Mayavada Darpanam

Friday, July 28, 2006

Attack on Advaita vishaya - 7


Prostrations to all.

We saw in the last mail a quotation from the Adhyaasa Bhashya of Sankara as to the vishaya of advaita as Brahma Atma Aikya. We will continue with the very last argument of Madhva on the vishaya of advaita.

Madhva continues thus:

Nirvisheshatvaat aatmano na anadhigatho visheshah

Since the Atman of advaita is Nirvishesha (without any qualities), therefore it cannot have an “unknown” quality to it.


Madhva here says that advaita says Atman to be without any qualities as all gunas and visheshas limit the limitless Atman. Therefore Atman is Nirguna and Nirvishesha. Such a nirvishesha atman thus cannot have any visheshaas. But any vishaya is something which is not known. This means that the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya or Atman is something which is not known. Anything that is known can never become a vishaya as vishaya is there only for something which is not known and desired to be known. The advaitin as well says in the Brahma Sutra that “let us desire to know Brahman” (Atha atho brahmajijnaasa). Thus Brahman is the vishaya as per advaita which means that it is unknown.

Any vishaya is only that which is not known – for a person who is well educated in mathematics, mathematics can never be an object or vishaya because he already knows it. Therefore the vishaya is something which is not known.

But advaita says that Brahman is the vishaya which means that Brahman is not known. Thus this “not known” attribute or quality is attributed to Brahman.

Thus we have Brahman of Advaita as something which is not known & Brahman as Nirvishesha. Thus on one side, advaita says that Brahman is without any qualities and on the other side says that Brahman has the quality of “not-known”. These both are contradictory.

Hence the vishaya is under scrutiny and hence the system of advaita is never to be started or learned (which was the argument with which Madhva started this work).

Siddhatvaat svaroopasya vishesha abhaavaat cha na ajnaanam kasyachidaavarakam
‘anadhigataarthagrantru pramaanam’ ithi tanmatham

Since the svaroopa of advaita is always established & since the vishaya is devoid of any qualities, AJNAANA or ignorance can never veil the vishaya of Brahman or Atman.

Advaita says that “the means to knowing what is not known is pramaanam”.


Madhva had previously said that there will be siddhasaadhanathaa dosha for the scriptures. This can be overcome if the advaitin is able to show that ajnaana veils the Self. Since it veiling of the Self by ajnaana cannot be explained, therefore the fault does occur for scriptures (the main pramaana accepted by advaita).

If ajnaana veils the Self,
a. Does ajnaana veil the Self
b. Or does ajnaana veil the qualities of the Self

“A” is not possible as the Self is ever established and if ajnaana veils the Self, then the Self loses its status of nitya siddha which is one of the basic tenets of advaita (saying that everybody is the Self and the Self is self-luminous and ever established). If the Self is not always established, then the Self will be something which is newly established and hence will become temporary or illusory – thus moksha itself will become illusory (this argument is using advaita’s own way which is used in many places).

“B” is not possible because the Self is accepted by advaita as devoid of any qualities or vishesha (advaita accepts the Self as nirvishesha and nirguna).

Thus advaita cannot prove the veiling of the Self by ajnaana. Hence this leads to the previous argument that shaastras would incur the fault of siddha saadhanathaa dosha. This goes completely against advaita which says that the scriptures are faultless and the ultimate pramaana to knowing Brahman. Since the scriptures which is depended for knowing Brahman itself becomes faulty and invalid, thus the system of advaita is not worthy of learning or following.

As to the detailed analysis of ajnaana, Madhva will be dealing this later in the work.

As per advaita, moksha or vishaya is knowing that which is already not known. That is the pramaana or the means of knowing the unknown and realizing it. As shown above, Brahman is already established & hence shaastras propound that which is already known & hence shaastras become invalid or apraamaanyam.

Thus the system of advaita is full of faults when considering the vishaya of Brahma Atma Aikya of advaita. Therefore the system of advaita is not to be started and real seekers which good intellect and reasoning will not go after advaita.

We thus have come to the end of the arguments of Madhva against the vishaya of advaita. We will wind up the analysis of vishaya of advaita with the defense of advaita for madhva’s arguments in the next mail.

Prostrations to all.



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