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

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 09:52:46 CDT 2016

On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 9:13 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Well, there does not appear to be any valid reason at all  to use Apara
> vidya to explain Para-Vidya.

Your very identification that Veda as "para vidya" is quite unvedic and
wrong. muNDakopaniShat has this say about entire aagama texts;

|| dve vidye veditavye iti ha sma |
   yad.hbrahmavido vadanti paraa chaivaaparaa cha || 4||

|| tatraaparaa R^igvedo yajurvedaH saamavedo.atharvavedaH
shikshaa kalpo vyaakaraNaM niruktaM chhando jyotishhamiti |
atha paraa yayaa tadaksharam adhigamyate || 5||

As you can see muNDakopaniShat puts the entire Agama, the only admitted
of knowledge of Brahman, under the category of apara vidyA as per
"tatraaparaa R^igvedo yajurvedaH saamavedo.atharvavedaH ".

So, your premise itself is wrong here.

> 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.

Aren't you refuting yourself by quoting gIta (which is non-vEda and apara
per you) to justify your position? This is the classical svavachana virOdha
or apasiddhAnta flaw in tarka.

More over Advaita does not accept all Shruti as scripture, in addition,
preferring to arbitrarily brand some inconvenient ones as "atatvaavedaka"
and "anuvaadaka," so its own record in this matter is highly questionable.

> 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.

It may be so for advaitins. But for others they are going by the very
definition of 'Agama' as given by texts themselves and consider purANas as
quite valid in this context;

RigAdyA bhArataM chaiva paJNcharAtramathAkhilam.h |
mUlarAmAyaNaM chaiva purANaM chaitadAtmakam.h ||

ye cha anuyAyinastveshhAM sarve te cha sadAgamAH |
durAgamastadanye ye tairna j~neyo janArdanaH ||

(vEda-s starting from Rg, and the pancharAtra in their entirety, the mUla
rAmAyaNa in its entirety, and those purAaNa-s that follows the previous.
These, and others that follow these, are all sadAgamA-s; others are
durAgama-s, and from these janArdana (Brahman) is not known)

Also shruti asserts `itihAsapurANaH panchamO vEdAnAm vEdaH'

In another place Bru.Up asserts --

sa yatHaadreidhAgnErabhyahitasya pruTHag dhUmA vinischaranti, Evam vA arE
asya mahatO bhUtasya niHshwasitamEvaitad yadrigvEdO yajurvEdaH sAmavEdO
athH vrAngIrasa itihAsaH purANAm
vidyA upanishadaH shlOkaH sUtrANyanu vyAkhyAnAni vykhyAnisTaM hutA mAtisham
pAyitamayam cha lOkaH parachaH lOkaH sarvANi cha bhUtanyasaivaitAni sarvANi
niHshwasitAna ||

(Just like how smoke and sparks emits from the raw firewood, similarly;
from the Great Being of `hayagrIva' rUpi parabrahman, all these of
Rig-yajur-sAma-atharvaNa vEda-s, itihAsa, purANa, mUla vEda, Upanishads,
brahma sUtra, vEda-vykhyAna-s, yAga, hOma, annadAna, jaladAna, aids to
paralOka, all charAchara creatures emits at the beginning of creation. )

> 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.
Brahmatarka is also  quoted by the early 17th century advaitin
AdvaitAnanda, the author of BrhmavidyAbharaNa on Shankara's BSB.

As far as charge of aprasiddha texts are concerned, it also apply to
others. Aprasiddha Paingi upaniShat is quoted by Shankara. Please show me
any non-advaitic tradition who holds such texts as yoga-vashiShTha,
adhyAtma-rAmAyaNa etc as valid.

Why that far, there is big disagreement about texts authored by Acharaya
Shanakara himslef in the tradition, what to speak about such ancient texts
such as Brahmataraka etc. not being carried on by advaita tradition.


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