Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Oct 5 13:49:25 CDT 1998

On Fri, 25 Sep 1998, Guy Werlings wrote:


> d) Is there in Indian philosophy any "ekAtmavAda" which would better
> deserve to be translated by the word "monism" ? I think I heard at least
> the word ekAtmavAda, but perhaps was it in svapasthAna ?!

Given your description, it seems the Shuddhadvaita Vedanta of Vallabha
might fit the bill.  Vallabha was an Andhra Brahman who lived in various
parts of North India during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akhbar.  His
philosphy is expressed in commentaries on the Brahmasutras, Bhagavata
Purana, and Bhagvadgita and in 16 small stotras and prakaranas called
shodasagrantha.  Some of these works were completed after his death by
his son Vitthalnath.  Later scholars of this sampradaya wrote commentaries
on the upanishads and polemic works against other schools.

Vallabha is a Vaishnava.  He equates Brahman with Krishna Bhagawan.  The
world is real and is a literal extension of Krishna Bhagawan.  So all
jivas, indeed all material objects share some of the essence of Krishna

  |    --------                             --------     |
  |    | jiva |      -------------          | jiva |     |
  |    --------      | The world |          --------     |
  |                  |           |    --------           |
  |                  -------------    | jiva |           |
  |                                   --------           |
  | Brahman (Krishna Bhagwan)                            |

This removes the need for maya to explain the phenomenal world,
which Vallabha like other medieval Vedantins considered a fatal defect in
Shankaracharyas philosophy.  Thus his system is called shuddha or "pure"
advaita.  It is also called Pushti Marga ("The path of prosperity")
because an implication of this theory is if the world is God, there is no
need to renounce the world.  Vallabha and Vittalnath along with their
descendants (the hereditary leaders or Goswamis of this sampradaya) are
householders and in fact Vallabha argues renunciation is impossible at
least in the Kaliyuga.  This needless to say is  at the complete opposite
end of the spectrum to Shankaracharya.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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