[Advaita-l] Dvaita Vaada - Vadiraja Teertha's Nyayaratnavali Slokas 402 - 405 Hilarious Joke

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri May 1 01:11:03 CDT 2015

On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Namaste
> Commentary - After being hit for a six for four consecutive balls
> Vaadiraaja is out of options. There is confusion and tension in the
> Dvaiti camp. Captain Madhvacharya is warning Vaadiraaja ' I want you
> to bowl an underarm delivery now. No more sixes.' Vaadiraaja is saying
> 'But is it fair to bowl underarm? Is it against the rules of the game?
> I have never done it before. It makes me look bad'. The Captain
> replies ' Don't worry. Just bowl it. I have done it before. It saves
> runs. Just do it. Don't argue with me. Worry about your reputation
> later'. Vaadiraaja has no choice. He starts his run up.
> In Slokas 402 to 405 Vaadiraaja makes a blunder in Svetasvatara
> Upanishad 6 - 11 just like his master Madhvacharya has done to 'Tat
> Tvam Asi'. He is reading it as 'Atat Tvam Asi' against all
> commentaries reading it as 'Tat Tvam Asi'.
> गुणानुवादं शंसन्तो गुणानुकथनं तथा ॥
> हरेर्गुणानुवादं च श्लोक्यमाहुः शुकादयः ।
> तस्मादेको देव इति श्रुतिरुक्त्वा हरेर्गुणान् ॥
> तदन्ते दुर्मतप्राप्तनिर्गुणत्वजिहीर्षया ।
> समुच्चितं गुणैरुक्तैस्तमेवानिर्गुणं जगौ ॥
> अपूर्वोऽयं पदच्छेदो यत्पूर्वं चोदिता गुणाः ।
> मुक्त्यध्वनीनैस्तच्छ्लाघ्यो मध्वस्याध्वेति मे मति: ॥
> Shuka and others have praised the explaining of Vishnu's qualities as
> worthy of praise. Therefore the Sruti has spoken of Vishnu's qualities
> and in the end has sung of Him as the collection of those qualities
> but not Nirguna अ- निर्गुण meaning not absence of qualities. It is
> doing this with a desire to remove the Nirguna conception of the Bad
> Mata Advaita. 'अ' should be there in the Padaccheda separation of
> words because Vishnu's qualities are explained before that. My opinion
> is Madhva's Path will be praised by the travellers in the path of
> Liberation.
> The Svetasvatara Upanishad 6 - 11 is saying -
> एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः
>  सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ।
> कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः
>  साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ॥
> Translation by Swami Tyagishananda -
> http://www.estudantedavedanta.net/Svetasvatara_Upanishad%20-%20Swami%20Tyagisananda%20%281949%29%20%5BSanskrit-English%5D.pdf
> God, who is one only, is hidden in all beings. He is all pervading and
> is the inner self of all creatures. He presides over all actions and
> all beings reside in Him. He is the Witness and He is the Pure
> Consciousness free from the three Gunas of Nature.
> Here the Sanskrit rules of Visarga Sandhi will allow केवलो निर्गुणश्च
> or केवलो अनिर्गुणश्च. Vaadiraaja is using this loop hole to say it is
> केवलो अनिर्गुणश्च really even though it is given as केवलो निर्गुणश्च.
> Why does he think like this? Because he says the earlier Slokas in the
> Upanishad are all explaining the qualities of Vishnu. If the earlier
> Slokas are all explaining Vishnu's qualities how can suddenly the next
> Sloka say Vishnu is Nirguna that is without qualities. This is his
> dilemma. Therefore he makes Nirguna into A- Nirguna adding the 'A'.
> Brahman is not Quality-less. This means He has qualities.
> Advaiti Response -
> The text should be केवलो निर्गुणश्च only. Why? Because Nirguna means
> with no Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas Gunas. The Prakruti is the
> Trigunatmika Maya. But Brahman is Pure Consciousness without any trace of
> the three Gunas. Even the Bhagavad Gita has said -
> अनादित्वान्निर्गुणत्वात् परमात्माऽयमव्ययः. The Imperishable Supreme
> Self is with no beginning and without qualities.

Another response:

The Gita vivRti of Sri Raghavendra Tirtha too says for this verse 13.32 the
word nirguna means that which is devoid of the three gunas.

In the Kannada Book 'Mata Traya Sameekkshaa' authored by
Dr.A.V.Nagasampige, a renowned scholar of Dvaita, under the section 'Dvata
mata', on p.158, under a topic heading: 'nirguna shrutiya Antarya' takes up
this very Shvetashvatara mantra and comments:

//In a preceding mantra (6.2) is the word 'guNI' (sakalaguNapUrNa).  And
hence the word 'nirguNa' of the present mantra means: He is devoid of
prAkRta (sattva rajas tamas) guNas.  //

Further, since an earlier mantra has said 'guNI', there is no need for the
upanishad to repeat that same idea by the word 'anirguNa'.  Also, it would
go against the popular meaning: 'devoid of the three gunas' and only
assert the presence of the three gunas.

What is pertinent to note is that the above Kannada book takes the word as
'nirguna' only.

In the Bhashya admitted to be of Shankara, for the word 'guNI' the meaning
is: apahatapApmAdimAn (one endowed with all pure qualities such as freedom
from sins).  For 'nirguna' the meaning is: free from the sattva rajas tamas

In the same way, if the word 'nirguna' is held to be 'free from heyaguNas'
as is with the Vishishtadvaitins, then too, the 'anirguNa' will only be a
negation of this and end up admitting heya gunas in Brahman.


> The Svetasvatara
> Upanisad is saying मायां तु प्रकृतिं विद्यान्मायिनं च महेश्वरम् 'Know
> then that Nature is Maya and that the Great God is the Lord of Maya'.
> The Upanisad wants to make clear Brahman is beyond Maya and three
> Gunas. Therefore it is using 'Nirguna'. If you say A-Nirguna Brahman
> will have Maya's qualities. This is not the correct meaning of the
> Upanisad.
> ततो यदुत्तरतरं तदरूपमनामयम् ।
> य एतद्विदुरमृतास्ते भवन्ति अथेतरे दुःखमेवापियन्ति ॥ 3 - 10 Svetasvatara
> 'That Being is far beyond this world is formless and free from misery.
> They who know this become immortal. But all others have indeed to
> suffer misery alone'.
> Here also the Absolute Brahman is spoken as अरूप Formless. It is far
> beyond the Cause and Effect relationships. It is not subjected to
> Maayaa and the Gunas.
> I request learned members to share additional points on this
> discussion why केवलो अनिर्गुणश्च is not correct.
> Commentary - Vaadiraaja has bowled the underarm delivery. The first
> reaction of the Advaiti batsman is a loud laugh, 'You must be joking'.
> He rushes forward from the crease to meet the ball before it lands on
> the pitch and hits it over deep midwicket for another six. Both
> laughter and applause are heard from the spectators. They are enjoying
> the funny moment.
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh
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