[Advaita-l] Re: SSS and Madhva

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 13:44:48 CST 2007

praNAm.h shrI Jayanarayanan,

> It occurs to me that there isn't much difference between SSS and the
> dvaitins.
> SSS: "Back to Sankara-Suresvara! Everyone after Sankara-Suresvara is
> wrong!"
> Dvaitins: "Back to Badarayana-Vyasa! Everyone after Badarayana-Vyasa is
> wrong!"

We can maybe debate SSS in the light of the importance attached to
sampradAya in advaita vEdAnta. But in the case of dvaita vEdAnta, the
assertion makes complete sense. The list of pramANas for vEdAnta include
mahAbhArata and the purANas which are authored by vyAsa, and hence
understanding vyAsa is key to right interpretation.

There is a very good chance people after vyAsa could have diverged from his
philosophy. It's not like there is a continuing chain of teachers from vyAsa
(who we do not is even a historical person btw) down to gauDapAda (the
shuka-gauDapAda link is a strained one). And, on the other hand, Ananda
tIrtha claims that he learnt from vyAsa at badarI. Thus, the shuka-gauDapAda
link has no more or no less validity than the AnandatIrtha-vyAsa link.

The similarity goes deeper. Madhva as well as SSS had advaitin Gurus
> who were part of the Sampradaya, yet both abandoned the doctrine
> taught by their Gurus and chose to travel their own high road. SSS
> was an a-Sampradayavit, as testified by his own Guru.

Again, Ananda tIrtha never really claimed that he learnt from achyuta
prEkSha (the person who initiated him). Ananda tIrtha claimed vyAsa to be
his real guru.

Further, you made this remark in your reply to shrI Stig:
BTW, in case someone is still wondering why I implied that SSS and Madhva
aren't very different -- they're both a-Sampradayavits who propagated
(false) doctrines in opposition to their Guru's will.

Ananda tIrtha did not propagate his doctrine in opposition to his guru's
will (as already noted, he did not even accept achyuta prEkSha as his true
guru). Here's a relevant quote from my dvaitin friend regarding achyuta
 All I know for sure is that he became a full convert to the view of Madhva,
and his name was changed to Purushottama Tirtha. The Sumadhva Vijaya (9.36)
mentions his mind as becoming completely pure and clear (which means
completely free of influences of advaita) like a moon without its dark
spots. It mentions him as spending his time listening to Madhva shAstra
again and again with great pleasure (9.37), and resting in the philosophy of
TattvavAda, teaching that to people (9.38) day and night. I do not know
anything about him being formally initiated under Madhva or some such thing
which changed his name to Purushottama Tirtha. A work called Mani-Manjari
has more details about him, but I don't have it and haven't read it.

SSS nitpicks on the most insignificant details in post-Sankaran
> authors, to the extent of pointing out extremely minor differences in
> terminology, just as Dvaitins nitpick on the most insignificant
> details of scriptural support establishing Advaita.
> SSS: "Where does Sankara speak of 'Avidya-Sakti' -- this is new
> terminology, and must be outside the realm of Vedanta since Sankara
> hasn't referred to it."
> Dvaitins: "Where does Badarayana speak of 'Adhyasa' -- this is new
> terminology, and must be outside the realm of Vedanta since
> Badarayana hasn't referred to it."

As I pointed out, you make a crucial assumption that there is complete
continuity in the interpretations of scripture, but there is no historical
proof that this is actually the case. But this discussion could be made more
appropriately in the context of the (differences in) bhAmatI and vivaraNa.


P.S. I will respond to your post on paJNchapAdika hopefully by tonight.

The similarities are striking!
> Regards,
> Kartik
> PS:
> http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2003-June/012300.html
> "If Sri BAdarAyaNa himself had supported the adhyAsa theory,
> then Sri Madhwa would have followed suite, and  I could have
> helped you with your request.   But that is not the case.  In fact,
> I would like to know myself  where adhyAsa-theory is found in
> prasthAna-traya !!"   -- A Dvaitin

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list