Sureshvara and Mandana Mishra

Cyber Maadhva Sangha dvaita at ESKIMO.COM
Fri Dec 19 15:01:26 CST 1997

I tried to send this from my personal account but couldn't.  Happy
holidays to all of you.  -- SR


While reading Radhakrishnan's book on the Brahma Suutra recently, I
came upon the following prose in connection with Suutra I-1-2:

  Among the Advaitins, many acute differences arose with regard to the
  causality of Brahman.  Suresvara and his follower Sarvajna in his
  `saN^xepa-shArIraka' argue that Brahman alone is the cause of the
  world.  Padmapada contends that Brahman and `mAyA' together
  constitute the cause.  Prakashananda following Mandana Mishra
  believes that `mAyA' alone is the cause of the world.

"The Brahma Sutra: The Philosophy of Spiritual Life," translated with
an introduction by S. Radhakrishnan.  Harper and Brothers, New York,
1960. pp 237.

Now, I certainly am no fan of Radhakrishnan, but it seems unlikely to
me that he is wrong in his facts here.  So my query is, how is it that
Sureshvara and Mandana Mishra are identified as two people, holding
diverse views on a key point?  I was under the impression that the
Advaitic tradition identifies the two as the same person.  Saying that
Mandana Mishra held the view that `mAyA' alone is the cause of the
world when he was a pUrva-mImAmsaka, and later changed his views when
he became Sureshvara, seems implausible for at least two reasons.
One, because `mAyA' is a Vedantic concept that finds no mention in
pUrva-mImAmsaka thinking (at least as far as I know).  Second,
Prakashananda would surely not be naive enough to follow the lead of
one who had changed his own mind on the subject after meeting his


Shrisha Rao

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list