[Advaita-l] A short video clip from a Tamil film on Sri Vedanta Desika

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Jun 26 05:37:12 EDT 2021


In this short video clip, Vedanta Desikar says: In the debate on
'Tattvamasi' between Akshobhya Tirtha (a direct disciple of Madhvacharya)
and Swami Vidyaranya (of Advaita), I have, without taking sides, given my
decision in favour of the Madhva'.
However, there has been a controversy on the issue where Sri G.R.Patil of
Dharwad has in his various Kannada books for the last about 15 years has
established that the very debate could not have happened.
In his latest article he has said:  The present Akshyobhya maTha pontiff
has written a book where he says the debate was on 'a-tattvamasi' (which
reading Madhvacharya adopted in his Chandogya Upanishad commentary).  But
the point is: The passage 'atattvamasi' is not a Vedic text for both
Advaitins and Vishishtadvaitins. Given this fact, how could Swami
Vidyaranya have agreed to participate in the debate with the Madhva monk?
How indeed would Vedanta Desika agree to be a judge for this debate?

Moreover, many Vishishtadvaitins themselves have questioned the so called
books where the role of Vedanta Deshika is mentioned, authored by their own
people.  They have shown several inconsistencies in those books and shown
the illogicality of Vedanta Desika's role in this issue.

Here is an article, though in Kannada, that cites the views of the
Vidshistadvaitins, in English:

Some excerpts from the above article:

Ramaswamy Iyengar: It has been rightly observed by the learned Editor - in
this work, there are deviations from the traditional versions of Deshika’s
life………To me it appears that the poet was more intent upon enjoying the
greatness of the Acharya to his heart’s content in melodious verse and
prose than to follow the accepted versions.
1949 article- 4Origin and growth of Shri Brahmatantra Parakala Matha
Parakala Matha Guruparmpara [as authenticated by inscription No. 574 of
Another opinion by Dr.Venkatasubbaiah (Not Ramanuja follower):
The facts, therefore, gleaned from these copper plates and presented to us
by Mr. Narasimhacharya are not to be relied upon and must wholly be put out
of consideration. The same, too, must be done with regard to the other
incident related by Mr. Narasimhacharya concerning Vidyaranya -Akshobhya
Tirtha and Vedanta Deshika. This incident is found related in the
Guruparampara of the Vadagalai section of Vishishtadvaitins, a book whose
reliability is repudiated even by the Tengalai Vishishtadvaitins, not to
speak of Dvaitins and Advaitins. For the numerous anchronisms involved in
this incident, as well as in other incidents of Vedanta Deshika’s life see
pp 287, 290, 293 etc of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society vol.
xxiv [1916]

Also, there are anachronisms in this text like 'Vedanta Desika defeated an
Advaitin, Krishna Misra, who is believed to have lived some 300 years prior
to the former.'. The book records an instance that is yet to take place
much after the period of the author. Such instances are pointed out to
conclude that the book on Vedanta Desika cannot be relied upon to determine


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