[Advaita-l] Buddhism, Advaita and Dvaita - 1

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 04:28:02 CDT 2011

On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> //Everything in finite reality is grounded in the Infinite reality and
> needs it for its *being and becoming*.//  p.62
>  *The dependence of the world of matter and the souls on Brahman is in the
> sense that both are functioning at His will, which is the essential
> condition and sustaining principle that invests them with their reality
> and without which they would be but void names and bare possibilities.* //(emphasis mine) (page 67)
> My comments:  The above statements show very clearly that for Dvaita, the
> paratantra cannot even 'be', 'exist', in the absence of the 'sattaa'
> provided by / drawn from the Swatantra.  There is no 'svatantra-sattaa' for
> the paratantra, it is 'parataH sattaa' alone it enjoys.


In the earlier post on this topic, I had made the above statements purely
based on logic taking the basic data from Dr.BNK Sharma's statements in his
book.  I continued to have a feeling that I had made a wild guess that the
'paratantra' (dependent reality) of the Dvaita school has no 'sattaa',
existence, of its own; it exists solely on the 'sattaa' of the Swatantra.
Recently someone drew my attention to a statement from Sri Raghavendra
Tirtha's (a highly respected Acharya of the Madhva sampradaya) commentary on
the PuruSha sUktam.  The Swami, while commenting on the words 'पुरुष एवेदं
सर्वम्’ [All this is that PuruSha alone] has cited a verse from a smRti:

"*yadadHInA yasya sattA tat tadityEva bHanyatE*"

यदधीना यस्य सत्ता तत् तदित्येव भण्यते ।

[That whose sattA, existence, is dependent on Him (something other than
itself) is spoken of as 'He Himself'.]

To explain, the 'idam', the created world, the paratantra, depends on That
(Him) for its very existence.  That way it (the created world) is spoken of
as 'The PuruSha, the Creator, Himself'.  Of course the Madhvas carefully
avoid giving it an advaitic meaning.

So here there is a confirmation from the Madhva school itself for the fact
that the paratantra (the dependent reality, the vyAvahArika of Advaita) has
no existence, sattA, of its own; it exists on the borrowed existence of the
Swatantra (the independent Reality, the paaramArthika of Advaita).

As I had stated earlier, such a situation is best explained by the
rope-snake analogy.  The illusory/superimposed snake has no existence,
sattA, of itself.  As long as one sees a snake there, its 'existence' is no
different from the existence of the underlying rope there.  The rope's
existence itself is transferred, as it were, to the snake and the vyavahara
goes on: there exists a snake.  While in truth there is the rope alone and
no snake at all, the sattA being One Only and not two, it is concluded that
the rope alone appears as the snake.  When the rope-knowledge is had, what
gets sublated is the 'snake' alone and NOT the 'existence', sattA.  In fact,
sattA, which is truly Brahman, Sat, Itself, can never go out of existence: न
अभावो विद्यते सतः. Now he will start saying 'there IS a rope' or 'a rope
exists'.  But this will be too much for the Dvaitins to admit although they
mean this alone without saying it in so many words.


> The characterization of the true status of the paratantra as 'mere void
> names and bare possibilities' by none other than an acclaimed authority on
> Dvaita Vedanta, Dr.BNK  clearly depicts the Advaitic position with regard to
> the naama-rUpa prapancha.
> All that Advaita categorises under 'vyavahaarika' is shown under
> 'paratantra' in  Dvaita. While Advaita holds Brahman alone as the
> PaaramArthika, Dvaita has 'ViShNu' alone to show under Swatantra.  Thus, the
> two-fold categorisation of the Tattva/Satya is not avoidable even for
> Dvaita.

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