[Advaita-l] The current advaita-dvaita debate

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 17 13:35:37 CDT 2003

Early last week, I had explicitly mentioned that I will not be able to 
respond through the week. I had also requested, in the context of the 
discussion on adhyAsa between Nomadeva Sharma and S. Jayanarayanan, that it 
would be better to restrict one's posts to two or three per day. In the 
meantime, I see that there have been some rumblings about the conduct of 
these debates. This is a formal request, to Jay Nelamangala and company 
(yes, _and company_, by virtue of being enthusiastic dvaitin-s who want to 
engage us advaitin-s on this list), not to send more than two postings to 
the list per day. We do not want to convert the advaita list to a 

I am catching up on responses to old postings, and in the interests of 
sticking to two posts per day, I'll try to consolidate responses to 
different people. If I've missed some point in the process, either it is 
because it is not important enough in my opinion, or because I've overlooked 
it in catching up with the hundred odd posts that have accumulated in a 

On Fri, 6 Jun 2003, re: [Advaita-l] Causal Body, "Jay Nelamangala" 
<jay at r-c-i.com> wrote:

>"abhEdE bhEdakAree vishEshaha" - vishEsha is that which shows difference
>where there is none.  The attributes are identical with the substance.  It
>is vishEsha
>that causes the idea of difference in an identical thing.  So, vishEsha is
>the core
>of reality.   Everything is what it is by means of vishEsha.  Owing to its
>in the thing, the thing is said to have many aspects, properties, and so 

I find your language usage remarkably obfuscating and simultaneously 
remarkably revealing. Ultimately, it is all remarkably self-contradictory. 
Funny that you should find internal inconsistency in advaita.

Firstly, whose definition is "abhede bhedakArI viSesha:"? Is it your own or 
one used by an AcArya of your tradition?

Secondly, what do you mean by the term abheda here? Is it that the substance 
is really, essentially non-different?

Thirdly, what do you mean by bhedakArI? Is it that the bheda is a result of 
some action? If so, does it come into being and does it go out of existence? 
If not, then how do you countenance the usage of the word abheda in your 

Fourthly, what do you mean by viSesha? "That which shows difference where 
there is none," are your own words. So, is there intrinsic difference or is 
there no difference? Particularly, are the viSesha-s different from one 

Finally, what on earth (or heaven or hell, as the case may be - I do not 
know what kind of jIva you are) do you mean by "attributes are identical 
with the substance"? Are there different viSesha-s, which are all different 
from one another, but which are individually or severally identical with the 
substance? Or are all viSesha-s identical with one another, and also 
identical with the substance? None of this is consistent with what you say 
later about attributes - "owing to its presence in the thing." According to 
your own logic, this latter sentence says that the substance is one thing 
and the attributes are some other things different from the first thing but 
present "in" it.

Moreover, you just said that the substance is abheda, and you explicitly 
denied differences - "where there is none" are your own words. Then you said 
that the attributes, i.e. viSesha-s, cause the difference (bhedakArI). 
Either the attributes are different from the substance or they are identical 
with the substance. In the former case, which you apparently do not accept, 
there is no abheda, because you have substance on one hand and attributes on 
the other. In the latter case, which you do seem to accept, if the substance 
is abheda, then the attribute(s) is/are also abheda, so that there is only 
abheda. Obviously, you cannot agree with this, so you are left with 
substance, which is one and abheda, being identical with attributes, which 
are many. Whether the many attributes are bheda, different from one another, 
or abheda, identical with one another, being identical with substance, which 
is abheda, I will leave you to think about. All in all, do make up your mind 
about what you really want to say about viSesha and viSeshya.

On Tue, 10 Jun 2003, re: Response to Vidyasankar's responses, Nomadeva 
Sharma <nomadeva at yahoo.com> wrote:

>Hello! don't you have the term 'dUShaNAnumAna' in
>advaita-parlance? It appears so.

Yes we do, but my point is that you offered an analogy (upamAna) and called 
it an inference (anumAna). If you do not know the difference between upamAna 
and anumAna, all I can say is that you need to either learn some Sanskrit or 
take nyAya/tarka 101 course or both.

As for your habit of "chomp"ing and "boink"ing and "dude"ing, I will not 
dignify these with an answer. I may or may not have understood properly what 
SrI madhusUdana sarasvatI says about the sAkshI. It may well be the latter, 
for I do not claim to have read all there is to read in the advaita 
literature, let alone understand. However, I am hardly going to take your 
quotation of BNK Sharma's quotation as a guide, especially after seeing how 
you couldn't even offer a proper translation of "nAsyAbrahmavit kule 
bhavati". Why don't we both of us learn some more, before engaging in 
further discussion?

Enough said.

Finally, on a general note to all the posters here, dvaitins and advaitins 
and everyone else, in my capacity as a moderator of this list, and not as 
one of the participants in this thread, I note that this whole series 
started as an attempt by Jay Nelamangala to discuss adhyAsa/adhyAropa. It 
has snowballed into a multi-participant debate with multiple topics being 
discussed in a piecemeal fashion. If there is no conscious effort to use 
decorous language and/or if there is no conscious effort to use 
self-restraint in the number of postings per day (a maximum of two as 
requested by Ravi), the moderators of this list will have to be heavy-handed 
in cutting people off. I hope that you do not push us to the wall on this 


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