Mayavada Darpanam

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Attack on vishaya of Advaita - 1


Prostrations to all.

We will start with the starting statement of Madhvacharya's Mayavaada Khandanam and will deal with the reply given in Mayavaada Darpanam (the work written refuting or defending Advaita by me with the grace of AMMA) in the next mail.

Madhvacharya starts the work of Mayavada Khandanam with an anumaana or inference to prove that “Advaita is something that cannot be really started”.

Madhva says thus:
"Vimatham anaarambhaneeyam, anyathaaprathipaadakatvaat, yad ittham tat tathaa, yathaa samprathipannam"

Vimatham is the subject-matter which is being discussed. Here vimatham is “whether advaita can be started or not”. The subject-matter is anaarambhaneeyam or it cannot be started.
Why “advaita cannot be started”?
Anyathaa prathipaadakatvaat – as it propounds something different from the subject-matter of scriptures or advaita deviates from the sruthi.
And an example is also given by Madhva to prove this – as it is in the case of shoonyavaadins and jains who dont have any use out of their scriptures (which advaita also accepts) and they dont have any subject-matter at all.

Any anumaana or inference has three parts or components which are:
1. Prathijnaa – statement which is to be proved
2. Hetu – reason or proof for the statement
3. Udaaharana – example supporting the reason and statement to be proved

The very common inference taken is inferring from the smoke seen on the top of a hill that there is fire on top of the hill.

There is fine in the hill, (Pratijnaa)
Because there is smoke, (hetu)
As in chimney (udaaharana).

In Madhva’s anumaana the parts are thus:
1. Prathijnaa – advaita cannot be started
2. Hetu – since it propounds things different from sruthi
3. Udaaharana – as buddhist and jain systems propound different from sruthi & they are not to be started or followed, similar is the case with advaita also.

Jaya Teertha and other commentators give two additional hetu or reasons for the same. The reasons thus are:
1. Anyathaa prathipaadakatvaat – advaita says that it follows sruthi whereas the subject-matter of advaita deviates from sruthi as sruthi supports dvaita satyatva and the pancha bhedaas too.
2. Baadhitha vishayatvaat – due to the subject-matter being sublated or vanishing after some time. Advaita propounds that the subject-matter of Brahman also vanishes once realization dawns as then there the seeker realizes that there never was any vishaya at all but Brahman alone existed.
3. Vedaadeh tat paratva niraasaya prathijnaa saadhyathe – the statement is proved as vedas propound something contrary to what advaita propounds.

The difference between hetu 1 and hetu 3 is that 1 propounds that advaita deviates from sruthi whereas 3 states that sruthi proves things contrary and against advaita.

1. Anyathaa prathipaadakatvaat
Here the dvaitin points out that the various sruthi statements like “Dvavimau purushau loke” – there are two purushas which are the kshara or changing purusha and the immortal or akshara purusha. The uttama purusha or Bhagavan is different from both kshara and akshara as per Gita’s statement (15th chapter) and Katha Upanishad statement. Most of the sruthi statements propound the jeeva to be mortal, limited and dependent on the Lord whereas Ishara is immortal, unlimited and independent. There are more sruthi statements which point out that the world is real and that the pancha bhedhaas real than the advaitic sruthi which are very less. Even those few advaitic sruthi can be shown to point out bhedham only. For eg: the most famous sruthi statement of “Sa yo ha vai tat paramam brahma veda brahmaiva bhavathi” (Mundaka Upanishad) which means that “He who knows that ultimate Brahman verily becomes Brahman” can clearly be shown to point out dvaita through the word “Paramam” which means “Supreme”. This means that there is something which is inferior or not Supreme with respect to the Supreme Lord or Ishwara. Thus since most of the sruthi statements point out dvaita only and the advaitic sruthi also can be shown to point out dvaita, therefore what advaita points out as the import of sruthi is wrong. Thus advaitic vishaya is something different from that of the sruthi, sruthi being dvaitic in import.

2. Baadhitha vishayatvaat
The vishaya that advaita points out is something which is sublated after realization. Here sublation means that the vishaya itself becomes unreal or invalid after realization. Once realization dawns, there is nothing but Brahman alone – then the search which was done by the seeker also becomes invalid even like dream world experience and waking up from the dream world. Thus the vishaya of Brahma-atma aikya which advaita points out becomes unreal once a person realizes. Thus advaita’s vishaya is baadhitham or sublated or becomes unreal or vanishes after realization. Since advaita’s vishaya is unreal, therefore it is futile to go after such a philosophy whose vishaya or subject-matter itself is unreal.

3. Vedaadeh tat paratva niraasa
The vishaya of advaita itself is negated in sruthi statements where advaita is clearly negated through propounding dvaita and the pancha bhedaas. For eg: the 15th chapter of Gita which clearly propounds the three purushas of kshara (the worldly objects which are perishable), Akshara (which are the jeevas which are imperishable) and Uttama (which is the Supreme or the Lord alone) shows the bhedhaas are real which is against advaita and refuting advaita directly. Since sruthi itself clearly negates advaita or advaitic vishaya, therefore advaita is not to be started.

Here the dvaitin is trying to show that the vishaya of advaita is invalid and hence the system itself is not to be started through the above mentioned three reasons.

We will learn advaita’s response to the above three arguments or anumaanaas of dvaitin through study of Mayavaada Darpanam and its statements in the next mail.

PS: Dvaitin's statements are in brown with Madhwa's work in bold and mayavada darpanam text in bold green.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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