[Advaita-l] Difference in the approaghes of Madhacharya and Shankaracharya

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 19 20:13:45 CDT 2016

Well, there does not appear to be any valid reason at all  to use Apara vidya to explain Para-Vidya. The Upanishads constitute the Vedanta,i.e., the highest knowledge and the Lord says in the  Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita that he Himself is the source of the knowledge of the Vedanta. The explanation of the highest jnana by lower jnana may appear obvious to the Dvaitins but not to the advaitins including the greatest Advaitin, Adi Shankaracharya.

As to the claim about Madhva's always citing specific texts, the  Brahmatarka is the greatest obstacle for anybody outside the Madhva tradition to agree to that assertion. . Dr. B.N.K.Sharama himself admitted that Madhva quoted Brahmatarka 500 times, but nobody knows from where Madhva found the  Brahma tarka  and when during his life-time did the Brahmatarka vanish. Not even a single disciple of Madhva  had seen the Brahmatarka. That is the reason why Non-Madvhites are justified in not recognizing the Brahma-tarka. 


On Fri, 8/19/16, Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Difference in the approaghes of Madhacharya and Shankaracharya
 To: "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Cc: "yahoogroups" <advaitin at yahoogroups.com>
 Date: Friday, August 19, 2016, 11:07 AM
 On Fri,
 Aug 19, 2016 at 12:43 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Dear friends,
 Kindly permit me to put before you the following assessment,
 given by  late C.R.Krishna Rao, a staunch Dvaitin, in
 pp.74-75 of his book  "Madhva and Brahmatarka"
 <Samkara generally restricts himself to the Upanishads
 for his authorities. Madhva on the other hand draws his
 quotations from the Vedas, the Upanishads, the pancharatras,
 the puranas, the Mahabharataand other authritative works.
 Some of the moot points have been clearly explained in the
 Smriti literature, and Madhva makes free use of it.>
 Krishna Rao then goes on to say " The need for
 quotations from sources other than the Upanishads  to
 explain the Upanishadic texts seems obvious.
 This clearly shows that Dvaitins prefer to explain
 Para-vidya with Apara-vidya. 
 there is a very valid reason for this. 
 interpretation of shruti based on some other
 shruti has to be preferred to one that is based on the
 purANas. The latter has
 to be preferred to one given without the aid of purANas (or
 in opposition to purANas). We have multiple
 statements in itihAsa and purANas to that effect:
 MB Adi-parva has this position
 itihAsapurANAbhyAM vedaM
 samupabR^iMhayet |
 vedo mAmayaM pratariSyati || 
 There are similar verses in
 many purANAs. This is the
 prime reason for preferring an interpretation based on
 purANas over others and
 not because purANAs were authored by Sri Vedavyasa.
 Similarly, the Mahabharata attributes
 flawlessness to Pancharatras, so an interpretation based on
 such should be
 preferred to a free-flow interpretation. 
 Before we go to the issues
 concerning purANas, let's
 look at this verse from Brahma-purANa:
   tribhAShAM yo na jAnAti rItInAM shatameva cha |
   vyatyAsAdIn sapta bhEdAn vedAdyarthaM tu yo vadet.h |
   sa yAti nirayaM ghoramanyathAj~nAnasambhavam.h ||
 Though Sri Madhva says
 that this verse is from axaNa shAstra, his commentator Sri
 Trivikrama Pandita quotes the same from BrahmapurANa. The bhAShAs spoken of here --
 guhya, samAdhi and darshana -- aren't separate
 languages, but different levels
 of looking at the shruti text. The same shruti text can be
 used to get
 knowledge at the Adhibhautika, Adhidaivika and AdhyAtmic
 levels. This,
 in a way, fixes the eligibility criteria (adhikAra) of an
  Regarding your
 characterization of puranas as apara vidya, it is not
 correct. We note that the referrent
 of the word 'purANA'
 mentioned in the Chandogya (7.1.2), Brihadaranyaka (2.4.9)
 and a host of other
 vedic texts (like the Maitreyi-araNyaka, gopatha brAhmaNa)
 is the set of texts
 that are prevalent
 as purANas.
 Likewise with itihAsa. Thus,
 what we know as itihAsa and purANa are considered allied
 literature by shrutis
 themselves. Thus, we can use these texts to interpret
 On the counter criticism, one
 can argue Shanakara in many places summons evidence (for his
 position) as 'sampradAyavit' without really quoting
 any such ancient/recent 'sampradAyains' and/or their
 works. In contrast, Madhva always cites very specific texts
 (apourusheya and/or pourusheya) as


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