[Advaita-l] Fwd: 'Prune the head to fit the cap'

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jan 5 12:30:45 EST 2024

Shri Gurubhyo Namah
In this short Kannada video by the Pontiff of the Uttaradi Mutt (Madhwa)
(see the video here https://groups.google.com/g/advaitin/c/1O51QmLADUE )
has given this analogy: A customer complained to the tailor that the cap
that he had made does not fit him well. The tailor went in and brought a
saw and said 'I shall mend your head to suit the cap.' The Pontiff says:
Similarly, all other commentators meddled with the texts of the Upanishads,
etc. to suit their preconceived doctrine while Madhwacharya alone wrote
commentaries in accordance with the Upanishadic, etc. texts.
In the sequel are shown several instances where in fact Madhwacharya,
finding the Upanishadic passages grossly contradicting his doctrine, has
amended the Upanishadic texts to suit his doctrine or given weird
interpretations and forced his doctrine into them:
1. Chandogya Upanishad:
Original passage: तत्सत्यꣳ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो - It is about the
teaching of Tattvamasi (You are That).
Madhwa reads the passage as : स आत्माऽतत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो - Atattvamasi
(You are not That)
2. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
A. ‘आत्मानमेवावेदहं ब्रह्मास्मि - Aham Brahma asmi
Madhwa says: अहं = अहेयं, ब्रह्म परिपूर्णम् । अस्मि = सर्वदाऽस्तीति
The irrejectable Brahman, the Full, exists.
B. नेह नानास्ति किञ्चन । There is no multiplicity whatsoever.
Madhwa says: तस्य रूपगुणाद्येषु न कश्चिद्भेद इष्यते ॥ There is no
difference across the forms and attributes of Vishnu.
(Similarly, there is this phrase in the Kathopanishad. It has been
interpreted in the same way.)
3. Mundakopanishad:
Original mantra:
यथा नद्यः स्यन्दमानाः समुद्रेऽस्तं गच्छन्ति नामरूपे विहाय ।
तथा विद्वान्नामरूपाद् विमुक्तः परात् परं पुरुषमुपैति दिव्यम् ॥ ८ ॥
Just as rivers bereft of their names and forms merge into the sea, the
Aparoksha jnani, after the death of the body, becomes freed from names and
forms and merges into Brahman.
To this Madhva changes the sentence to mean: विमुक्त = इत्यमुक्त इत्यर्थः ।
विप्रिय इतिवत् । अविहायेति च ।
In liberation Tte Mukta is not free of name and form.....rivers are not
free from names and forms when they have merged in the ocean (Madhwa has
changed the word in the mantra: vihaya to 'avihaya').
4. Prashnopanishat:
The original mantra:
स यथेमाः नद्यः स्यन्दमानाः समुद्रायणाः समुद्रं प्राप्यास्तं गच्छन्ति
भिद्येते तासां नामरूपे समुद्र इत्येवं प्रोच्यते ।  एवमेवास्य
परिद्रष्टुरिमाः षोडश कलाः पुरुषायणाः पुरुषं प्राप्यास्तं गच्छन्ति भिद्येते
चासां नामरूपे पुरुष इत्येवं प्रोच्यते स एषोऽकलोऽमृतो भवति तदेष श्लोकः ॥ ५ ॥
The above (Mundaka) is the case here as well (river - ocean and Jnani -
Madhva has changed the wording of the original sentence here as well: while
in the original it is 'the rivers are said to be the ocean', Madhva reads
it as ' the rivers are said to be in the ocean'. Similarly, in the case of
Jnani, 'in Paramatma', Madhwa uses a locative case here (saptami vibhakti).
5. Mandukyopanishad:
The passage there:
प्रपञ्चो यदि विद्येत निवर्तेत न संशयः ।
मायामात्रमिदं द्वैतमद्वैतं परमार्थतः ॥ ९ ॥
If the phenomenal universe were real, then certainly it would disappear.
The universe of duality which is cognized is mere illusion (maya-dvaitam);
Non-duality, Advaitam, alone is the Supreme Reality.
Madhva gives the meaning of 'Mayamatram' as Ishvarechha (the will of
Ishwara) and Advaita and Dvaita have different meanings for him: तस्यैव
मायामात्रं तदिच्छया निर्मितम् । द्वैतं द्विधा ज्ञातमन्यथाज्ञातमज्ञैः ...
6. Kenopanishat (Talavakaropanishad):
Original mantra:
यद्वाचानभ्युदितं येन वागभ्युद्यते ।
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि नेदं यदिदमुपासते ॥ ५ ॥
That which cannot be expressed by speech, but by which speech is
expressed-That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here
Madhva has split the verb 'upaasate' into three words, upa, aasa, te, to
mean 'as your impeller (Vishnu is).sitting near you':
नेदं जीवस्वरूपं यद् ब्रह्म विष्ण्वाख्यमव्ययम् |
किन्तु यत् ते समीपस्थमास ते विनियामकम् |
तदेव ब्रह्म त्वं विद्धि विष्ण्वाख्यं परमव्ययम् |
नियामकं तद्देवानां मर्त्यानां किमुतोत्तमम् ||
The above are instances that have come to my attention. Madhva has done
this in the Bhagavata as well. I shall make it known when I get that verse.
It can be seen that Madhwa himself has done the act of 'cutting the head to
fit the cap' which the Swami charges others of resorting to this.

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