Mayavada Darpanam

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Attack on vishaya of Advaita - 4


Prostrations to all.

We learnt in the previous mail as to the arguments Madhva raises against Advaita on the Vishaya of Brahma Atma aikya. Now, we will see the reply of the advaitin to madhva’s criticism.

The advaitin replies thus:

Brahma atma aikya jnaanam yathaarthyam na bhavathi

“The knowledge of oneness of Brahman-Atman is not eternally real.”

Vrittitvaat, mithyaatvaat, avidyaa kalpitha bhedha nivrittitvaat, bhedha angeekaaraat cha

“Due to being a vritti or modification of the mind, illusory or not eternally real, removes the duality caused illusorily due to avidya & as duality is accepted in that knowledge.”

Kinthu yaavad avidyaa asthi, taavad brahma atma aikya jnaanam yaathaarthyam bhavathi, kalpitha bhedha prathyakshatvaat, svapnavadeva

“But as long as avidya seems to exist or exists, so long brahma atma aikya jnaanam is real – as the illusory difference (which is caused by avidya) is experienced or perceived, like the dream state.”

Here the advaitin states his position about the reality status of the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya. Madhva had argued that Brahma Atma aikya cannot be unreal as in such a case it would lead to the vishaya itself being unreal thereby making the study of such a philosophy futile. Madhva further argued that Brahma Atma aikya cannot be real too because if it is real and different from the Self, then it would lead to two realities or dvaita. If Brahma Atma Aikya was same as the Self, then it would lead to siddha sadhanathaa dosha or establishing what is already established. Thus Madhva argued that whatever way we take, the vishaya of Advaita itself is illogical and thus advaita cannot be started.

The above argument of Madhva itself is incomplete because he only considers the options of Brahma Atma Aikya being unreal or real. Madhva is here forgetting that there is an intermediate status of illusory. It may be argued as Ramanuja does in his Sri Bhashya that there is nothing which is neither real nor unreal. That there are illusory things is proved through Lord’s own statement in Gita where he says that “the unreal has no existence at all and the real never ceases to exist”.

Let’s take the case of water seen in desert. Water seen in desert is not unreal as it is currently perceived (unreal is that which has no existence at all in the three times of past, present and future). Water is not real also because it vanishes once the reality is known that there is no water at all (and verified by going close to the perceived-water – real is that which never ceases to exist). Thus water seen in desert (mirage) is neither real nor unreal. Such an entity is called as illusory or anirvachaneeya or indescribable (cannot be really described as real or unreal).

Since Madhva’s argument doesn’t take into consideration such a reality status, therefore it is incomplete. Also since as per Advaita, anirvachaneeyatva is there for everything except Brahman or Self – therefore Madhva’s argument is completely wrong.

Advaita says that the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya is present as long as a person has ignorance and therefore seeks the Self or realization. But once a person realizes his own very nature of Brahman, and then he realizes that there never was any such vishaya at all. Thus vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya is present in ignorance state but vanishes after realization. This means that Brahma Atma Aikya is not unreal as it is currently experienced (when in the state of ignorance) and it is not real also as after realization it vanishes. It cannot be argued that ignorance is not there now as the question or objection itself shows that ignorance is there – if there was no ignorance, question wouldn’t have been raised. Thus when the reality status of the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya is restated as anirvachaneeya or illusory – then the objections raised by Madhva completely fall off. It is but incomplete analysis or judgement of this reality status of the vishaya which causes such objections to be raised.

Now let us see the answer of the advaitin in detail. The advaitin uses anumaana to show that Brahma Atma Aikya is not real. Brahma Atma Aikya jnaanam is a vritti jnaanam or modification of the mind because the svaroopa jnaanam or Consciousness is ever present. This svaroopa seems to be veiled by vritti ajnaana (modification of the mind) and this vritti ajnaana is removed through vritti jnaana which itself is not real but only a vritti. When vritti jnaana removes vritti ajnaana, what remains behind is svaroopa alone.

Brahma Atma Aikya jnaanam is not real because of the following reasons:

1. Vrittitvaat – as it is a vritti or modification alone. The vishaya of advaita is a modification of the mind as this vishaya is to be heard, reflected and contemplated upon.

2. Mithyaatvaat – as it is illusory – this vishaya is illusory because it is present now but will vanish after realization. After realization, there will be no vishaya to be really achieved and the seeker will realize that there never was any vishaya at all as in the case of dream (wherein the some dream object causes the dreamer to wake up but after waking up, the dreamer realizes that there never was such a vishaya or object which was helpful in waking up – he also realizes that there never was a dream world itself but it was only an illusion in him).

3. Avidyaa kalpitha bhedha nivrittitvaat – as it removes the bhedha or duality caused by avidya. Avidya itself is not ultimately real but only illusory. The vritti jnaana or vishaya helps in removing bhedha or duality. It is but dual perception that hinders the underlying non-dual reality to be realized or grasped. Thus when dual perception or bhedha is removed, the non-dual reality is realized or the seeker gets liberated. Thus the vishaya helps in removing dvaita or bhedha. But this bhedha itself is an effect of avidya. Avidya or ignorance causes the seeker to think that the different things which he perceives is real --- but once avidya vanishes, he realizes that there is nothing but non-dual Brahman alone. This avidya which causes bhedha is also unreal. Thus since vishaya helps in removing the bhedha caused by avidya, therefore it is not real (as bhedha as well as avidya are also not real, therefore the vishaya which removes such an illusory bhedha is also not real).

4. Bhedha angeekaaraat – when vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya is accepted, this means the duality is accepted as the two entities of Brahman and Atman are accepted – also the vishaya is accepted as different from the seeker. Thus vishaya in itself accepts bhedha. Since bhedha is not real, therefore the vishaya which depends on bhedha also has to be not real.

Because of the above mentioned four reasons, the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya is not real (ultimately real).

But as long as avidya or ignorance is accepted as existing, the vishaya has to be accepted as real. The above four reasons are invalid when avidya itself becomes invalid or unreal (not at all present) – but when avidya is accepted as currently present or existing, the vishaya is also valid or currently exists.

The following anumaana is used to prove that as long as avidya is accepted as real (empirically real), the vishaya also has to be accepted as real:

As long as avidya is there, vishaya is real
Because of perception of imagined duality (perceived duality)
As in the case of dream.

In dream, dream is valid or real as long as the person is dreamer. But only when the dreamer wakes up, the dream becomes unreal. Similarly as long as a person is dreaming in the long dream of avidya, the vishaya also is real. But the vishaya becomes unreal only after realization that there is no avidya at all. Thus since bhedha is perceived at the empirical level, therefore avidya which causes bhedha is also empirically real which makes the vishaya also empirically real.

Thus Brahma Atma Aikya even though eternally not real, but still empirically is real as long as avidya is there or as long as the seeker hasn’t realized his own very nature of Brahman.

This in no way affects advaita or adviteeya Brahman because even though a person might be in ignorance and thinking that he has to realize, still he is always the adviteeya Brahman only even as the dream world even while the person is dreaming is nothing but the non-dual dreamer alone.

Thus advaita’s stand point that Brahma Atma Aikya vishaya is not eternally real but empirically real as long as avidya is there has been emphasized – which in turn refutes madhva’s arguments defending advaita’s own stand. Thus the vishaya of Brahma Atma aikya is devoid of any logical faults instead is logical – thus advaita can be and should be started by any seeker seeking eternal bliss or seeking to know the ultimate reality behind the world and temporary existence.

We will see advaita’s answer to madhva’s argument of whether vishaya is same as self or different from self. Even though this argument is automatically refuted by the above statements of advaita but still it is good to clearly establish advaita’s stand point as to the nature of brahma atma aikya. In this mail, we have discussed advaita’s view point on the reality status of the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya whereas in the next mail we will discuss the nature of the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya (as to whether it is same as or different from Brahman or Atman).

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Attack on vishaya of Advaita - 3


Prostrations to all.

Madhva initially put forth the argument that Advaita cannot be really started which was refuted through the three reasons that “Advaita is supported by sruthi”, “Brahman is accepted as a vishaya when ignorance is there” and “as it is logical enough”.

We will now continue with Madhva’s logical hair-splitting attack on the vishaya of Advaita.

Madhva continues thus:
Na hi brahma atma aikyasya yaathaarthyam tat pakshe
Advaita haaneh svaroopa athireka
Anathireke svaprakaashatvaad aatmanah siddha saadhanathaa

“Brahma Atma aikyam cannot be real in his (advaitin’s) view. If Brahma Atma aikya is different from the nature, then it will lead to fallacy or deviation from advaita (will lead to dvaita) – if it is not different from the nature or Self, then since Self is self-luminous, it will lead to the fault of establishing what is already established for the Self as well as the Sruthi”.

It is but a fact that Madhva in most of his works explains things in as few words as possible but making the seeker having to analyze in depth the few words which will make no sense at all without adding enough words and explanations to it. It is but fortunate enough that we have Jaya Teertha annotating on almost all of Madhva’s works even as Ananda Giri annotated on most of the works of Sankara.

The above words of Madhva as well as the translation in English (given in double quotes) is so crisp and short that it cannot be understood properly without the commentaries of Jaya Teertha and other acharyas. It also thus requires lot of explanations in order to understand those crisp words correctly.

Madhva initially argued that Advaita cannot be started. Now he progresses further. His words might be taken as such: “Let’s say that Advaita can be started, but still the vishaya will lead to illogical conclusions and hence we will come back to the same conclusion that Advaita cannot be started”. If it is questioned as to how, it goes like this:

Brahma Atma Aikya is the vishaya of Advaita. Now is this Brahma Atma Aikya ayaathaarthyam (unreal) or yaathaarthyam (real)???

Brahma Atma Aikya cannot be unreal as in that case the vishaya itself becomes unreal – and thus Advaita cannot be started in such a case. Thus the first alternative of Brahma Atma Aikya being unreal is ruled out.

Taking the second and only possible alternative of Brahma Atma Aikya being real, is this Brahma Atma Aikya (which is real) the same as the svaroopa (Self) or different from the svaroopa (Self)???
If Brahma Atma Aikya is different from the svaroopa, then this means that we have two real entities of svaroopa and Brahma Atma Aikya (as this particular alternative is that Brahma Atma Aikya is real). Thus this leads to loss of advaita or leads to dvaita. This is against Advaita and goes against the basic theory of the philosophy itself causing logical fallacies in the system which in turn makes a seeker not to start or learn Advaita.

If Brahma Atma Aikya is the same as the svaroopa, since Advaitic concept of Svaroopa or Self is that it is svaprakaasha or self-luminous, therefore the Self is ever present and cannot become the vishaya. If it is considered as a vishaya, it leads to the logical fault of siddha saadhanathaa dosha or establishing what is already established. Also since sruthi propounds that vishaya of Self (which is same as Brahma Atma Aikya and ever-present), therefore sruthi also incurs the fault of establishing the Self which is already established. Thus the system comes under the logical fault called as siddha saadhana dosha. Such an illogical system thereby shouldn’t be started.

Thus whatever way the vishaya of Brahma Atma aikya is taken, it leads to illogical conclusions alone. Thus Advaita which propounds an illogical vishaya cannot be started at all.


Madhva’s work requires lot of explanation as it is highly logical and tough to apprehend. The above was a mere translation of Madhva’s three sentences based on the sub commentaries and whatever Madhva is pointing out. We will now try to see in depth what Madhva is trying to point out so that we may understand it clearly beyond doubts.

Advaita speaks about the vishaya as Brahma Atma Aikya. There are few doubts and questions that can be raised as to the nature of this Brahma Atma Aikya. The hierarchies of questions are as depicted below:

Is Brahma Atma Aikya unreal or real????
- Unreal – in such a case, the vishaya is invalid and hence Advaita cannot be started.
- Real - is Brahma Atma aikya different from or same as svaroopa or Self???
Different from Self – this leads to two realities of Self and Brahma Atma Aikya (Which is real). Thus this leads to loss or deviation from advaita (or one reality alone).
Same as Self – If it is same as Self, since Self is ever-present, this leads to establishing the ever-present Self and sruthi too gets the fault of establishing what is already established or siddha saadhanathaa dosha.

Madhva is in fact using high-end logic to trap the advaitin beyond any escape. Madhva raises one simple question as to the very nature of Brahma Atma Aikya and shows that whatever way the question is answered, it leads to illogical conclusions thus making it clear that Advaita cannot be started (which was stated by him previously through an anumaana).

As per Advaita, Brahma Atma Aikya is not ultimately real because the Self is ever present and hence even the vishaya is but an illusion alone. But here, if the Advaitin answers that Brahma Atma Aikya is unreal, then the vishaya becomes unreal and hence illogicality arises. Thus Madhva forces the Advaitin to take the view that Brahma Atma Aikya is real only. The fault with Madhva’s objection here is that as proved earlier by the advaitin, the vishaya is real as long as avidya is there – only when avidya vanishes, the vishaya also becomes unreal. So long as a person is dreaming, the dream world is real and not unreal. The dream world becomes unreal only when the dreamer wakes up. Similarly so long as avidya is there, vishaya is real and not unreal. And shaastra study is undertaken only when avidya is there – thus vishaya is real. But since when vishaya sublates only realization happens, therefore vishaya is not eternally real also. Thus Vedanta says that avidya is neither real nor unreal but it is anirvachaneeya or indescribable. Since vishaya is present when avidya is there, thus vishaya also is anirvachaneeya with respect to its reality status – it is neither real nor unreal. The vishaya is real as long as avidya is there (empirically real) but it is unreal (ultimately unreal) when avidya vanishes.

Thus advaitin’s answer doesn’t come to any of the two alternatives given by Madhva for the very first question as to the reality status of Brahma Atma Aikya.

The only argument that opponent schools give for anirvachaneeyatva is that “there is no entity which is neither real nor unreal – an entity is either real or unreal” – this is what dvaitins argue as well as Ramanuja too gives in his most famous saptha vidha anupapatthi portion of sri bhashya (wherein he gives seven logical fallacies as to Avidya).

Anirvachaneeyatva can be very well explained in the case of all illusions like snake seen in rope and dream world. The snake seen in rope is not real because real is that which is ever present (as the snake vanishes once it is known that there is no snake but only rope is present). The snake is not unreal also as unreal is that which never exists but the snake is currently perceived. Thus it is illusory or anirvachaneeya or indescribable. Thus illusions are neither real nor unreal. This is the same case with the vishaya of Advaita and avidya.

Madhva thus not taking this view clearly, closes upon the advaitin by giving the advaitin only the second alternative as to the reality status of Brahma Atma aikya – the alternative being that it is real.

Now Madhva again raises another question considering that Brahma Atma Aikya is real – is Brahma Atma Aikya different from the Self or is it same???

If Brahma Atma Aikya is different from the Self which is real (self or Brahman can be taken here as the final reality of Advaita and which alone is real), then there ensues two real entities which is against advaita’s stand that there is only one real entity. Thus this alternative that Brahma Atma Aikya is different from the Self cannot be accepted by the Advaitin.

The only possible and left over alternative is that Brahma Atma Aikya is same as the Self. The Self as per Advaita is self-luminous and ever-shining & not being objectified by any light. Since Self is ever-present, thus if it becomes the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya, it would be like presenting the ever-present Self or establishing the already established Self. Thus this leads to the fault of establishing what is already established.

SIDDHA SAADHANAATHAA DOSHA – fault of establishing what is already established
What is already established need not be again established through logic or any other means because it is already known. Thus that which is established has to be something which is not already established.

Since sruthi propounds the vishaya which is already established, sruthi also establishes that which is already established. Thus sruthi, which is considered faultless, has the fault of establishing what is already established.

This is illogical and points out that sruthi upon which advaita depends is faulty – thus the system of advaita which depends on a faulty vishaya and faulty sruthi has to be faulty too. Since advaita is faulty, it cannot be started.

It is interesting to note here that it is Jaya Teertha who points out that siddha saadhanathaa dosha is incurred by sruthi as the original text of Madhva doesn’t directly point to sruthi incurring the fault – it should be said that such was the insight of Jaya Teertha that he could deduce things which were not directly mentioned by Madhva!!!

Madhva does one more attack on the vishaya of Advaita which we will learn after advaita’s answer to Madhva’s above attack. We will see the answer of advaitin in Mayavaada Darpanam in the next mail.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Attack on vishaya of Advaita - 2


Prostrations to all.

To recap: The very first attack of Dvaitin was on the Vishaya of Advaita. The dvaitin gives three reasons for the objection that Advaita cannot be started – he hasn’t yet completed his attack on the Vishaya of Advaita. We are currently analyzing on the first part of Mayavada Khandana which is “Attack on vishaya of Advaita” among the six parts of the work mentioned in the posting #5 of this series.

The three reasons for not starting Advaita philosophy are as below:
1. As Advaita propounds something different from the vishaya of sruthi which is dvaita alone.
2. As Advaita’s subject-matter of Brahma Atma Aikya itself is sublated after realization
3. As Advaita’s subject-matter is contradicted and contrary to sruthi statements and sruthi’s import.

As a result of the above three, the Dvaitin concluded through anumaana or inference that Advaita cannot be started.

We will now see as to the response from Advaita on the same from the work of Mayavada Darpanam. The original text will be in green and the translation as well as explanation will be in normal font.

The text goes thus:
Vimatham aarambhaneeyam,
avidyayaa brahmano vishayatva angeekaaraat,
yathaa vismritham.

The philosophy of Advaita (which is what is under discussion) has to be started (or can be started) because it is what sruthi propounds, as Brahman is considered and accepted as a vishaya or subject when in ignonrance and since it is logical – like the state of forgetfulness or forgotten state.

The above is an anumaana or inference used which provides three different reasons to prove that advaita can be started. The parts of the anumaana are as such:

Pratijnaa – (vimatham aarambhaneeyam) Advaita can be started
1. (Sruthi uktatvaat) as sruthi propounds Advaita
2. (Avidyayaa Brahmano vishayatva angeekaaraath) – as a result of avidya or when avidya (ignorance) is there, Brahman is accepted as the vishaya or subject
3. (upapatteh) as it is logical
Like the forgotten state

SRUTHI UKTATVAAT – As Sruthi propounds Advaita
There are innumerous sruthi statements which clearly propound Advaita. Some of the most famous are quoted below:

Sarvam khalu idam brahma – everything is verily Brahman (chandogya)
Sarvam brahma mayam – everything is Brahman alone (brihadaranyaka)
Tat tvam asi – THAT THOU ART (chandogya)
Sarvam hi etat brahma, ayam atma brahma – everything is Brahman alone, this atman is Brahman (Mandukya)
Brahmaiva idam amritam purasthaat brahma paschaat – everything is verily this eternal Brahman, left is Brahman, right is Brahman, top is Brahman, bottom is Brahman, front is Brahman, back is Brahman (Mundaka)
Mattah parataram na anyat kinchit asthi dhananjaya – there is nothing whatsoever different from me O Arjuna (Gita 7th chapter)
Brahma arpanam brahma havih – Brahman is the oblation and that which is poured into the homa kunda of activities (Gita 4th chapter)
Aham atma gudakesha sarva bhootaashaya sthithah – I alone am the Atman secretly placed in all beings (Gita 10th chapter)

The above statements beyond doubt propound Advaita and hence it is wrong to say that what Advaita propounds is different from sruthi. Thus through the counter hetu of sruthi uktatvaat, the Dvaitin’s first argument of “anyathaa prathipaadakatvaat” is refuted.

If it is questioned that if Advaita alone is real, then why does the sruthi propound duality in many places and explain about the creation process etc. which are illusions, then the answer for the same is thus: it is really tough for an initial seeker to directly contemplate on the ultimate reality of non-dual Brahman which contradicts perception and experience in the external world. Instead of coming into Advaita, an initial seeker will blindly discard it if he is told that whatever seen is a mere illusion in the reality of Brahman. Thus the sruthi gradually takes the seeker from the external world to the creator or the substratum of Brahman and then negates the world as a mere illusion in Brahman. This approach is the famous Chandra Shaakha nyaaya – the logic of showing a small child the moon through a nearby branch. The child is incapable of directly seeing the moon as it will not get it clearly – thus the mother shows a nearby branch and through the branch points out the moon.

Similarly sruthi initially propounds creation process to distinguish the illusory creation from the eternal creator who is the substratum of the creation. This is the vyaavritta lakshana of Brahman – the characteristics that distinguishes or differentiates Brahman from other illusory and currently experienced entities. Thus even while propounding creation theories, sruthi clearly mentions the creator who is not created and who ever remains the same and from whom creation starts. Sruthi doesn’t just mention creation and the worldly objects but clearly points out that these entities are temporary as they are created and thus will die off one day. Thus through this temporary nature of the worldly objects, sruthi indirectly points out that the worldly objects are mere illusions in the substratum or creator of Brahman. Once a seeker progresses, sruthi points out that Brahman is ever unchanging substratum of the creation – pointing out the thatastha lakshana which is the kutastha bhaava or unchanging nature of Brahman amidst the changing entities of the world. Next, sruthi clearly points out the svaroopa lakshana of Brahman as kevala sat chit ananda or absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute.

We can clearly find such a progressive explanation in the Mundaka Upanishad considered as an exhaustive and clear Upanishad by the Dvaitins. The Upanishad starts with the disciple asking the Guru as to what is that by knowing which everything is known. The Guru tells that there are two knowledge – one being para or ultimate knowledge which is knowing the akshara or immutable entity of Brahman, the second is aparaa knowledge which is worldly knowledge that includes even the Vedas, Vedangaas etc. Then the Guru tells about creation of the world from the ultimate reality of Brahman – the creation of different entities from Brahman is clearly and deeply explained. Then the Guru ends by telling that everything is Brahman. Next Guru gives the procedure of knowing Brahman and finally ends by giving the statement that “whoever knows Brahman verily becomes Brahman”. Thus we find the Guru proceeding from the world and then terminating in the adviteeya Brahman.

Thus it is only for the benefit of the initial seeker and to progressive lead the seeker to the ultimate reality of Brahman that sruthi propounds duality as well as creation in many places. These in no way affect the adviteeya statements as well as advaita being the main import of sruthi.

This particular argument also refutes the dvaitin’s third argument that sruthi itself contradicts advaita – instead it is proved now that sruthi not only propounds advaita but is fully advaitic in import even though propounding dvaita in many places.

AVIDYAYAA BRAHMANO VISHAYATVA ANGEEKAARAAT – as Brahman is acceped as a vishaya when avidya is there
The second argument of the Dvaitin was that advaita propounds the subject of Brahma-Atma aikya which is sublated or negated after realization. Thus the subject-matter of Advaita was said to be something which is unreal.

The argument of Dvaitin is right – the vishaya of advaita is valid only until avidya is there and realization hasn’t yet dawned. This statement itself is a bit wrong as realization is ever there but it is not known by the ignorant seeker. Thus it all depends on avidya – so long as avidya is there, Brahman has to be and can be accepted as a valid vishaya. The Advaitin gave the example of vismrithi or forgetfulness to support this. Rama has forgotten his identity. As long as he has forgotten his identity, the goal or subject of “his very nature of Rama” is valid and he has to work towards it. But once he realizes his own very nature of Rama, then there is no forgetfulness and there never was forgetfulness. Since after remembering his identity of Rama, forgetfulness itself is negated completely as an illusion (since a person can never forget his own very nature and this forgetfulness is also a mere illusion like the dream state), therefore there is no problem in accepting “himself” as the subject-matter so long as forgetfulness is there.

Similarly there is no problem of accepting Brahman as the vishaya so long as avidya is there – and since avidya is not at all accepted once realization dawns, therefore there is no contradiction and the dvaitin’s argument itself is negated or refuted. So long as avidya is there, Brahman has to be vishaya and advaita accepts Brahman as the vishaya so long as avidya is there. Since Brahman is not accepted as vishaya once realization happens and avidya itself is negated in three times of past-present-future, therefore there is no question of pointing out that vishaya is sublated. There is no question of sublation after realization as after realization the state of ignorance as well as ignorance itself is considered as unreal and never having existed.

Thus from paaramaarthika level, since there is no vishaya at all accepted & at the vyaavahaarika level when avidya is there, vishaya is accepted – there is no fault at all starting advaita so long as avidya is there. If there is no avidya, then there is no need for sruthi itself – if a seeker comes to sruthi, that itself shows that there is avidya & hence vishaya also automatically exists. This vishaya is not something positive but it is something which denotes negation or sublation of avidya through contemplation on Brahma-Atma aikya. Sureshwaracharya as well as Madhusudana Saraswathi point out clearly that there is “no destruction of avidya” but “only sublation” because avidya never really exists to be destroyed but it only “seems to exist” like water in desert or dream world.

Thus with the above two reasons, the dvaitin’s three reasons or arguments have been refuted and advaita’s viewpoint supported and defended.

Upapatteh – as it is logical
There is one more reason given which tells that Advaita’s standpoint is logical enough and hence Advaita can be started.

Thus here the Advaitin provides one extra reason than what Dvaitin gives – as well as this reason is strong enough to refute any other arguments. This reason translated simply means “as it is logical” but it has deeper imports to it.

The reason means that Advaita’s vishaya is very much logical and hence cannot be neglected or refuted based on some false or not much thought reasons. Advaita’s vishaya has been shown to be valid as long as avidya is there – and once avidya is not there or it is known to have not at all existed, the vishaya itself completely vanishes. Since these both are at different planes or levels of reality, therefore both cannot be compared as such. Since these levels of reality are logical enough, therefore the conclusion based on them for vishaya of advaita is also logical only.

Since advaita’s vishaya is logical enough from both empirical plane as well as ultimate plane, therefore there cannot be any particular reason to either neglect it or refute it by other reasons.
Let us briefly try to analyze the three levels of reality that Advaita propounds and whether it is logical enough or illogical as the dvaitins argue.

Advaita speaks about three levels of reality:
1. Praathibhaasika satyam or temporary reality as in dream state or in normal illusions of water in mirage etc. This has a very limited time duration only.
2. Vyaavahaarika satyam or empirical reality as in waking state – this seems to be of more longer duration than temporary reality and this seems to be having some purpose but really has no purpose at all.
3. Paaramarthika satyam or ultimate reality which is after realization – Vedanta clearly says that Brahman is ekam eva adviteeyam in Chandogya. Since mundaka says that one who knows Brahman verily becomes Brahman, a person after realization realizes non-duality alone which means that the world he currently perceives vanishes. Thus vyaavahaarika satyam vanishes after realization. Thus the world cannot be real as it vanishes after realization.

Thus it is very clear that there needs to be categorization of the three levels of reality. Since this is logical and supported by sruthi too, thus we have to accept that the vishaya of Advaita also is logical. Thus since vishaya of Advaita is logical, Advaita can very well and should be started by all seekers seeking eternal bliss.

Thus through three reasons it has been showed that Advaita can be started and dvaitins arguments for the statement that “advaita cannot be started” has been refuted thereby advaita’s stand being supported and defended beyond all criticisms and arguments.

We will continue with Madhva’s further arguments on vishaya of Advaita in the next post.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God