[Advaita-l] Eka jiva vada and nanajiva vada.

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 20 10:45:30 CDT 2013

Kindly see the website claim - Refutation of Eka jiva vada


Eka jiva vada (a theory of one jiva) is a prominent advaita theory. It
was propounded by Adi Shankara and developed by Vimuktatman in his
Istasiddhi where he says:

brahmaiva avidyayA ekam ced
badhyate mucyate dhiyA
eka muktau jagan mukteh
na mukta anya vyavasthitiH

"Brahman alone gets entangled in one avidya and is liberated through
knowledge. When a single person gets liberated, the world itself is
liberated. There is no other explanation of mukti and baddha."

Madhva's refutation in Vishnu tattva vinirnaya:

According to him this entire universe is a figment imagined by one
embodied soul. This is unreasonable.

For the enlightenment of that one embodied soul, it should be decided
whether he is a preceptor or a pupil and then establish the required
pupil-preceptor relation. If X is that soul who is conscious of the
fact that everything is his imaginary creation, then he, as a
preceptor, will not engage himself in giving instructions to others
treating them as his pupils. Because all others except himself are
understood as unreal and no purpose will be served by giving them any
instructions. Obviously, nobody worries about his duties towards
persons seen in a dream, e.g. if one obtains a son in one’s dream one
never tries for his upbringing and education.

Moreover, suppose somehow that one soul is discovered. While he cannot
function as a preceptor to establish the required pupil-preceptor
relation, he also cannot function as a pupil, because that would make
him receive instruction from a preceptor who is none but the product
of his own imagination and thus unfit to serve any useful purpose like
imparting true knowledge.

What is the purpose of learning? It should elevate the pupil on the
path of liberation. When we consider the pupil to be that one soul,
what does happen when he gets learning? He becomes a preceptor. Is it
an elevation or a fall? As it is believed that the preceptor is the
illusory product imagined by the pupil, learned pupil when occupies
the position of the preceptor will himself become reduced from reality
to unreality. Thus the learning, instead of elevating him, will
degrade him. None will dare to undertake such a downgrading learning!

(end of quote)



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