Sankara SampradhAyam - 5

VishistAdvaitins and Dvaitins who object to both Bhuddhism and advaitham do so based on the [*perceived*] similarities between these two schools of thought, in the realm of gyAna. They used to even abuse our AchAryAl as a Bhuddhist in disguise - 'Prachchanna BhuddhA'. But, this perception is not at all correct.

Even though AchAryAl Himself is accused of having been a 'BhuddhA in disguise'- based on issues such as both Bhuddhism and advaitham claim the world to be a mAyA and in advaitham, at a very high stage of gyAna as even the Ishvara upAsanA drops out - on deeper analysis it will become clearer that this [*accusation*] is quite invalid.

While claiming the world to be a mAyA, AchAryAl never meant any thing to be a sUnyA of Bhuddhists. He considered the world to be only a temporary truth (tharkAlika unnmai) and emphasised that it shouldn't be construed to be an absolute truth. He clarified that this mAya lOkA doesn't dissolve itself into sUnyA; instead when the realisation that this world is not an absolute truth dawns [*in us*], it'll also be realised that this lOka and even we, who realise this world to be a mAyA, also are the absolutely true and complete (pUrna) Bhrahman itself. The mokshA of Bhuddhist - the nirVanA - is a substratum less empty sUnyA. On the other hand, the mOksha described by AchAryAl is advaitham which is becoming [*one with*] the complete state (pari-pUrna-nilai) of highest truth, knowledge and bliss - ie sat-chit-AnandhA. Equating these two [*Bhuddhism and advaitham*] to be identical is wrong!

What is the greatness of AchAryAl ? It is His accepting all paths and SiddhAnthAs at different levels and establishing that all these together, at their highest level, lead to gyAna mArga. BhoudhAs are those who not only renounced 'vEdic karmas'; but those who even objected to them. While AchAryAl was the one who went out-and-out in support of the practise of vEdic karmAs. The very starting verse of His 'upadEsa sAram' is

|vEdO-nithyam-adHIyathAm-thath-udithama-karmasu-anushtIyathAm |

 As a prelude to the dawn of the knowledge, the mind has to remain focussed. Bhakthi upAsanA is essential for achieving that one pointedness of the mind. As the mind will remain absorbed only in BhagavAn, [*AchAryAl*] has incorporated bhakthi as a pre-requisite. KarmAnushtAnam is a very essential step prior to [*this stage of*] bhakthi.

He observed that the impurities of the chittham will be cleansed off, only when the mind is always engaged in [*doing*] karmAs, advocated by vEdAs. Only when one engages, more and more, in vEdic karmAs, the mind will become purer. The mind, thus purified, when immerses itself in bhakthi, will become focussed or one-pointed. Only after that, such a focussed mind will be able to lose itself and dissolve into the gyAna, which is the absolute truth. Thus, AchAryAl has given us a very well ordered step-by-step path [*for spiritual evolution*].