Mayavada Darpanam

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Introduction to Mayavada Darpanam


Prostrations to all.

Vedanta is the science of knowing that having known which everything becomes known. Vedanta particularly deals with the reality called or termed as Brahman of the nature of Sat, Chit Ananda (Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute). Vedanta is the Upanishads present in the different shaakhaas or recensions of the four Vedas of Rig, Yajur, Saama and Atharva. The main Upanishads are the dasha upanishads commented by Adi Sankaracharya and similarly commented upon by other acharyas.
During time after Sankaracharya, different interpretations started creeping in for the Upanishads. Thus different systems of Vedanta each claiming to be the true interpretation of the Upanishads came into existence. Each of these systems had an acharya being the main person propagating the theory – each such acharya had a claim to show that his interpretation is traditional as well as old too even though it seemed illogical enough for the same.

Thus there are currently as many as ten different interpretations of the Upanishads. Out of these, the three important systems which have major following are the Advaita being clearly propounded by Sankaracharya, Vishista advaita of Ramanujacharya and Dvaita of Madhvacharya.

Each of the successive acharyas of Sankara tried to prove their system right through first breaking through the philosophy of Sankara. Thus we find Ramanuja criticizing Advaita in his Sri Bhashya and Madhva writing many works against Advaita trying to prove that Advaita is illogical.

Both Ramanuja and Madhva, even though taking resort to sruthi while refuting Sankara, take resort to too much hair-splitting logic. Thus these two systems are also called Prachhanna taarkikaas or veiled logicians. Most of the objections these acharyas raise against Advaita is basically due to not understanding Advaita properly or not wanting to understand Advaita properly.

The basic and fundamental theory of Traisatta vibhaaga or the three-fold reality status as the praathibhaasika satyam or temporary reality which is experienced during dream, vyaavahaarika satyam or empirical reality as in the case of the waking world perceived & paaramaarthika satyam or ultimate reality which is nothing but adviteeya Brahman alone is not clearly understood by these later acharyas. Instead of properly understanding this, criticism of Advaita by taking resort to high-end logic follows.

Even though the logical issues raised by Madhva and his followers has more than satisfactorily answered by Madhusudana Saraswathi in Advaita Siddhi and Gauda Brahmananda in Gauda Brahmaanandi or Laghu Chandrika, but still it helps to understand Advaita better by analyzing the criticism of Madhva and answering them from the perspective of Advaita.

Madhva has written three khandanam works (Khandanam means refutation) against Advaita which are: Mayavaada Khandanam, Anumaana Khandanam and Upaadhi Khandanam.
Here we are trying to analyze first Mayavaada Khandanama of Madhva and answering the criticisms of Madhva as per Advaita acharyas and sruthi quotations as well as logic. Thus by the grace of AMMA (Sadguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi), a work titled Mayavaada Darpanam which elucidates Advaita clearly by answering the criticisms of Mayavaada Khandanam has been written. This work will be studied along with Mayavaada Khandanam to get a deeper grasp of the subtle concepts of Advaita as well as to get rid of the doubts and logical issues raised by Madhva and his followers in Mayavaada Khandanam and its various sub-commentaries.

Let us all offer our prostrations at the lotus feet of AMMA so that she may bless us all to remove the darkness of ignorance and all doubts to make us realize our own very nature of eternal bliss.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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