[Advaita-l] Poor Parabrahman!!

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jul 23 04:30:53 CDT 2011

Here is a material copied from a site:

//The pontiff who heads both Bhandarakeri and Palimaru mutts in Udupi -
Vidyamanya Tirtha, has frequently tried to drag Sri Mahasannidhanam (Sri
Abhinava Vidyatirtha MahaswamigaL) to a debate unsuccessfully. He would
organize mock debates in his mutt. The person speaking for Advaita would be
one of his own young disciples. A lot of noise would be generated and the
audience would stare at the drama without following a single word. When they
were tired, the Swamiji would get up and declare Advaita as falsehood. He
would then declare that Shankaracharya has now surrendered to Madhwacharya!
During some lectures, he would describe Advaita as follows: 'The Parabrahman
of the Advaitins is without a form and qualities. He has no eyes, ears,
nose, mouth, legs or hands. He is thus lame, blind, deaf, dumb and nothing.
The atheists are much better than these Advaitins'. A certain elderly friend
of mine who had attended one such lecture returned with grief after
understanding the level of his knowledge.//

The above remarks of the pontiff of Palimaru Mutt Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha are
founded on his ignorance of the shruti and smriti passages that form an
authority on the nature of Brahman:

   - The MundakopaniShat teaches:
   तदपाणिपादम् ।* नित्यं विभुं सर्वगतं सुसूक्ष्मं तदव्ययं यद्भूतयोनिं
   परिपश्यन्ति धीराः॥ १.१.६ //  By means of the Higher Knowledge the wise
   behold everywhere Brahman, which otherwise cannot be seen or seized, which
   has no root or attributes, *no eyes or ears, no hands or feet;* which is
   eternal and omnipresent, all—pervading and extremely subtle; which is
   imperishable and the source of all beings.
   - *अपाणिपादो जवनो* गृहीता पश्य*त्यचक्षुः स शृणोत्यकर्णः*। स वेत्ति वेद्यं
   न च तस्यास्ति वेत्ता तं आहुरर्ग्र्यं पुरुषं महiन्तम्॥ श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषद्
   ३-१९//He has no hands and feet ......no eyes ......no ears...//
   - *सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासं*  *सर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम्*। असक्तं सर्वभृच्चैव
   निर्गुणं गुणभोक्तृ च॥Bhagavadgita 13.14  Brahman is devoid of all
   sense/motor organs.

Thus it can be easily seen that it is not the Advaitins that have denied
eyes, ears, hands, feet, etc. to Brahman.  Going by the Swamiji's remarks
one will have to conclude that the Upanishad is teaching 'Parabrahman is
thus lame, blind, deaf, dumb and nothing.'

The rest of the material found in the above website is:

//When any pontiff from any mutt decides to visit Sringeri, first a
Srimukham is sent officially. A Poorna Kumbha Swagata is given to the
visiting pontiff at the Sringeri mutt. Without following this Shishtachara,
Vidyamanya Tirtha barged into Sringeri one fine day. He entered
Nrisimhavanam, produced a list of questions and demanded answers for these
questions. It was as though it was legal notice to Sri Mahasannidhanam. Sri
Mahasannidhanam welcomed him warmly and said, 'It is not our Samskara to
debate rudely with our guests. Any pundit in our mutt can answer all your
questions and more. It is simply not necessary that I begin a debate with
you. The rules of a traditional debate necessitate the presence of an able
judge who is currently not present in our case. You tell me who is the judge
to our debate? There is no use for humanity in these futile debates which
only serve to boost one's ego. I will not stoop to these levels but you may
get all clarifications to your questions from any student of our Veda
Pathashala. Unable to drag Mahasannidhanam into a controversy, the pontiff
returned to his place and brought out a news letter, 'Dwaita Vijaya'. He
falsely claimed in this news letter that he had defeated the Jagadguru
Shankaracharya and hence Advaita in a debate. The same pontiff opposed the
establishment of Sri Shankara Sanskrit University at Kaladi by the central
government of India. In spite of severe opposition by this pontiff and other
Udupi pontiffs, Sri Shankara University was established and this esteemed
institution continues to spread knowledge to this day.

Many Madhwas have however regarded Srimadacharya with great respect and have
been disciples of the Sringeri mutt. Sri Kunigal Rama Shastrigal, father of
Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal in Purvashrama,
was a great scholar in the court of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III of Mysore. Many
great scholars belonging to Smarta, Madhwa and Srivaishnava communities were
his disciples. He was well-known not only in the southern states of India,
but his fame had also spread to other parts of the subcontinent like Bengal.
Vishnupadacharya, son of a Madhwa scholar Julupi Krishnacharya, was a
student of Sri Rama Shastrigal. He had studied Tarka and Vedanta under Sri
Rama Shastrigal and was a great scholar. He gradually developed an interest
towards Advaita philosophy and his sharp intellect advised him to accept
Advaita as the sole truth. Vishnupadacharya began to debate with Dvaita
scholars and defeated countless opponents with his irrefutable arguments.
Upset with his love for Advaita, Madhwas banned him from Madhwa society. But
this did not change his love for Advaita or respect for Srimadacharya. With
enhanced vigor, he started propagating the glory of Advaita and continued to
defeat Dvaita scholars in arguments. Eventually, not a single Dvaita scholar
was left who could challenge him for a debate. The Uttaradi mutt pontiff of
Udupi mediated to put an end to humiliation of the Dvaita scholars and
advised the Madhwas not to challenge him for a debate.

One a gentleman visited Sringeri and had the Darshan of Mahasannidhanam.
After he prostrated, Mahasannidhanam questioned him, 'Are you a
Srivaishnava? The gentleman replied in affirmative with hesitation.
Mahasannidhanam immediately said: 'Why are you wearing Bhasma on your head?
People wearing Bhasma are not close to me and those wearing Tirunama or Gopi
Chandana are not unwelcome guests here. Why did you discard your traditional
mudra? Following the path taught by one's elders and sticking to one's own
dharma is the best spiritual practice. The gentleman immediately fell at the
lotus feet of Sri Mahasannidhanam and asked for forgiveness. Mahasannidhanam
yet again proved that a Jagadguru always guided one to sincerely adhere to
his own dharma and never distracted them from their own paths. He taught a
Muslim to be a better Muslim, a Christian to be a better Christian and a
Hindu to be a better Hindu.

Smt Saraswati Bai Rajawade constructed a Sharada temple in Udupi and
requested Mahasannidhanam to install an idol of Sri Sharadamba which was in
her house from generations. Mahasannidhanam advised her to get the idol
installed by a Yati from one of the eight mutts in Udupi. But she insisted
on Mahasannidhanam installing the idol. Mahasannidhanam visited Udupi along
with Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal (the current pontiff) and was grandly
welcomed by the Krishna Mutt and the residents of Udupi. The two Acharyas
had the Darshan of Sri Krishna and then installed the idol of Sri Sharada in
the newly constructed temple as per the Vedic rites. After the installation,
Saraswati Bai requested Mahasannidhanam to send a priest from Sringeri to
perform the daily worship of Sri Sharada in Udupi. Mahasannidhanam found out
that currently one Narayana Bhatta, a Madhwa, was performing the pooja of
Sri Sharadamba. He called Narayana Bhatta and said, 'Please learn Lalita
Sahasranama, Trishati and Ashtottara. A Vidwan from the mutt will initiate
you into the mantra required for reciting these. Perform the pooja with
Srisukta and Sridevi will surely bestow her blessings on you. It is not
necessary that only a Smarta performs the pooja of Sri Sharada. She is
Jagadamba 'the mother of the world" and every creature is her child.

Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal once said, 'Why do people have to
fight if god is Saguna or Nirguna? If he is Saguna, is it necessary for us
to fight that is Shiva or Vishnu? The path to realization is a long one and
we are thousands of miles away from his lotus feet. Let us all walk together
on this all-accommodating path of dharma, reach him and have a look at his
lotus face. If he holds Shankha and Chakra, lets bow down to him as
Narayana. If he holds Trishula and bow, lets bow down to him as Sri
Mahadeva. When we have not even started walking on the path of dharma and
are thousands of miles away from him, how is it sensible to fight amongst
ourselves to conclude whether the Paramatman is Shiva or Vishnu?//

Om Tat Sat

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