[Advaita-l] Abedha

Shrinivas Gadkari sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 11 17:45:08 EDT 2020

Namaste Shri Srinath Vedagarbha,

What I have summarized is my understating - and very likely it is not
fully aligned with any standard school of thought. This is the understanding
that I have arrived at based on my study and contemplation until now.

 "identity+difference" that I am referring to:
One can use analogy of fire and spark here.
One can understand what fire (Ishvara) is by understanding spark (jIva),
Whatever tattva is in Ishvara same is to be found in jIva. 
This is the similarity. 

In Ishvara, each tattva is found it its grand state, in jIva it is in an attenuated state.
This is the (big) difference.

One falls down (hell) not based on what viewpoint one subscribes to but based on
what relationship one develops with Ishvara. jIva has to realize the supreme efforts
that Ishvara is continually putting in for the sake of jIva-s and the entire creation. 
This realization should develop into gratitude and love. This is bhakti in its
pure form. With this form of bhakti in heart, hell is very difficult to attain.


On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 02:17:04 AM GMT+5:30, Srinath Vedagarbha <svedagarbha at gmail.com> wrote: 


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 sakti-
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 Brahmn.

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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