[Advaita-l] Question on Mayavada

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 12:35:44 CST 2010

Hari OM, Rajaramji,


On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 3:03 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> In the same way, your historico-logical postulation is
> invalid because of verses that follow. They specify unique
> characteristics of Sankaradvaita such as total renounciation and
> jiva-brahma aikyam. These do not apply to Vishishtadvaitam.

The verse directly talks of mAyAvAda, why should it be interpreted with what
precedes or follows@ Only if there is confusion such
analysis is needed.

> Also,
> Sankara is Lord Siva. There is no sastric or historic basis for your
> speculation that Bodhayana is.

The *historical* basis for who is Lord Siva seems meaningless, but what
mAyAvAda is has been mentioned in the same post by Devanathanji to lead to
an argument that if Padma Purana verse talks of mAyAvAda then it should
apply to mAyAvAda as it is originally
claimed to be, not attributed to. Just because some people who did not
understand clearly what Shankaracharya meant by sat, asat
and mithya and instead focused on mAyA aspect alone, that doesn't make
Advaita Vedanta mAyAvAda. Therefore, you seem to be
going purely on speculation.

> In your case, you are finding a target for these
> verses away from your beloved school of thought.

And why should that be a problem when supported with logical arguments,
while your beloved school of thought finds Padma Purana
placed higher than shruti vAkyas?

> If Isvara, Jiva and Jagat
> are unreal ultimately according to Sankara, then it is mayavadam.

Even if Ishvara, Jiva and Jagat are unreal ultimately according to Sankara,
that will NOT result in mAyAvAda. However, according to
Bhagavatpada, underlying substratum of everything is brahman *always*. If my
memory serves me well, it was Michael Comans (now
Vasudevacharya) who discusses this aspect of advaitis being referred to as
mAyAvAdin and concludes that, if anything, for advaitis the
world is more "real" than other philosophers because it doesn't vanish on
realization, no vaikunTha to go to. Its surprising that others
found out an easier way then to criticize advaita vedanta by what it doesn't
stand for!

> Such
> a philosophy is an obstacle to bhakti because of the knowledge that
> only till we live that we will devote and that too only for his
> anugraha for mukti.

This understanding may well be visiShta advaita thinking but advaita bhakti
is Atma bhakti, including when expressed for Ishvara. Even
in other kinds of bhakti, one is asking for not one, but perhaps one of four
kinds of mukti, isn't one?

> One may get mukti but will lose Isvara,

This statement makes no sense at all. Advaita mukti transcends the notion of
gaining or losing Ishvara. Its unity with what Ishvara too
stands for, so where is the question of losing Ishvara? All that is lost is
the notion of individuality, leading to mine and thine.

> who is
> greater because he awards mukti
and importantly laughs and dances
> eternally with muktas as stated in sastras.

The idea that Ishvara grants mukti may be acceptable to advaitis but He
"more importantly" laughs and dances eternally with muktAs is
alien to us, as its also divorced from shruti. At most, this very creation
may be considered His dance.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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