara himself has written for example ‘The Bhajagovindam’ to foster Bhakti into those people who do not comprehend his philosophy which is in Jnana.
        The comprehension in itself is not impossible. But just because it is difficult, doesnt mean one can say it is USELESS and without utility as put forth by this Khandana blog.

        MS: As otherwise one can turn the tables towards advaita and question that since Nirguna Brahman is a type that advaitin believes it, why not consider Nirguna Brahman as advaitin’s personal God?
        NR: How else can we express an attributeless God other than calling him Nirguna? We operate and communicate in a Saguna environment. The term Nirguna is simply used by the Advaitin to denote an attributeless God in an attributed environment. I think you are creating an oxymoron when you say a Nirguna-personal God in an attempt to ‘turn tables’. It is like saying “Living-Dead”. The nirguna God again is a concept of the ‘real’ advaitin.

        MS:It was not my attempt. It was Badarayana’s message through his Brahmasutras.
        NR: Badarayana Brahmasutras are commented by all schools of Vedanta with each one claiming that the brahmasutras support its own philosophy. It is out of your belief that you claim that Badarayana turns Vedanta into a pure Dvaitic text.

        MS: It is your personal take. I have no qualms about it. Just because there are no Mother Teresas does not mean there is no morality etc. A rishi in his deepest meditation, if he intuites that someone needs his help, it is his dharma to go out of meditation and help the needy. Morality and ethics are what is dharma all about. I am sorry if I had sounded indifferent in my comment above on this aspect.
        NR: Exactly, Now Vedas contain in them Morality and Philanthropy. Now there is this person who is not interested in going to temples, nor is he interested in philosophy nor in Asana and Pranayama. All he wants to do is to help the needy and the poor. He sees God in them. Vedanta offers the path of Karma to him. That is what I meant in my first reply.

        MS:That’s where the crux lies. One treats God as Nirguna and the other as Saguna. For advaita, achieving non-difference between jIva and Nirguna Brahman.
        NR: For the Dvaitin, Moksha is attained in Vaikunta which is the abode of the Saguna deity- Narayana. The apparently contradictory goals arise due to the contradictory concepts of Saguna and Nirguna. The belief an a Saguna God gives moksha a Saguna meaning, while that of a Nirguna God, gives moksha a Nirguna meaning. The assesment of the common goal must be done in a larger perspective rather than taking what each sect believes in. Thus, they share a COMMON goal of reaching God, be it in a Saguna way or a Nirguna way.

        MS: What do you mean by the statement of Lord Krisha in BG when He says…..
        NR: Sri Krishna is stating that it is from Him all knowledge and rememberance arise, and He is the complier of the Vedas and the karta of vedanta. He is the knower of the Vedas and He is residing in everyone’s heart.

        MS: But is that advaita’s path?
        NR: Absolutely. The advaitin never denies the existence of a God. I would like to make one thing very clear here. The concept of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ of the Advaitin can NEVER be applied to the physical existence. It is in the highest level of abstraction of existence i.e in the Atman, this concept is applied. This is the fundamental misunderstanding about Advaita many people have in that they think that the Advaitin is claiming to be God Himself.

        MS: Other books extent is limited but Vedanta’s extent is much more than mere basic entities of existence. The metaphysical concepts of Christianity and Islam, Judaism etc do not stand the scrutiny of logic and internal consistency, which is why they are different.
        NR: Exactly, Christianity and Islam deal with metaphysics with a dualist approach because these are more or less Bhakti oriented religions. When Advaita too is also dealing with the same metaphysical concepts , which are very intricate and complicated, why do we accuse Advaita so much?

        MS: Difference in opinion occurs to everybody. It is only upon jignAsa that we resolve the conflicts. So let’s carry this discussion forward.
        NR: Very well put…The scholarly say “Vedaantaartha vichaarena jaayate jnaanamuttamam”…I personally am thoroughly enjoying this jignyasa.. 🙂

        Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 1, 2012 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

        • Sri NR

          Here are my responses:

          NR: Regarding you following bhakti marga- Alright, You may be following Dvaita and Bhakti Marga because it simply appeals to you. There are people following Advaita and Jnana Marga because it appeals to them. Who gives you the right to claim that Dvaita and Bhakti Marga are the only ways just because you are following it
          MS: I can see an angry tone and can intuit your “reactive” state of mind when you wrote this. I am having a de javu of having experienced the same situation elsewhere.

          Anyways I did not say that it is superior because it appeals to “me”. Having read the Upanishads and Brahmasutras and the bhAshyas I came to the conclusion that Sri Madhvacharya’s interpretation is more in tune, in spirit and in drift with the Upanishads and the Brahmasutras because there are far lesser assumptions than other philosophies.

          NR: But just because it is difficult, doesnt mean one can say it is USELESS and without utility as put forth by this Khandana blog.
          MS: The khandana blog is not to reflect the opinion that advaita is useless. Advaita, when argued from the interpretational point of view, does not seem to be consistent, either with the drstAntAs or the semantics. And one has to often invoke the assumptions like vyavaharika-paramarthika, saguna-nirguna dissections and adhyasa-aropa etc whenever there is a conflict to resolve it. If one were to use the grammar or reference to another sacred work etc then it deems merit. But somehow advaita interpretations do not seem do that.

          NR: I think you are creating an oxymoron when you say a Nirguna-personal God in an attempt to ‘turn tables’. It is like saying “Living-Dead”. The nirguna God again is a concept of the ‘real’ advaitin.
          MS: I am not creating a oxymoron. There is no personal God as such is my opinion. But we do have …ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti. One God but the wise call by many names. So I call him Vishnu or Narayana and you call Him Nirguna Brahman. If we were to go by it then both you and I have personal Gods and both of them are the same except that you call him something and I call him something else. Where is the oxymoron here?

          NR: Badarayana Brahmasutras are commented by all schools of Vedanta with each one claiming that the brahmasutras support its own philosophy. It is out of your belief that you claim that Badarayana turns Vedanta into a pure Dvaitic text.
          MS: It is not my “belief” again. It is only after having read the intepretations of other schools that I have concluded so. Dvaitin would say that it is Shankaracharya who with his assumptions and interjections, right from stating the adhyAsa bhAshya till the end to invoke the vyavaharika-paramarthika and saguna-nirguna dissection, have attempted to convert the sutras to render an advaitic meaning. This becomes evident for any decent scholar upon reading the bhAshyAs.

          NR: they share a COMMON goal of reaching God, be it in a Saguna way or a Nirguna way.
          MS: How does the word “reaching” even relevant to advaita moksha? Reaching is a relationship between two distinct or similar entities. Saguna and Nirguna according to Dvaita are the same, except that Nirguna means “lack of prAkritic gunAs”. So, the concept of “reaching” is apt to a Dvaitin because irrespective of how we address Him, we reach the same Him. For an advaitin, they are drastically different. So, advaitin has only one path, that of Nirguna Brahman. But when the Nirguna Brahman Himself is the advaitin’s self, how does the word “reaching” even have any meaning?

          NR: Sri Krishna is stating that it is from Him all knowledge and rememberance arise, and He is the complier of the Vedas and the karta of vedanta. He is the knower of the Vedas and He is residing in everyone’s heart.
          MS: What does the phrase “karta of Vedanta” mean?

          NR: The concept of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ of the Advaitin can NEVER be applied to the physical existence
          MS: The point of its applicability arises only when we read the chapter of the Upanishad in perspective. Only after it is settled what the correct interpretation of aham brahmasmi is, can we discuss its applicability, realms etc. One can take any concept, use a self reasoning and build an edifice on it. But how much of it is consistent with the Vedanta scriptures is the final arbiter.

          NR: This is the fundamental misunderstanding about Advaita many people have in that they think that they think that the Advaitin is claiming to be God Himself
          MS: I agree with you. Advaitin never says he is equal to God. He says his self and the Atman (Nirguna Brahman) are non-different (in essence). Since Brahman is God to a Dvaitin that he says “advaitin equates himself to God”. I have had disagreements and arguments myself with Dvaitins on this notion. Hence I do not want to argue on this.

          NR: When Advaita too is also dealing with the same metaphysical concepts , which are very intricate and complicated, why do we accuse Advaita so much?
          MS: The accusations about advaita are more to do with its assumptions. A concept (esp. Vedantic) is supposed to have a irrefutable and incontrovertible support from the sacred lore. But many of advaita concepts do no seem to be. For example adhyasa-aropa-apavada is found no where in the scripture. Advaitin usually cites the example of mother lying to children to get things done etc for the adhyasa-aropa. Such examples cannot be utilised to justify an assumption. It has to have a incontrovertible scriptural reference, which in my opinion, advaita seems to be lacking.

          Regards
          Mohan Suswaram

          Comment by Mohan — November 1, 2012 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

          • MS: I can see an angry tone and can intuit your “reactive” state of mind when you wrote this. I am having a de javu of having experienced the same situation elsewhere.
            NR: Please forgive me if I sounded angry to you. What I meant to say is that different people follow different sects of philosophy and I cannot stand people belittling the followers of other philosophies withou knowing them.

            MS: Having read the Upanishads and Brahmasutras and the bhAshyas I came to the conclusion that Sri Madhvacharya’s interpretation is more in tune, in spirit and in drift with the Upanishads and the Brahmasutras because there are far lesser assumptions than other philosophies.
            NR: In the same way, there are people who find Sri Shankaracharya’s interpretation more appealing. You are creating a terrible mistake by seeing other people with the same eyes as that of your conclusion. This is what people call ‘Koopa Madooka Nyaya’.

            MS:The khandana blog is not to reflect the opinion that advaita is useless.
            NR: The blog states these sentences. How can you deny that the blog does not claim Advaita to be useless?
            “So what is the use of understanding a philosophy that cannot be used (according to themselves) and one that is counter productive.”; “But they follow advaita; when the chips are down Dvaita; when the mind has no tension advaita; more like a fiction novel; but has no practical purpose.”; ” it’s of no use in practical problems. So Why waste time with something that cannot be used?:

            MS: I am not creating a oxymoron. There is no personal God as such is my opinion. But we do have …ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti. One God but the wise call by many names. So I call him Vishnu or Narayana and you call Him Nirguna Brahman. If we were to go by it then both you and I have personal Gods and both of them are the same except that you call him something and I call him something else. Where is the oxymoron here?
            NR: When you say Nirguna, it means a non-personal God, So the word Nirguna-Personal God is a contradiction in itself. This is the oxymoron. You seem to suggest that calling an object ‘attributeless’ makes it ‘with attributes’ of ‘attributelessness’. This I agree. But, I told you clearly in my previous reply, the Nirguna word is used by the Advaitin only to convey an idea. Lets do an activity here. I want you to communicate to me the idea of a Formless, Colourless, Smellless, Soundless, which cannot be felt like air, unimaginable entity. How will you convey this idea to me? I think we’lll go ahead with this once you figure out an answer.

            MS: It is not my “belief” again. It is only after having read the intepretations of other schools that I have concluded so. Dvaitin would say that it is Shankaracharya who with his assumptions and interjections, right from stating the adhyAsa bhAshya till the end to invoke the vyavaharika-paramarthika and saguna-nirguna dissection, have attempted to convert the sutras to render an advaitic meaning. This becomes evident for any decent scholar upon reading the bhAshyAs.
            NR: Again a typical case of ‘Koopa Mandooka Nyaya’. You are happily assuming that your interpretation is the ONLY right thing and there can be no other. Also, there is a clear hinting from your side that the Advaitin scholars are not even decent. As I have been telling you, There are other people who find Advaitic interpretations more convincing. You must respect their views.

            MS: How does the word “reaching” even relevant to advaita moksha? Reaching is a relationship between two distinct or similar entities. Saguna and Nirguna according to Dvaita are the same, except that Nirguna means “lack of prAkritic gunAs”. So, the concept of “reaching” is apt to a Dvaitin because irrespective of how we address Him, we reach the same Him. For an advaitin, they are drastically different. So, advaitin has only one path, that of Nirguna Brahman. But when the Nirguna Brahman Himself is the advaitin’s self, how does the word “reaching” even have any meaning?
            NR: OK I will correct my sentence. The Advaitin will NOT ‘reach’ GOD in Moksha but will rather ‘realise’ that his soul is not different from GOD. But How will this argument of yours in anyway make their goals different from a larger perspective?

            MS: The point of its applicability arises only when we read the chapter of the Upanishad in perspective. Only after it is settled what the correct interpretation of aham brahmasmi is, can we discuss its applicability, realms etc. One can take any concept, use a self reasoning and build an edifice on it. But how much of it is consistent with the Vedanta scriptures is the final arbiter.\
            NR: OK, Now lets for a moment assume that we apply the ‘I am God’ concept with its literal meaning, to the body. Now I am a God named Nikhil, You are a God named Mohan and everybody else is a God. Is it as per the Upanishads?.If it is not as per the Upanishads, Let us apply the same concept to our souls. Now our Souls are beyond our Body, Mind, Ego, and Intellect. There can be no distinction between us in the domain of our Atman because we dont have our body(the spatial border between us), neither do we have our Minds, nor our Egos, nor our intellects there. We are all beyond our petty arguments and fights, We have all merged into ONE. The Advaitin calls that ‘ONE’ God.

            MS: I agree with you. Advaitin never says he is equal to God. He says his self and the Atman (Nirguna Brahman) are non-different (in essence). Since Brahman is God to a Dvaitin that he says “advaitin equates himself to God”. I have had disagreements and arguments myself with Dvaitins on this notion. Hence I do not want to argue on this.
            NR: Exactly, If the Dvaitin is calling Advaitin a ‘Demon’, based on this fallacious notion, Why not tell them what the Advaitin says. and stop the so called ‘Khandana’? The fact that you find Dvaita convincing is something different. It shouldnt come in the way of stopping an illogical accusation due to a misunderstanding. This is what I am trying to do here.

            MS: The accusations about advaita are more to do with its assumptions. A concept (esp. Vedantic) is supposed to have a irrefutable and incontrovertible support from the sacred lore. But many of advaita concepts do no seem to be. For example adhyasa-aropa-apavada is found no where in the scripture. Advaitin usually cites the example of mother lying to children to get things done etc for the adhyasa-aropa. Such examples cannot be utilised to justify an assumption. It has to have a incontrovertible scriptural reference, which in my opinion, advaita seems to be lacking.
            NR: Shankara says that the teachings of Vedanta make use of both assertion(aropa) as well as negation (apavada). Example of this aropa or assertion is that the Soul is not different from Brahman whch the Advaitin says. An example of Apavada is the statement ‘Neti Neti’ found in the Brihadarayakopanishad where Yagnavalkya says that God is ‘Not this, Not this’.When taken from an Advaitc perspective, he seems to suggest, that You cannot equate God to what you perceive as the Body or the Mind etc and that He is beyond. How can you say that Vedanta does not contain aropa and apavada?
            It seems to me that the usage of the words of aropa and apavada in a negative sense today has driven you to think that Shankara is suggesting something beyond the scriptures. Adhyasa is a concept under which the famous snake-rope example comes into picture. It represents the mental phenomenon of illusion. That is all. What is so anti-Vedantic about this?

            Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 2, 2012 @ 3:09 pm | Reply

            • Namaste

              Here are my next set of responses: But to start with, let me be a neutral judge on this with no dvaita or advaita inclinations. I think only then can I be able to do justice to the discussion. Where there is merit in advaita, I will support that and where not I will refute it. I would do the same with Dvaita too.

              NR: Please forgive me if I sounded angry to you.
              MS: I am 35 years old and I am not as much learned as you seem to be (given the authority with which you quote the verses). So if you are elder to me, you need not apologise.

              NR: What I meant to say is that different people follow different sects of philosophy and I cannot stand people belittling the followers of other philosophies withou knowing them.
              MS: Agreed. It is the case with any follower (who is convinced of his belief in his particular path).

              NR: In the same way, there are people who find Sri Shankaracharya’s interpretation more appealing. You are creating a terrible mistake by seeing other people with the same eyes as that of your conclusion. This is what people call ‘Koopa Madooka Nyaya’.
              MS: Won’t the same nyAya apply to others too, including advaitins? But the point here is, Saddam Hussain’s or Osama Bin Laden’s words of terror and religion might sound appealing to some. Does that mean they are right in their path and approach and would that make Saddam or Osama a true saint? Isn’t there a fine line and framework that we must agree upon (Vedanta, Grammar, Semantics, Nirukta etc) and then go about and see whose interpretations stand merit?

              NR: The blog states these sentences. How can you deny that the blog does not claim Advaita to be useless?
              “So what is the use of understanding a philosophy that cannot be used (according to themselves) and one that is counter productive.”; “But they follow advaita; when the chips are down Dvaita; when the mind has no tension advaita; more like a fiction novel; but has no practical purpose.”; ” it’s of no use in practical problems. So Why waste time with something that cannot be used?:
              MS: The blog seems more from the applicability point of view. The views are those of blogger’s. So I would rather allow him to comment on this.

              NR: You seem to suggest that calling an object ‘attributeless’ makes it ‘with attributes’ of ‘attributelessness’. This I agree.
              MS: That’s what I was saying. Agreed. So I have no qualms about that.

              NR:But, I told you clearly in my previous reply, the Nirguna word is used by the Advaitin only to convey an idea. Lets do an activity here. I want you to communicate to me the idea of a Formless, Colourless, Smellless, Soundless, which cannot be felt like air, unimaginable entity. How will you convey this idea to me? I think we’lll go ahead with this once you figure out an answer.

              MS:Right. It conveys an idea. How much of that idea is conveyed by Vedanta, unequivocally is the point? It is of course said that God is formless etc. True. But in the same breath, it is also said that God is creator, etc. How can an absolutely attributeless God create an attributeful world? If advaitin’s notion is that creation is incidental etc. then it is clearly escapism. That God has real attributes to create a real world is attested by Mundaka Upanishad, Svetasvatara Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad (tat tvam asi chapter) and the Brh. Up besides host of Puranas. They clearly say that nirguna refers to lack of prAkritic gunAs and none say that nirguna means absolutely attributeless as what advaita says. If at all there is a verse that apparently seem to suggest that God is nirguna but goes about saying God creates the world, how should one interpret the sentence? Shouldn’t one look at the verses before and after, the context, drift etc? Or should one interpret that God is nirguna is the ONLY truth and that God creating world is a myth, based on self-induced assumptions?

              NR: Again a typical case of ‘Koopa Mandooka Nyaya’. You are happily assuming that your interpretation is the ONLY right thing and there can be no other. Also, there is a clear hinting from your side that the Advaitin scholars are not even decent. As I have been telling you, There are other people who find Advaitic interpretations more convincing. You must respect their views.
              MS: I don’t know how does this nyAya apply at all. I am not “happily assuming” that my interpretation is the ONLY right thing and there can be no other. One can read the merits and demerits, say in Bhamati and Nyayasudha and can see which one deems merit. One is filled with assumptions while the other provides references to other scriptures and has less assumptions. One can say that by the maxim of least assumptions, Dvaita interpretation seems credible.

              NR: OK I will correct my sentence. The Advaitin will NOT ‘reach’ GOD in Moksha but will rather ‘realise’ that his soul is not different from GOD. But How will this argument of yours in anyway make their goals different from a larger perspective?
              MS: It makes. That is in glaring contradiction with what the entire Vedanta. Accordint to Dvaitin with all his support from the scripture the goal post advaitin sees does not exist. So that makes the difference.

              NR: OK, Now lets for a moment assume that we apply the ‘I am God’ concept with its literal meaning, to the body. Now I am a God named Nikhil, You are a God named Mohan and everybody else is a God. Is it as per the Upanishads?.If it is not as per the Upanishads, Let us apply the same concept to our souls. Now our Souls are beyond our Body, Mind, Ego, and Intellect. There can be no distinction between us in the domain of our Atman because we dont have our body(the spatial border between us), neither do we have our Minds, nor our Egos, nor our intellects there. We are all beyond our petty arguments and fights, We have all merged into ONE. The Advaitin calls that ‘ONE’ God.
              MS: Sounds interesting. If all river water merges into the ocean, though it is not possible to differentiate river water with ocean water at a high level, say from 10000 feet above, it is still possible to differentiate them at an atomic level, because they still are atoms, their compositions etc. That way, merging into ONE would still retain the individual souls distinct. Another point is, the souls are are all separate and distinct is what Vedanta says too. Should one go by the advaitic reasoning or by the Vedanta verses? Obviously by Vedanta verses. Otherwise there is no difference between what advaitin says, or an atheist says or Osama says.

              NR: Exactly, If the Dvaitin is calling Advaitin a ‘Demon’, based on this fallacious notion, Why not tell them what the Advaitin says. and stop the so called ‘Khandana’? The fact that you find Dvaita convincing is something different. It shouldnt come in the way of stopping an illogical accusation due to a misunderstanding. This is what I am trying to do here.
              MS: Well…I am arguing on another forum that Sri Madhvacharya NEVER says in any of his works verbatim that Shankara is a daitya. And that references in the benedictory verses of Tattvodyota which seem to say daityas is not Sri Madhvacharya’s own words but his shishyas words as attested by the tIka on Tattvodyota by Sri Jayatirtha. But what to do when khandana has been happening from all sides towards all sects? So there’s not much I could do to stop.

              NR: Shankara says that the teachings of Vedanta make use of both assertion(aropa) as well as negation (apavada). Example of this aropa or assertion is that the Soul is not different from Brahman whch the Advaitin says. An example of Apavada is the statement ‘Neti Neti’ found in the Brihadarayakopanishad where Yagnavalkya says that God is ‘Not this, Not this’.When taken from an Advaitc perspective, he seems to suggest, that You cannot equate God to what you perceive as the Body or the Mind etc and that He is beyond. How can you say that Vedanta does not contain aropa and apavada?

              MS: Where is it written in Vedanta that it uses both arOpa and apavAda? That soul is not different from brahman is advaitin’s assertion but not Vedanta’s because there is no Vedantic support for such an assertion.Tat tvam asi, when seen from the drstAntas point of view no where indicates advaitic assertion at all. Neti neti, again needs to be interpreted in perspective much like aham brahma asmi, so ham asmi and tat tvam asi. That demarcates God as a differnt being altogether than anything else that we see and perceive, which is what Gita says that God is beyond kshara and akshara. A Dvaitin does not see any contention there and at the same time no advaitic assertion too !!!

              NR:It seems to me that the usage of the words of aropa and apavada in a negative sense today has driven you to think that Shankara is suggesting something beyond the scriptures. Adhyasa is a concept under which the famous snake-rope example comes into picture. It represents the mental phenomenon of illusion. That is all. What is so anti-Vedantic about this?
              MS: There is nothing “negative” that I had perceived after reading Shankara’s arOpa and apavAda logic. Assertions are not always negative, per se. Just that such assertions are not supported by Vedanta is where I am coming from. Snake-rope example is actually a non-example. One cannot use it and build an edifice. But it seems advaita takes that edifice as a foundation and builds a philosophy and then goes about interpreting scripture on its own self-built assumptions is where Dvaitin’s contention seems to be.

              Regards
              Mohan Suswaram

              Comment by Mohan — November 2, 2012 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

              • MS: Won’t the same nyAya apply to others too, including advaitins? But the point here is, Saddam Hussain’s or Osama Bin Laden’s words of terror and religion might sound appealing to some. Does that mean they are right in their path and approach and would that make Saddam or Osama a true saint? Isn’t there a fine line and framework that we must agree upon (Vedanta, Grammar, Semantics, Nirukta etc) and then go about and see whose interpretations stand merit?
                NR: Your question is extremely valid and natural. The question now is how far can this ‘independence’ of following a particular philosophy just because it ‘appeals’ to you go? People in the Vedic days did not have this problem because there was the Gurukula System with the Guru who initiated a person based on the disciple’s mindset and views, into different paths and philosophies. In the Gurukula system all were taught to respect each other’s paths “maa vidvishaavahai”-“Let us not mutually dispute” because all of them were undergoing “tejasvi shikshana”. The latest example I can quote for this is Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who taught Dualism or Dvaita to majority of his disciples, but only taught Swami Vivekananda monism or advaita beacuse he felt, his mindset is for Advaita. In today’s situation, this practice is not there and a majority of people by are by ‘default’ initiated into a kind of Bhakti Marga from their childhood and these people do not to explore other margas. The ‘independence’ question does not arise in case of these ‘majority’ people. But a small number of people have the ability to introspect and identify their mindsets and personalities. These kind of people as far as I have seen are highly moral and intellectual, that they are able to differentiate between ‘apealing’ words of Saddam Hussain or Osama Bin Laden and those of Vedanta, Dvaita or Advaita.

                MS: The blog seems more from the applicability point of view. The views are those of blogger’s. So I would rather allow him to comment on this.
                NR: Agreed!

                MS:Right. It conveys an idea. How much of that idea is conveyed by Vedanta, unequivocally is the point? It is of course said that God is formless etc. True. But in the same breath, it is also said that God is creator, etc. How can an absolutely attributeless God create an attributeful world? If advaitin’s notion is that creation is incidental etc. then it is clearly escapism. That God has real attributes to create a real world is attested by Mundaka Upanishad, Svetasvatara Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad (tat tvam asi chapter) and the Brh. Up besides host of Puranas. They clearly say that nirguna refers to lack of prAkritic gunAs and none say that nirguna means absolutely attributeless as what advaita says. If at all there is a verse that apparently seem to suggest that God is nirguna but goes about saying God creates the world, how should one interpret the sentence? Shouldn’t one look at the verses before and after, the context, drift etc? Or should one interpret that God is nirguna is the ONLY truth and that God creating world is a myth, based on self-induced assumptions?
                NR: I think you are a bit unclear about the word Nirguna as used by the Advaitin. Let us do an activity here.
                We shall deal with prakritika gunas as those arising due to Time, Space and Causation in the language of modern science. Now let us take an example of a Man who is standing before us. Now we strip him off Causation. Now all the questions we ask about him starting with the words ‘What caused’, ‘Why’, are invalid and dont have an answer because he is beyond causation. Now we strip him off Time. All questions we ask starting with the word ‘When’ regarding this man are invalid. Now off with Space. All questions we ask with the word ‘Where’ are invalid. So, we have now stripped him off all the prakritika Gunas. We are not able to perceive anything of this Man, with the limited abilities of the sense organs we have. The Advaitin says that there remains something of that man which is beyond these prakritika gunas and that he calls ‘Nirguna’ Brahman.
                You have asked How can the attributeless or Nirguna create a world with attributes? The Shwetashvara Upanishad in its fourth chapter’s first verse answers your question in simple words. “The attributeless creates an attributeful world through his manifold powers and desire to create” “ya eko avarNo bahudhaa shaktiyogaath varaNaananekaan nihitaartho dadhaati”

                MS: It makes. That is in glaring contradiction with what the entire Vedanta. Accordint to Dvaitin with all his support from the scripture the goal post advaitin sees does not exist. So that makes the difference.
                NR: So are we assuming here that the Advaitin has no support from the scriptures? If we took the unified view, both Dvaita and Advaita enjoy the support of the scriptures. If we looked at the goal posts standing in their paths, they appear to be different. But if we took an arial view, Its the same appearing as two different goal posts.

                MS: Well…I am arguing on another forum that Sri Madhvacharya NEVER says in any of his works verbatim that Shankara is a daitya. And that references in the benedictory verses of Tattvodyota which seem to say daityas is not Sri Madhvacharya’s own words but his shishyas words as attested by the tIka on Tattvodyota by Sri Jayatirtha. But what to do when khandana has been happening from all sides towards all sects? So there’s not much I could do to stop.
                NR: Ha! Ha! I Totally Agree with you. Sri Madhvacharya can never stoop so low as these people.

                MS: Where is it written in Vedanta that it uses both arOpa and apavAda?…..
                NR: It need not be written, it is apparent. One statement tells a thing which is an aropa and the other appears to contradict it which is apavada. In Dasasahitya we have the regular sahitya which appears to praise God and the Ninda sahitya which criticizes God. It is a clear usage of aropa and apavada. Where is it written in Madhva philosophy that there are these two types in Dasasahitya? As I told you Vedanta never takes a pure Advaitic or a Dvaitic stand. It gives the power to the Guru to decide which side the disciple must be initiated into based on his capabilities. Interestingly, The Advaitin also quotes the Gita to prove his stance.

                MS: Snake-rope example is actually a non-example. But it seems advaita takes that edifice as a foundation and builds a philosophy and then goes about interpreting scripture on its own self-built assumptions is where Dvaitin’s contention seems to be.
                NR: Advaita does not take the rope-snake example as the foundation to its philosophy. It illustrates illusion or relativity through this example. It shows how we perceive a thing to be something else based on the state of our mind. That is all.

                Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 3, 2012 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

                • Namaste

                  Here are my next set of responses:

                  NR: Your question is extremely valid and natural. The question now is how far can this ‘independence’ of following a particular philosophy just because it ‘appeals’ to you go? People in the Vedic days did not have this problem because there was the Gurukula System with the Guru who initiated a person based on the disciple’s mindset and views, into different paths and philosophies. In the Gurukula system all were taught to respect each other’s paths “maa vidvishaavahai”-”Let us not mutually dispute” because all of them were undergoing “tejasvi shikshana”. The latest example I can quote for this is Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who taught Dualism or Dvaita to majority of his disciples, but only taught Swami Vivekananda monism or advaita beacuse he felt, his mindset is for Advaita. In today’s situation, this practice is not there and a majority of people by are by ‘default’ initiated into a kind of Bhakti Marga from their childhood and these people do not to explore other margas. The ‘independence’ question does not arise in case of these ‘majority’ people. But a small number of people have the ability to introspect and identify their mindsets and personalities. These kind of people as far as I have seen are highly moral and intellectual, that they are able to differentiate between ‘apealing’ words of Saddam Hussain or Osama Bin Laden and those of Vedanta, Dvaita or Advaita.

                  MS: So you are stating what you stated in the beginning that Vedanta has many paths but not one correct/ultimate path. This is something I am unable to digest still. The Vedas speak one truth with one voice is why the Brahmasutras are also in place harmonising one view. I am not sure if Shankara himself would have endorsed such a view in his works that Vedanta has many meanings and many paths and that there is no one path etc. It would be tantamount to saying that Sri Madhvacharya did not understand the fact that Vedanta has many paths but only one path called Bhakti-Jnana and hence proposed that etc. The varied view is against the unity of the scriptures. This is no different than how erstwhile Indologists use to argue that Vedas propose polytheism, patheism, idealism, realism etc. How come then Brahmasutras has just one or two, albiet apparently meaning advaitic verses while the rest 500+ sutras are highly dualistic in nature? Isn’t it true that Shankara invokes his own assumptions wherever it is dualistic and reads the sutras on his own authority? Alternatively Madhvacharya quotes references from Puranas, other canons etc to show how each sutra relates to them without any of his interjections, assumptions, paranthetical quotes etc. Hence the Dvaitin’s contention that advaita relies more on assumptions. And everything that advaita justifies with are also equally assumptions.

                  NR: So, we have now stripped him off all the prakritika Gunas. We are not able to perceive anything of this Man, with the limited abilities of the sense organs we have. The Advaitin says that there remains something of that man which is beyond these prakritika gunas and that he calls ‘Nirguna’ Brahman.

                  MS: Now that is with the aid of Brahmasutras, Upanishads, Puranas and other sacred works, that Dvaitin calls that same devoid-of-prAkritic-gunAs entity “individual self” or “jIvAtman”. The example you quoted cannot be applied to God at all and make Him nirguna because such stripping-of-prakritic-gunas does not apply to Him, obviously because it is because of Him that the very prAkriti comes into being during creation. Not to mistake that God too gets afflicted by prAkritic gunAs that the sruti and smritis say that he is prAkriti-wise nirguna.

                  NR: You have asked How can the attributeless or Nirguna create a world with attributes? The Shwetashvara Upanishad in its fourth chapter’s first verse answers your question in simple words. “The attributeless creates an attributeful world through his manifold powers and desire to create” “ya eko avarNo bahudhaa shaktiyogaath varaNaananekaan nihitaartho dadhaati”

                  MS: Yes, the attributeless (one who is devoid of praAkritic gunAs) creates the attributeful world. When the second sutra of Brahmasutra clearly says that God authors this world, why build the edifice of creation activity of Lord and then bring that edifice down citing the advaitic assumptions etc. This is why Dvaitin accuses advaitin.

                  Also what really surprises me is – the liberty of convenience that advaitin exhibits. When a verse apparently suits his view, he takes the verse “literally” like tat tvam asi, aham brahma asmi, the one above etc. But when majority of the verses being dualisitic and when such verses put him to incovenience then he immediately summons his assumptions and justifies them. The ground is itself is not proper here. It seems more choosy than anything else.You can put the ball in Dvaitin’s court saying Madhvacharya too uses unheard of meanings for some of the words and you can accuse Madhvacharya of being choosy. But as Yaska (the first ever commentator on the Vedas) states, for the sruti words the etymylogical meaning takes precedence over conventional meaning. I have in my possession the Nirukta of Yaska which has quite a few words with their etymylogical meanings etc. We also have Medini Kosha or the ekAskshari nighantu that gives meanings for individual Sanskrit syllables. You are no doubt an expert in Sanskrit and hence I expect you to agree with me that a Vedantin should refer such niruktas and nighantus for interpretation and not V.S. Apte’s dictionary 🙂 This is what Madhvacharya incorporates in his interpretations and not his own assumptions, which is why Madhvacharya’s interpretation is seen meritorious in my opinion. If you disagree over this aspect, I expect some very strong reasoning from your end.

                  NR: So are we assuming here that the Advaitin has no support from the scriptures?

                  MS: As I said earlier, only apparent support. However when seen in perspective and when the canons of interpretation are put to use, advaitin loses that support is what Dvaitin claims.

                  NR: If we took the unified view, both Dvaita and Advaita enjoy the support of the scriptures. If we looked at the goal posts standing in their paths, they appear to be different. But if we took an arial view, Its the same appearing as two different goal posts.

                  MS: Can you please elaborate how the aerial view gives the same view of two different goal posts, from the Vedantic point of view, without any assumptions?

                  NR: It need not be written, it is apparent. One statement tells a thing which is an aropa and the other appears to contradict it which is apavada.

                  MS: Anything “apparent” is obviously one’s conclusion. And that NEED NOT be the true import of the verse/scripture. And one’s conclusion (without the support of other pramAnAs) is obviously not admitted as valid.

                  NR: In Dasasahitya we have the regular sahitya which appears to praise God and the Ninda sahitya which criticizes God. It is a clear usage of aropa and apavada. Where is it written in Madhva philosophy that there are these two types in Dasasahitya?

                  MS: I am not very familiar with Dasasahitya. You can quote me some verses and I will check them back of their import and purport from other sources like other Dasaru’s works etc. Also, Dasasahitya is man-made and not like apaurushEya sruti. So, comparing the two is not relevant here.

                  NR: As I told you Vedanta never takes a pure Advaitic or a Dvaitic stand. It gives the power to the Guru to decide which side the disciple must be initiated into based on his capabilities. Interestingly, The Advaitin also quotes the Gita to prove his stance.

                  MS: Back to the same point again. It has to take one absolute stand as otherwise it would not serve the purpose of the meaning of Vedanta – the conclusion of the Vedas. Vedas have one meaning, it speaks of one truth etc is something Vedas themselves say. Vedas having multiple standpoints is something I have heard for the first time. There’s no yati from the Dvaita fold who have said such. I have heard some discourses of Sri Manidramida Shastrigal and other advaitic pandits at the workshops held in Purnaprajna Vidyapeetha. At least from the ones I heard, no one seemed to have said that a “varied view” of Vedanta exists. Can you quote me any discourse and possibly a link to the discourse that I can either stream/download and hear?

                  NR: Advaita does not take the rope-snake example as the foundation to its philosophy. It illustrates illusion or relativity through this example. It shows how we perceive a thing to be something else based on the state of our mind. That is all.

                  MS: In Dvaitin’s opinion, if not for this example, advaita does not exist at all. There is no sanction from Vedanta that seems to endorse advaita. If there are any apparent advaitic verses they can be argued from the canons of interpretation point of view and can get reinerpreted to put the whole Vedanta in perspective than taking a dissected view. The advaitin’s only ray of hope seems to be just this example. Over time, in the post Shankara period, it seems this concept has taken precedence over the mainstream advaita metaphysics.

                  Regards
                  Mohan Suswaram

                  Comment by Mohan — November 3, 2012 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  7. MS: So you are stating what you stated in the beginning that Vedanta has many paths but not one correct/ultimate path. This is something I am unable to digest still. The Vedas speak one truth with one voice is why the Brahmasutras are also in place harmonising one view. I am not sure if Shankara himself would have endorsed such a view in his works that Vedanta has many meanings and many paths and that there is no one path etc. It would be tantamount to saying that Sri Madhvacharya did not understand the fact that Vedanta has many paths but only one path called Bhakti-Jnana and hence proposed that etc. The varied view is against the unity of the scriptures. This is no different than how erstwhile Indologists use to argue that Vedas propose polytheism, patheism, idealism, realism etc. How come then Brahmasutras has just one or two, albiet apparently meaning advaitic verses while the rest 500+ sutras are highly dualistic in nature? Isn’t it true that Shankara invokes his own assumptions wherever it is dualistic and reads the sutras on his own authority? Alternatively Madhvacharya quotes references from Puranas, other canons etc to show how each sutra relates to them without any of his interjections, assumptions, paranthetical quotes etc. Hence the Dvaitin’s contention that advaita relies more on assumptions. And everything that advaita justifies with are also equally assumptions.

    NR: There is more to it that meets the eye in case of the works Sri Shankara and Sri Madhwa. Their philosophies are just the tip of the iceberg. There is an even more grander and more interesting purpose behind their works. I’ll tell you one very interesting fact. I find that, it was intentional and necessary, to bring in these contradictions in the larger interest of preserving the Vedic religion. Imagine if Sri Shankara and Sri Madhva endorsed the same views and notions. How long can this philosophy survive? Over time, it will ceratinly loose its sheen. History has many religions which upheld the ONE and ONLY truth. But, most of those religions are dead now. Why?. ‘Unity in variety’ is the plan of nature and the Vedic religion conforms to it. Along with the fact that the source of these Vedas are authentic, this ‘unity in variety’ in its teachings is also a reason for Vedic religion’s survival through the centuries. These apparent contradictions keep the human mind ticking and atleast for the sake of that ‘competition’ will man think and refer to the scriptures. Let us be frank. How may of us really refer to the scriptures ‘voluntarily’ for the sake of it?. For the matter of fact, we would have not started this wonderful Jignyasa on the first place if we both were of the same belief of ONE truth. Observe How these contradictions have got You and Me to think and refer to the Upanishads and the BG, just to putforth and support our points. Vedic religion does not ‘dictate’ a Truth. It makes you think and lets you conclude for yourself what the Truth is? One might find Dvaita to be the Truth and the other Advaita, based on his nature. As long as you are convinced with your conclusion, the vedic religion lets you continue on your own path. The beauty of Vedic religion lies here…

    Im a bit occupied with some other work. Please excuse me. I’ll reply to your other comments later.

    Comment by Nikhil Rao — November 4, 2012 @ 5:27 am | Reply

    • NR: There is more to it that meets the eye in case of the works Sri Shankara and Sri Madhwa. Their philosophies are just the tip of the iceberg. There is an even more grander and more interesting purpose behind their works. I’ll tell you one very interesting fact. I find that, it was intentional and necessary, to bring in these contradictions in the larger interest of preserving the Vedic religion. Imagine if Sri Shankara and Sri Madhva endorsed the same views and notions. How long can this philosophy survive? Over time, it will ceratinly loose its sheen. History has many religions which upheld the ONE and ONLY truth. But, most of those religions are dead now. Why?. ‘Unity in variety’ is the plan of nature and the Vedic religion conforms to it. Along with the fact that the source of these Vedas are authentic, this ‘unity in variety’ in its teachings is also a reason for Vedic religion’s survival through the centuries. These apparent contradictions keep the human mind ticking and atleast for the sake of that ‘competition’ will man think and refer to the scriptures. Let us be frank. How may of us really refer to the scriptures ‘voluntarily’ for the sake of it?. For the matter of fact, we would have not started this wonderful Jignyasa on the first place if we both were of the same belief of ONE truth. Observe How these contradictions have got You and Me to think and refer to the Upanishads and the BG, just to putforth and support our points. Vedic religion does not ‘dictate’ a Truth. It makes you think and lets you conclude for yourself what the Truth is? One might find Dvaita to be the Truth and the other Advaita, based on his nature. As long as you are convinced with your conclusion, the vedic religion lets you continue on your own path. The beauty of Vedic religion lies here…

      MS: This is another interesting and a new viewpoint I have come across. How can you justify your point ( that there is an even more grander and more interesting purpose behind their works and thatnit was intentioanl and necessary to bring about these contradictions etc) from the works of Sri Madhva and Sri Shankara? Did they leave any clues? Do the tIkAs and tippanIs of either side convey this point? At least I haven’t come across such a viewpoint in my (so far) study of the advaita and dvaita works.

      It is true that because of the different Vedanta traditions that we refer the sacred scripture often. Had the gurukula system be prevalent, without these different traditions too we would be studying the scripture. So, the reason for studying and referring scripture need not be only because of the various Vedantic systems. That said, it is still not convincing that Vedic religion DOES NOT dictate a Truth but makes you conclude yourself what the Truth is. This either means that there are multiple Truths or that it is the same Truth but people see it differently like the sides of a coin. I am sure you would not subscribe to the former view. Going by the latter view, one has to conclusively prove (from the Vedanta) that the same truth is being seen differently.

      I will wait to hear your comments on my other responses.

      Regards
      Mohan Suswaram

      Comment by Mohan — November 4, 2012 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  8. Nikhil has repeatedly said that Dvaita is that the body level and advaita is that the soullevel I don’t know what support he has for this statement.

    Soul residing in the body is the most fundamental building block of Hinduism; for some reason you feel that only advaita talks about it; rather it is beyond the understanding of dvaita scholars.

    There is a hidden agenda here; for advaita to work; it has to disconnect the soul from the body completely. Let me explain; let us assume advaita is true.

    1) We are not the body – Agreed; the body is like a tool for the soul; like clothes to a body ( Bhagavad Gita example )
    2) Our souls are actually infinite; GoD too is infinite. Since there cannot be two infinites therefore we are GOD.

    Now advaita gives no link between 1. and 2. Statement 1. has to be thrown out of the window and then Statement 2. is considered.

    But is this disconnect true? Whatever we experience is our past paapa/punya. So the punya/paapa account is stored in the soul; otherwise we cannot experience the effects of paapa/punya committed with another body (previous births) in this body.
    So although we are the soul and not the body; there is no denying that there is a link from the soul to the body. Since whatever roga/illness we get is actually a manifestation of the paapa stored in the soul. Similarly whatever good we experience in this body is because we are reaping the punya in the soul.

    Note: I’m using soul in the context of anything that is not the sthula deha ( physical body)

    Now by making their soul; the same as God; creates a greater problem for advaita. Since God is infinite and soul too is infinite; then why do we get affected by paapa/punya at all ?
    By your own reasoning; anything with infinity is infinity. So how can soul be touched by paapa/punya? But this cycle of sukha/dukha is pratyaksha; how can it be denied? How can a limited paapa affect the infinite soul?

    Therefore you can see why advaita refuses to acknowledge this connection. If it cannot explain; let alone help us in this regard what is the use of following it?

    Many advaitins that I have encountered; refuse to agree with derivation and claim “unfair, text twisting” etc. Therefore I made the Paramatha series agnostic of the derivation; based on the conclusions let us compare apples to apples. If you have read the Paramatha Khandana series I have explained that advaitinis themselves find it useless in their day to day life.

    Although I support that shankara was a demon with Rudra avesha; I did not bring it up because it gives an escape route for advaiti’s and more importantly … the philosophy should be hold water on it’s own based on sadagamas and not just because who espoused it.

    Now to recap; we(our souls) are performing paapa/punya day in and day out with our body. advaita says we are infinite souls but there is no explaination why infinite is effected by limited paapa/punya. If we are infinite is there any sense than even trying to earn punya? Because your are infinite already?
    Then what is the purpose of life ? To become GOD ? but if you are already GOD … should’nt you be happy already ? Most importantly why should agree that we are GOD because the scriptures say so ? If I am GOD; should I not already know this ?

    How useful is this theory in day to day life ? Not useful; so then what is the purpose of following it? Therefore my statement stands as is.

    Now for the unity in diversity; if we take example of music. there are thousands and thousands of songs/genres. But the common thing is that it is music. Music that does not hit it’s notes is bad no matter what genre or song. Assuming that philosophy will be plain vanilla if it follows all the rules; is like saying there are seven notes people will get bored after some time. And to answer the question specifically; In Madhva we have granthas that establish philosophy, do khandana, explain Sadagamas, gadya form, padya form , stotras, stutis, suladhis, ugabhaoga, mundiges, dasara padas all of them perfectly follow Madhwa philosophy yet so many different forms of works. Therefore there is no plain vanilla problem at all.

    Comment by hrishikesh — November 6, 2012 @ 8:05 am | Reply

    • Hare Srinivasa,

      If you see closely; hiranyakashipu believed exactly this advaita concept; he believed he was the same as SriHari ( in nirguna form ) and all he needed was more gunas to surpass the saguna brahman; which is why he did tapas. Prahalada on the other hand believed he was eternal servant to SriHari because SriHari is infinite; history tells us who was proved correct.

      There is an objection that Jeeva is not equated to Saguna Ishwarah but to Nirguna Brahman; however this objection will hold water if they say they are completely different entities. But if you see the link between two shankaras gita bashya says

      यया च ईश्वरशक्त्या भक्तानुग्रहादिप्रयोजनाय ब्रह्म प्रतिष्ठते प्रवर्तते, सा
      शक्तिः ब्रह्मैव अहम्, शक्तिशक्तिमतोः अनन्यत्वात् इत्यभिप्रायः। अथवा,
      ब्रह्मशब्दवाच्यत्वात् सविकल्पकं ब्रह्म। तस्य ब्रह्मणो निर्विकल्पकः अहमेव
      नान्यः प्रतिष्ठा आश्रयः।

      Translation (Sw.Gambhirananda):
      // Indeed, that power of God through which Brahman sets out, comes forth,
      for the purpose of favouring the devotees, etc., that power which is
      Brahman Itself, am I. *** For, a power and the possessor of that power are
      non-different. *** Or, brahman means the conditioned Brahman, since It (too,)
      is referred to by that word. ‘Of that Brahman, I Myself, the unconditioned
      Brahman-and none else-am the Abode.’ //

      The difference between saguna and nirguna is very subtle and actually a perspective. advaita says there is a difference but they are equivalent. Even if we replace saguna ishwara with nirguna brahman the verse would remain the same and is not going to be earth shatteringly different as claimed.

      Jai Bharateesha !!!

      Comment by hrishikesh — August 17, 2014 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  9. Sir,
    In dvaita’s trividha jeevas…like rajasa,tamasa,and sathvika jeevas are like tv serials….where there will be a good person…who will always think good and do good ,
    there will be a bad person…who always think evil and do evil….this is just the ladys watching tv serial story….hence not practical…..
    2)In reality there is atleast a good guna in a bad person and a bad guna in a very good person….a evil person can become good one day and good person can become bad one day…..So, we cannot say evil nature or good nature are nature of his own soul…..So,there cannot be rajasa,sathvika ,tamasa jeevas…..

    WHAT YOU SAY FOR THIS?

    Comment by Srivathsa — August 15, 2014 @ 4:40 am | Reply

    • Broadly jeevas are categorized into Satvik, Rajsik and Tamsik. The finer classification lies in the spectrum from SSS (Satvik-Satvik-Satvik) to TTT ( Tamsik-Tamsik-Tamsik )

      Example of SSS type of Jeevas are Brahma, Vayu there is no iota of defect hence poorna 32 lakshanas in every avataara. Example of TTT type is kali ; duryodahana.

      Satvik Jeevas are ever active; don’t have an iota of laziness; know their place in taratamya and always devoted to SriHari. Depending on their yogyate they may make mistakes or have gynana tirodana but otherwise they are outstanding devotees.

      Tamsik people always want to harm others to the point of mindless destruction just because they wish so or just because they can. There is plenty of examples in modern world.

      The point you are making is that in kaliyuga majority of the people are nitya samsaris i.e. Rajasik these people have a bit of good and bad in them. Their Characteristic is that they change their stance as per situation; if evil is powerful they will give into their vices; if good is ruling they will be good. The difference will be pronounced when compared to Satviks; Prahlad was chanting SriHari’s name inspite of entire world opposing him at that time. Tamsiks; even though duryodhana was surrounded by satviks giving him good advice; he chose the path of destruction.

      Except Ruju’s ( Brahma, Vayu ) everybody is affected by kali; therefore Vayu is sought as Guru and all offerings are made through Vayu alone. Because we are vulnerable we do papa purusha visarjana; buthotchatana every time during sandhya, japa and any other pooja.

      There is no denying that people we see have some good and bad in them; but distinction is how they see SriHari. Satviks will overflow with love towards SriRam; tamsik will be spewing hate just at the mention; rajsiks will vary their response depending on the atmosphere… in company of satviks they will “also” fold their hands else they will crack jokes.

      Comment by hrishikesh — August 17, 2014 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

      • Sir,
        you say the inner nature of the jeeva will never change…they will be either sathvika,rajasa or tamasa….
        1)coming to nithya samsaaris…..what is their stand?…their nature is changing according to condition…depending on atmosphere…but it is against to your first statement…the nature of athman will never change……
        2)you always give puranic example….even though it is correct…I want some real time example for this…give some rajasa,tamasa and sathvika jeevas…In this world…or from some historical persons…..AND TELL WHY YOU CONISIDER THEM AS TAMASIC,RANASIC OR SATHVIK….

        NOTE : even though krishna is historical…I will consider him as puranic…give some live exmple…
        please…this is my request……

        Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 4:51 am | Reply

        • The nature of the nityasamsaris is that they will go with the crowd; they don’t change from Satvik to Tamsik or vice versa … that is the characteristic of Rajas guna. They get swarga for punya deeds; narka for bad deeds and keep bouncing around between swarga, naraka and prithvi.

          Comment by hrishikesh — August 18, 2014 @ 9:35 am | Reply

          • So, according to you (dvaita)….rajasa,and tamasa people will never get moksha?….only sathvika jivas will get moksha?

            Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 9:55 am | Reply

      • SIR,
        1) will duryodhana be tamasic in all his janmas?…vayu be sathvik in all his janmas?….how do you prove this?…any puranic quetes mention about it?

        Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 4:53 am | Reply

  10. ultimate knowledge is sacchidaanada. sacchidaananda is the personality(swarupa) of brahman….which means …..
    sat(always present)….chit(consiousness)……anadnda(bliss) …..when you experience…..this ananda(bliss)…….that means your personality have become equal to sacchidaanada….in that state you have become sacchidaanada swarupi…..or in other words…..you have become sacchidaanada rupi brahman …..which is the ultimate knowledge….as vedas says…..
    so….you yourself…..have become sacchidaanada….or YOU HAVE BECOME BRAHMAN ,which is ultimate knowledge….thats why vedas say…..prajgnam brahm….or brahman is knowledge…..and you are brahman…….(aham brahmamaasmi)……this is in breaf……the essence of jgnana yoga….
    WHAT YOU SAY FOR THIS?

    Comment by Srivathsa — August 15, 2014 @ 4:41 am | Reply

    • Whenever there is an argument of “becoming BRAHMAN” i.e. SriHari is made … the question to be asked is can you define the limits of SriHari ? SriHari is ananta-ananta i.e. infinitely infinite; 1st infinite is quality 2nd infinite is quanitity … i.e. infinite gunas and each guna is infinite.

      When Vedas themselves cannot fully describe SriHari then how can someone become GOD using the means of Vedas ?

      If you see how Dvaita defines GOD; it will eradicate this doubt once and for all.

      Comment by hrishikesh — August 17, 2014 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

      • Sir,
        we advaithis won’t say…we are BECOMING infinite….we say that we are already infinite…only thing is we have to RECOGNIZE that we are infinte…
        now you may ask…the way to recognize that we are infinite….that knowledge which makes us to recognize that we are infinite…it self is BRAHMAN…..that is what upanisad says…”PRAGNANAM BRAHMAN”….which meas brahman is the highest knowledge that is possible for a jiva…when you recognize your self as infinte….you will be infinte….
        A FINITE CAN NEVER BECOME INFINITE…BUT A INFINITE,WHICH MISUNDERSTOOD ITSELF AS FINITE…CAN BECOME INFINITE…BY SELF RECOGISION…OF BEING INFINTE…
        WHAT YOU SAY?

        Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 4:40 am | Reply

        • How can infinite mistake itself to be finite; this premise itself is wrong. What infinity – 100 thousand crores … it is still infinity … Infinity can never mistake itself to be finite.

          Comment by hrishikesh — August 18, 2014 @ 9:30 am | Reply

          • how can you say infinte …cannot mistake itself to be finite?..yes,infinte cannot mistake itself to be finite…but it just LOOKS like mistaken….THAT IS WHY ADVAITHIS SAY JAGATH AS MITHYA….

            Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  11. I have a question about madwa philosophy
    1) for madwas there are 5 bedas
    *)jada-jada
    *)jiva -jiva
    *)jiva-iswara
    *)jiswara-jada and jiva-jada
    —————————————…
    BUT TODAYS SCIENCE HAVE PROVED THAT THERE IS NO JADA-JADA BEDA…..i:e according to madhvaacharya ,gold can never become silver….but todays science have proved that by changing electronics configuration we can change gold to silver….WHICH ACCORDING TO MADHVAACHARYA IMPOSSIBLE !!!!!!!…because nothing,or jada loose their prakruthika guna according to madhvacharya,….
    2)jiva-jiva beda:
    accoring to dvaita each jiva is suguna and his prakrutika gunas are his own gunas.
    BUT ACCORDING TO ME PRAKRUTHIKA GUNAS ARE NOT OF ATHMAS AND IS SUPER IMPOSED ON ATHMA,BY READING MY FOLLOWING COMMENTS U PEOPLE COME TO KNOW……..
    1)me myself, i am human i see another human in kama,but if i become dog in next janma,i see dog with kama…..so prakruthika guna kama is not atmans guna
    2) bhudhi:
    now when we are human we have high level of bhudhi,but if i become dog in next janma we have bhudhi of the level of dog,so budhi is not atmas guna
    if u go on thinking like that u will come to know that ,these gunas atman got from MAYA of jagath..and is not atmans guna ….so atman is nirgua and jagath is maya…………so madwaacharya’s jath is truth and 5 bedas are false…….
    CAN YOU PEOPLE PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION?

    Comment by Srivathsa — August 15, 2014 @ 4:41 am | Reply

    • 1. Jada-Jada bheda is not eternal; there is no such statement that Jada cannot be converted from one to another. Rayaru himself converted meat to fruits and flowers. Jada-Jada bheda is a classification; gold is distinct from silver.

      Jada-Jada is a concept that we use everyday; we keep jewellery in safe; we use bricks for construction; etc. Even in the example you give without Jada-Jada bheda how can you say that the article is no longer silver; because it is gold now and gold is different from silver.

      2. Taking you example it can be proved that janma plays a very important role in Sadhana; pashu dehas sadhana cannot be done unless it is a very high soul.
      Even for good souls there can be gnyana tirodhana so temporary loss of viveka cannot be ruled as though buddhi never existed.
      They are exclusively for bhoga i.e. mitigation of karmas. So the example is not technically correct; however if they are satvik jeevas even there will shine through. Gajendra Moksha is classic example. Inspite of having elephant deha as last resort jeeva remembers SriHari as saviour and picks up lotus from the river and offers it to SriHari.

      Comment by hrishikesh — August 17, 2014 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

      • Hare Srinivasa

        “accoring to dvaita each jiva is suguna and his prakrutika gunas are his own gunas.
BUT ACCORDING TO ME PRAKRUTHIKA GUNAS ARE NOT OF ATHMAS AND IS SUPER IMPOSED ON ATHMA”.

        Once again, a gross misinterpretation of Dvaita philosophy.

        The prAkritic gunAs are associated with the jiva when he takes the bodily form. The jiva-jiva bhEda referred to by Madhvacharya is not always that of a “jiva with a body”. This jiva-jiva bhEda continues to persist during pralaya also. Since the jIva has a unique svabhAva and is never the same for any other jIva, the svabhAva continues to persist for all time and hence the jiva-jiva bhEda too is eternal. This is attested by nAsadIya sUkta (Rg Veda X:129) and Srimad Bhagavata Canto II. For a detailed commentary on nAsadIya sUkta, please read Sri Madhvacharya’s tattvOdyOta.

        Hare Srinivasa

        Comment by Mohan Suswaram — August 17, 2014 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

      • Sir,
        1)In dvaita the pancha bedas are eternal..they are not just classification….so in dvaita jada-jada beda is absolute…but is is not true….according to science…even advaita accepts bedas…but it is not eternal,,,,,but just vyvaharika sathya….so silver-gold beds is vyvharika sathya…but not absolute beda as said by madhvachayra…..
        2)athman’s inner nature is never changeing…as you have accepted…but bhudhi changes from janma to janma…so bhudhi is not athman’s inner nature…
        3)so bhudhi and kama are not the athman’s owm inner guna..as it changes…so my question is ….WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THIS KAMA,BHUDHI LIKE prakruthika gunas in athman?…according to advaita..the source is maya or ajnana….but dvaita says that there is no maya….
        SO…WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THESE PRAKRUTHIKA GUNAS LIKE KAMA ,BHUDHI IN ATHMAN?

        Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 5:02 am | Reply

        • 1.) I’ll rephrase … what I meant was for jeevas there is no transformation possible so one jeeva becoming another is not possible. In jadas the difference between jadas … i,e, jada bheda. But one jada can be transformed from A to B. Ex. Milk to Curd… jada bheda is that milk is different from curd.

          2. Buddhi is composed of many layers; it is a basically a function of karma, yogyate ( hierearchy in taratamya )

          3. The definition of maya as illusion/ mirage is rejected by Dvaita. Maya is consort of Vasudeva roopa of SriHari. It is the union of these two roopas that starts the creation … the hiranyagarbha this is primary matter of creation of this universe. Also MahaLakshmi as Maya devi regulates the entire universe under directions of SriHari. This is the relation between jagat and Maya. MahaLakshmi as Durga devi is abhimani devata of agnyana hence vishesha pooja should be done to ensure she does not give us agnyana.

          Comment by hrishikesh — August 18, 2014 @ 9:48 am | Reply

          • Sir,
            I will answer to your points..point by point…..
            1)why cannot one jiva become anoter jiva?….here one jiva cannot become another jiva, …is by prakruhtika gunas…but as prakruthika changes…one athman…can get the guna of another anthan…so jiva-jiva beda based on prakruthika guna of rajasa,thamasa,sathvika is not correct…
            2)milk ,can become curd…so beda between milk and curd is not absolute…it is just vyvaharika beda only……as said in advaita…not absolute…so jada-jada beda is not absolute….
            3)as athman is never changeing entity…but bhudhi changes from janma to janma….this bhudhi is not athman’s guna….so athman is nirguna…
            4)what is hiranyagarba…is it jada,jiva or brahman….?because this world is made of these three entity according to dvaita…,so what about hiranya garba?…what it made of?
            5)you said mahalakshmi is abhimani devata of agnyana…so…what is that agnana EXACTLY in dvaita?…or in other words…agnana of what ?

            Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 10:10 am | Reply

    • Hare Srinivasa

      “according to madhvaacharya ,gold can never become silver….but todays science have proved that by changing electronics configuration we can change gold to silver….WHICH ACCORDING TO MADHVAACHARYA IMPOSSIBLE !!!!!!!”

      Can you quote any of Sri Madhvacharya’s or other Dvaita stalwarts’ words to this effect from any of the works? What made you think Madhvacharya meant what you said, unless it is a figment of your own imagination or a poor comprehension of Madhwa Philosophy?

      It is because of the “change” in electronic configuration that you are able to say one thing is gold and the other silver. That change itself is causing the difference. When there is no such change, silver remains silver and gold remains gold. Goldness and Silverness are vishEshAs of matter. By changing electronic configuration, vishEshAs of the matter are changing, rather new vishEshAs are being produced.

      However “produced vishEshAs” as in the case above, are not eternal. After sometime they cease to exist. But bhEda as such is not “because of” vishEsha. bhEda is svAbhAvika, an inherent and inseparable attribute of an entity. When an entity comes into existence like a jiva or a silver particle, the bhEda is latent or hidden in them. When another object comes into existence, the hidden bhEda inside that jiva or silver particle becomes manifest. That is, what was hidden, now becomes visible and explicit. And vishEshAs only “bring out in the open” the latent (hidden) bhEda inside an entity. They don’t produce the bhEda and vishEshAs are not the cause for bhEda.

      Also, jada-jada bhEda is very much eternal. We usually take examples of jada-jada bhEda from this prAkritic prapancha only. When complete dissolution happens (mahApralaya) all these different substances in the universe become one unitary single particle – mUlaprAkriti. So we assume that all jada-jada bhEda vanishes during mahApralaya because matter becomes a single particle and hence there’s nothing else for bhEda to occur. But that is not correct. Even during mahApralaya there are other jadas prevailing – kAla, karma, akAsa etc besides mUlaprAkriti. These jadas are eternal and continue to exist forever (of course under the adhIna of The Lord). Since these jadas are eternal, the bhEda between these eternal jadas are also eternal. Hence the jada-jada bhEda of Dvaita philosophy has eternal applicability.

      Hare Srinivasa

      Comment by Mohan Suswaram — August 17, 2014 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

      • SIR,
        1)you said..the jada-jada beda is not because of visheshas like colour of jada or bhudhi or kama of jiva…but is is svabhavika….
        can you tell some svabhavika gunas,,,,that a athman has,,,,which is not visheshas….?
        2)what is the source of this vishesha gunas?…according to advaita…the source of this vishesha gunas is agjnana or maya…but dvaita says that there is no maya…so what is the source of this vishesha gunas?
        3)In your last point,in proving jada-jada beda as eternal,you said kala,karma are jada as it don’t have consciousness,is kala ,karma are jada like gold and silver?….it is not correct…..if you say so…then you have to accept..that brahman and jivas are same…because both have consciousnesses….

        Comment by srivathsa — August 18, 2014 @ 5:14 am | Reply

  12. Athman is nirvikaara or nirvikaari….in dvaita

    If you accept this athman as nirvikaari ,then you should accept athman is not atomic and it is infinite or brahman…why because
    ,now one soul which is human,in this janma,if he become elephant in next janma,will his soul stretches to the size of elephant?
    similarly if that soul become ant in next janma,will its soul will compress to the size of ant?…..
    Similarly,in same janma baby will grow from the small size baby to big man,if size changes…then soul cannot be called as nirvikaari or avikaari…..
    for that purpose,advaita adviceses that athman is infinite in size,or covers whole world
    or athman is brahman…only because of ignorance…it thinks that it is limited in size……….

    what you say for this sir?

    Comment by srivathsa — October 11, 2014 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  13. Please go though the following youtube link,which tell about maya of advaita,

    and tell your valuable comment…

    Comment by srivathsa — October 11, 2014 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  14. 1)ok….forget science….let us take you yourself given local example
    Milk….it is one jada,curd is another jada,,,,they have different prakruthika guna…..if milk and curd are different by absolute as said by madhvacharya….milk should never become curd…..
    but milk…become curd,ghee,butter milk…etc…here the prakruthika gunas of milk (jada)changes to the prakruthika gunas of ghee,curd etc….hence…there cannot be jada-jada beda by absolute as said by madhvacharya…
    2)dress…perishes by time(kumbaagutthade)….here dress looses its prakruthika guna bala (strength)…by time…so strength is not guna of jada…if you go on thinking like that…then there is no jada-jada beda…..
    so what is the guna of jada…which makes it different from other jada,,,by absolute?
    3)one person having a thumb print in one janma,will have another thum print in another janma…so there are not athman’s attribute…. one leave of the same tree…will not be like that…after a day…it will be grown old like big in size,change colour to yellow…etc….so there are not the gunas of jaga…if you go in thinking like that…a jada will be different from it self after a period of time….so quality changes with time…
    4) similary kama,physical appearance,thinking changes from janma to janma ..so there are not athman’s guna…so athman is nirguna…so prakruthika gunas like rajasa,tamasa,sathvika are not athman’s guna…so athman is nirguna…..

    what you say for this sir?

    Comment by srivathsa — October 11, 2014 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  15. Hrishikesh Sir,
    First of all ,In advaita we say shivoham,not as “Parvathi pathi”….we say shiva shivoham here shiva means supreme knowledge or supreme consciousnesses….that is it……..that means we are supreme consioussness…not parvathi’s husband
    In dvaita hari means “lakshmi ‘s husband,shiva means “parvathi’s husband”…..this is childish…..and bakwas
    If you ask a donkey…how is god…it says god is beautiful donkey …similarly madhvacharya says hari as a beautiful sarvothama lakshmi ‘s husband hari……

    Dvaita is full of childish , bakwas stories

    Please answer atleast for this…..
    “”

    Comment by srivathsa — October 15, 2014 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  16. In the very beginning of mayavada khandana,…..
    Madhvacharya say that brahman and brahma jgnana are different.He says,as brahma jgnana is different from brahma,It is false,as everything else other than brahma is false in advaitha.So,the advaitha thattva is false he says.
    So, he says it is waste to learn advaitha.

    For this advaithi’s answer,
    Pragnanam brahma (Brahman is knowledge) a mahavakhya says,Brahma and brahman jgnana are not different ,but brahma jgnana is very swarupa of brahman.
    So,one cannot differentiate between brahman and brahma jgnana.Brahma and brahma jgnana are one and same.

    So,there is no question of saying brahma is true,and brahma jgnana (advaitha tattva) is false.

    So, the vary beginning of mayavada khandana is wrong…….

    what you say for this?

    Comment by srivathsa — April 24, 2015 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  17. Sri Gurubyo namaha
    Namaskara,
    Acharyare,
    Please reply to the my following doubts about madhva philosoply.I am waiting for your reply
    1)
    I have a question about madwa philosophy
    1) for madwas there are 5 bedas
    *)jada-jada
    *)jiva -jiva
    *)jiva-iswara
    *)jiswara-jada and jiva-jada
    —————————————…
    BUT TODAYS SCIENCE HAVE PROVED THAT THERE IS NO JADA-JADA BEDA…..i:e according to madhvaacharya ,gold can never become silver….but todays science have proved that by changing electronics configuration we can change gold to silver….WHICH ACCORDING TO MADHVAACHARYA IMPOSSIBLE !!!!!!!…because nothing,or jada loose their prakruthika guna according to madhvacharya,….
    2)jiva-jiva beda:
    accoring to dvaita each jiva is suguna and his prakrutika gunas are his own gunas.
    BUT ACCORDING TO ME PRAKRUTHIKA GUNAS ARE NOT OF ATHMAS AND IS SUPER IMPOSED ON ATHMA,BY READING MY FOLLOWING COMMENTS U PEOPLE COME TO KNOW……..
    1)me myself, i am human i see another human in kama,but if i become dog in next janma,i see dog with kama…..so prakruthika guna kama is not atmans guna
    2) bhudhi:
    now when we are human we have high level of bhudhi,but if i become dog in next janma we have bhudhi of the level of dog,so budhi is not atmas guna
    if u go on thinking like that u will come to know that ,these gunas atman got from MAYA of jagath..and is not atmans guna ….so atman is nirgua and jagath is maya…………so madwaacharya’s jath is truth and 5 bedas are false…….
    2)
    ultimate knowledge is sacchidaanada. sacchidaananda is the personality(swarupa) of brahman….which means …..
    sat(always present)….chit(consiousness)……anadnda(bliss) …..when you experience…..this ananda(bliss)…….that means your personality have become equal to sacchidaanada….in that state you have become sacchidaanada swarupi…..or in other words…..you have become sacchidaanada rupi brahman …..which is the ultimate knowledge….as vedas says…..
    so….you yourself…..have become sacchidaanada….or YOU HAVE BECOME BRAHMAN ,which is ultimate knowledge….thats why vedas say…..prajgnam brahm….or brahman is knowledge…..and you are brahman…….(aham brahmamaasmi)……this is in breaf……the essence of jgnana yoga….
    3)
    Athman is nirvikaara or nirvikaari….in dvaita
    If you accept this athman as nirvikaari ,then you should accept athman is not atomic and it is infinite or brahman…why because
    ,now one soul which is human,in this janma,if he become elephant in next janma,will his soul stretches to the size of elephant?
    similarly if that soul become ant in next janma,will its soul will compress to the size of ant?…..
    Similarly,in same janma baby will grow from the small size baby to big man,if size changes…then soul cannot be called as nirvikaari or avikaari…..
    for that purpose,advaita adviceses that athman is infinite in size,or covers whole world
    or athman is brahman…only because of ignorance…it thinks that it is limited in size……….
    4)
    In dvaita’s trividha jeevas…like rajasa,tamasa,and sathvika jeevas are like tv serials….where there will be a good person…who will always think good and do good ,
    there will be a bad person…who always think evil and do evil….this is just the ladys watching tv serial story….hence not practical…..
    2)In reality there is atleast a good guna in a bad person and a bad guna in a very good person….a evil person can become good one day and good person can become bad one day…..So, we cannot say evil nature or good nature are nature of his own soul…..So,there cannot be rajasa,sathvika ,tamasa jeevas…..
    5)
    First of all ,In advaita we say shivoham,not as “Parvathi pathi”….we say shiva shivoham here shiva means supreme knowledge or supreme consciousnesses….that is it……..that means we are supreme consioussness…not parvathi’s husband
    In dvaita hari means “lakshmi ‘s husband,shiva means “parvathi’s husband”…..this is childish…..and bakwas
    If you ask a donkey…how is god…it says god is beautiful donkey …similarly madhvacharya says hari as a beautiful sarvothama lakshmi ‘s husband hari……
    Dvaita is full of childish , bakwas stories
    6)
    1)ok….forget science….let us take you yourself given local example
    Milk….it is one jada,curd is another jada,,,,they have different prakruthika guna…..if milk and curd are different by absolute as said by madhvacharya….milk should never become curd…..
    but milk…become curd,ghee,butter milk…etc…here the prakruthika gunas of milk (jada)changes to the prakruthika gunas of ghee,curd etc….hence…there cannot be jada-jada beda by absolute as said by madhvacharya…
    2)dress…perishes by time(kumbaagutthade)….here dress looses its prakruthika guna bala (strength)…by time…so strength is not guna of jada…
    3)when you burn your dress,the dress looses all its prakruthika gunas like colour,smoothness and become ashe,if you go on thinking like that…then there is no jada-jada beda…….as jada’s prakruthika guna changes…
    3)when you burn your dress,the dress looses all its prakruthika gunas like colour,smoothness and become ashe,if you go on thinking like that…then there is no jada-jada beda…….as jada’s prakruthika guna changes…
    so what is the guna of jada…which makes it different from other jada,,,by absolute?
    if jada-jada beda is absolute as said by madhvacharya prakruthika gunas of jada should never change as,he says prakruthika gunas of jada are of it’s own swarupa…and it will never change…
    3)one person having a thumb print in one janma,will have another thum print in another janma…so there are not athman’s attribute…. one leave of the same tree…will not be like that…after a day…it will be grown old like big in size,change colour to yellow…etc….so there are not the gunas of jaga…if you go in thinking like that…a jada will be different from it self after a period of time….so quality changes with time…
    4) similary kama,physical appearance,thinking changes from janma to janma ..so there are not athman’s guna…so athman is nirguna…so prakruthika gunas like rajasa,tamasa,sathvika are not athman’s guna…so athman is nirguna…..
    7)
    In the very beginning of mayavada khandana,…..
    Madhvacharya say that brahman and brahma jgnana are different.He says,as brahma jgnana is different from brahma,It is false,as everything else other than brahma is false in advaitha.So,the advaitha thattva is false he says.
    So, he says it is waste to learn advaitha.
    For this advaithi’s answer,
    Pragnanam brahma (Brahman is knowledge) a mahavakhya says,Brahma and brahman jgnana are not different ,but brahma jgnana is very swarupa of brahman.
    So,one cannot differentiate between brahman and brahma jgnana.Brahma and brahma jgnana are one and same.
    So,there is no question of saying brahma is true,and brahma jgnana (advaitha tattva) is false.
    So, the vary beginning of mayavada khandana is wrong…….
    8)
    In advaitha ,hari is supreme consciousness…pragjanana….
    So,there is no question of someone going against that pragnana (supreme consciousness) or hating that brahman (who hates supreme consciousness first of all?????)right???…..
    As it is supreme knowledge..there is no question of malu-kilu (higher or lower )..in it…and it is there inside all of us as over self (in the form of supreme consciousness)…..
    that is why advaithis just say pragnanam brahma…which is considered as one of the four strong pillars of advaitha
    that is why advaithis call brahman as IT NOT HE…(there is no personification of brahman in advaitha)..
    But in dvaitha hari means lakshmi’s husbend..who is human like male…who is different from us..
    that is why they say,there are some people(tamasa jeevi) ,who hates hari ,just like some one hates some one…
    As hari is human like ,,there is melu-kilu (higher and lower )….in dvaitha….that is why they say hari sarvottama(one of the main vakhya of dvaita)…
    Which itself shows that dvaith’s don’t know what is hari is…
    According to dvaithis hari is lakshmi’s husbend…human like….
    that is why most of dvaithis call brahman as HE NOT IT…BECAUSE ACCORDING DVAITHI HARI IS MALE ..AND ALSO HUMAN..NOT SUPREME CONSCIOUSNESS…
    THIS IS JUST CHILDISH…
    Dvaitha is not only childish..but also…they destroying vaidika dharma being inside sanathana dharma..just like other religions people destroying sanathama dharma from out side…
    9)
    For advaithis hari is chaitanya…(supreme consciousness)….(can be compared to Phd level)
    For dvaithis hari means lakshmi’s MALE husbend…just like humans…(just like LKG level)…
    This it self shows the difference between advitha and dvaitha..
    Advaitha ,just cannot be compared to dvaita.
    REGARDS,
    SRIVATHSA

    Comment by Srivathsa — December 18, 2016 @ 7:05 pm | Reply


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