[Advaita-l] Abedha

Srinath Vedagarbha svedagarbha at gmail.com
Tue Aug 11 16:45:42 EDT 2020


On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 1:44 AM Shrinivas Gadkari via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> While I am not at all endorsing the extreme view point of "dvaita-vedAnta",
> one should not take the other extreme view of, "jIva = Ishvara" either.
> The most compelling support for this comes from the concluding section
> of brahma sUtra-s. The author of brahma sUtra indeed considers
> "liberated souls" similar to Ishvara in many ways, BUT also different
> from Ishvara in some other ways.
> jIva possibly can attain the state of Ishvara asymptotically, but that
> will take such a lo.....ong time - likely spanning countless cycles of
> creation and destruction, that for all practical purposes, it is
> best to settle with identity+difference view point.
> Regards,
> Shrinivas Gadkari
Your position of "identity+difference" has been explored extensively in
Dvaita and rejected as untenable.

In acintyAbhedAbheda doctrine (as per Baladeva's Govinda Bhashya on BS),
there are three aspects of shakti in Brahmn viz., para, apara and
mAya sakti. While trying to avoid Sri.Madhva's refutation on
Advaitic Brahma parimANa vAda, Sri.Baladeva takes the position of Brahma
pariNAma vAda by holding jIva is modification of apara shakti and
jada prakriti is modification of mAya sakti aspect. Brahmn in para aspect
remains changeless (nirvikAra).

As far as Dvaita is concerned, any theory of pariNAma of Brahmn, either
involving directly of Him or through His sakti aspect would
undermine shruti's position B's nirvikAratvam and against divinity.

Acharya Madhva and his commentator Sri.JayaTirtha reject these Brahma
pariNAma vAdas on strong grounds. They anticipated this sort
of sakti-pariNAma vAda and thus refuted in their works (AV and NS). The
central point of their refutation is based on questioning the very
relationship between
these aspects of Brahmn.

What is the relationship between para, apara and mAya aspect of Brahmn? Are
they identical (abhEda) or identical-cum-difference
(bhEdAbhEda) ?

They can't be identical, for all three aspects have to
transform simultaneously in order to modify into jIva and jagat. In such a
case, para aspect fails to remain as nirvikAra.

They can't be identical-cum-difference either, for atleast in respect of
the identity part in 'identity-cum-difference' there again would be the
problem of overlapping of aspects and loss of nirvikArattva of 'para'
aspect. If it is argued, the 'difference part'
(in identical-cum-difference) will prevent this overlap & loss
of nirvikArattva, it is then asked, why such a useless 'identity' part
is still kept alongside 'difference'? Why not just discard the 'identity'
part altogether and hold pure difference between them?

Thus, Sri.JayaTirtha's argument advocates, even sakti-pariNAma vAdin should
admit the eternal difference between their three aspects of Brahma sakti.
Para aspect acting as an efficient cause of the transformation, still
keeping nirvikArattva intact; and where as other two aspects modifying
themselves into jIva and jagat respectively and thus material cause.

But, when such absolute difference is admitted, those aspects fail to be as
'aspects of Brahmn', for it violates shruti's swagatabhEdattva of Brahmn on
one hand and logical contradiction of
absolute difference in the unity, on the other. Thus, instead of holding
'aspect of Brahmn' (bhAga) doctrine, it should be admitted those aspects
are nothing but the three fundamental principles as such in the ontology,
just as Dvaitins hold.

But, a (acintyA)bhedAbheda vAdin might object to this and still tries to
justifies the relation of identity-cum-difference citing Sri.Madhva's
doctrine of bheda-abheda between guNa and guNI by virtue of acintyAsakti of

But, Acharya was very explicit in vyApti of his
bheda-abheda-thru-acintyAsakti doctrine to jada and its attributes only.
According to this doctrine, Parabrahmn thru His acintyAsakti causes the
bheda-abheda relation between insentient objects and their attributes. He
never advocated such bheda-abheda between two sentients itself in one case
(Brahmn-jIva) and a sentient and insentient in another case (Brahmn-jagat).
Thus, it is indeed an illegal extension of Madhva's original doctrine
beyond its legitimate limits by acintyAbhedAbheda vAdin.

According to Acharya Madhva, Parabrahmn's power (acintyA sakti) should not
be invoked in such a manner that it affects the very sovereignty of Brahmn.

Thus, Brahma pariNAma vAda in any flavor, either directly by Brahmn as in
Advaita or through Brahmn's shakti as in acintyAbhedAbheda, is not
acceptable to Acharya Madhva.


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