Shrisha Rao shrao at nyx.net
Tue Jun 27 11:20:19 CDT 2006

On Mon, 26 Jun 2006, kuntimaddi sadananda wrote:

> Dvaitins, particularly Hare Krishna community, call advaita as maaya 
> vaada.  Actually advaita is non-duality which ascertains that there is 
> only Brahman and nothing but Brahman.  Hence, it should be called brahma 
> vaada (proponents of Brahman) rather than mAya vaadins (proponents of 
> maaya).

It is true that Hare Krishnas (who do not call themelves Dvaitins, and 
should probably not be called that by others either) use `mAyAvAda' as a 
pejorative term for Advaita, but they are by no means responsible for the 
appellation.  The term is also not in and of itself pejorative in nature, 
and is used with no sense of shame by past Advaitin scholars themselves. 
(An Advaitin thus need feel no greater shame for being called a `mAyAvAdI' 
than he takes it on himself to feel for being called by any other name.) 
In a sense, `mAyAvAda' it is also probably a better description than 
`advaita' (which is not the proper name for the doctrine in any classical 
work by Sankara or others).

I am not aware of any classical scholar who suggests `brahmavAda' as an 
appropriate term in place of `mAyAvAda', and such a suggestion is also in 
apparent conflict with established non-parochial uses of the former term, 
e.g., in Bhagavad Gita XVII-24.


Shrisha Rao

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