[Advaita-l] Reconciling advatia with bhAgavata dharma

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 12 21:02:40 CDT 2007

>Expanding on a previous post (copied below):
>We have seen three entities: kSara puruSa,
>akSara puruSa, and puruSottama.
>Following this theory, there are two paths
>that one can choose to adopt:
>Path1: Here one focuses exclusively on the
>puruSottama and strives to overcome everything
>that is in the realm of mAyA.
>Path2: One strives to increase ones
>understanding of purusottama, and mAyA
>shakti. However, the goal is to attain
>the state of akSara puruSa.
>In path2, since the final goal is an
>asymptotic state it is never "attained",
>Hence a "difference" between the bhakta
>and bhagavAn (akSara puruSa) is always
>maintained. Also a "difference" between
>one bhakta and other is always maintained.
>These statements should be acceptable since
>they are made in the context where mAyA
>has NOT been (completely) overcome.
>Using this line of thought it should be
>possible to understand bhAgavata dharma
>(vishiSTa advaita), and advaita from a
>non-conflicting viewpoint.

Dear Sri Gadkari,

advaita asserts that even the word purushottama is only a means of speaking, 
and that the real essence of purushottama is nir-viSesha (without 
qualifications) brahman.

In viSishTAdvaita, at least of the school of rAmAnuja, the ultimate reality 
of purushottama is still qualified by kshara and akshara, cit and acit, jaDa 
and caitanya; and it is therefore always sa-viSesha (qualified by the 

Therefore, I would think that both an advaitin and a viSishTAdvaitin can 
equally follow a path of sAdhana along the lines you detail, and thereby not 
enter into conflict in that regard, but this still does not remove the 
fundamental distinction between viSishTAdvaita and advaita.

Also, of course, one should not equate bhAgavata dharma with viSishTAdvaita, 
for there is a significant smArta constituent among those who have followed 
the bhAgavata dharma and these have certainly not been viSishTAdvaitin-s.

Best regards,

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