6:15 am - Wednesday August 12, 2020



By Ramakant Tiwariramakant tiwari

Vedanta (Vedānta) or Uttara Mīmāṃsā  is one of the six schools of Sanatana DarsanaVedanta literally means “end of Veda-s” bouquet of Prayatksa Pramana  based on Sadhana-s undertaken by Rsi-s and Maharsi-s. Vedanta  has never been a single doctrine of one Rsi  or Maharsi, rather it has been doctrines reverberating around one fundamental concept comprising of Param BrahmatmaAtma  / Jivatma  and PrakritiParam Brahmatma  is the Supreme Absolute, Atma  / Jivatma  emanate from Param Brahmatma  and merge into Him while Prakriti  is the gross empirical aspect available to Atma  / Jivatma  as a means to strive and merge into Param Brahmatma. Several doctrines woven around the three, are all restricted to expound inter-relationships among these three entities. Seers discovered it to be impossible to describe Param Brahmatma  or Atma  as narrations thereof are accessible only in the absolute state of Cetana  when no Jnanendriya  or Karmendriya  is able to function from that supreme state of existence. Out of several, only three are prominent ones around which all deliberations and arguments revolve.


Enunciated by Jagadguru Adi Samkaracarya, Advaita Vedānta  espouses monism i.e. non-dualism. Param Brahmatma  is regarded to be the absolute, immutable metaphysical reality and abode of Atma-s. Maya  is the cosmic dance of Prakriti, entirely empirical and eternally mutable, exists within the Being of Param Brahmatma  alone. To summarise, whatever exists in the name of existence, is the Supreme Entity i.e. Param Brahmatma  Himself alone. It is the ultimate state of Cetana  after which nothing else is left to be realised. Advaita Vedanta  beholds, every other entity is in reality, Param Brahmatma  Himself.


Propounded by Maharsi MadhavacaryaDvaita  is the stream of Vedanta Darsana  that espouses the doctrine of dualism. Herein Param Brahmatma  and Atma  are assumed to be eternally different and individually identifiable. While Param Brahmatma  is perfect in all respects and immutable, it is Atma  that must strive to attain perfection and strive to remain perfect eternally, then entirely dedicate itself unto Param Brahmatma  for ultimate emancipation from Maya  of Prakriti  i.e. Moksa. This complete dedication unto Him is the institution of Bhakti. It is only by the pleasure and sanctification of Param Brahmatma  that one attains Bhakti, then Moksa. In other words, Bhakti  leads to Moksa  i.e. devotee superimposes Supreme Cetana  of Param Brahmatma  upon his own Cetana  to be a Bhakta. While remaining different from Param BrahmatmaBhakta  continues to exist within Him eternally. The erudite Seer maintained both qualitative and quantitative pluralism of Atma-s in the doctrine of Dvaita  albeit the Seer always referred to it as Tattvavada  i.e. Darsana  of Reality.  


Expounded by Maharsi RamanujacaryaVisistadvaita  is essentially a modified version of the Darsana  of Advaita  with unique manifests. Herein Param Brahmatma  has attributes albeit illusory and transient albeit all attributes converge into Param Brahmatma  i.e. The Absolute One. Even Saguna Brahma  is vested in Nirguna Brahma  being one of attributes. Visistadvaita  concurs with Samkhya  doctrine when it comes to relationship of Param Brahmatma  with Prakriti. Like Param BrahmatmaPrakriti  and it’s modifications too are eternal and real endowed with a sense of absoluteness in constancy of modifications. Prakriti  and it’s Maya  may be regarded as body of Param Brahmatma  analogous to JivatmaBhakti  of Saguna Brahma  is the path for a Jivatma  to be ultimately emancipated from shackles of Maya  and Prakriti. Through Visistadvaita, the great Seer consecrated qualitative monism and quantitative pluralism of Atma-s while in Dvaita, it is qualitative and quantitative pluralism of Atma-s that are sacrosanct.


Narrated by Maharsi Vallabhacarya, doctrine of Suddhadvaita  resolves, entire universe is real in the manifest of Sri Krsna. Even Prakriti  is yet another manifestation of Param Brahmatma  i.e. Sri Krsna. Only path to Sri Krsna  is unqualified, seamless Bhakti  as a potent measure of dissolution of Ahamkara.


What we behold among these doctrines is that these revolve around Bhedabheda  i.e. difference and absence of it. Bhagirathi  of Vedanta  continued surging ahead and influenced streams of VaisnavismSaivism   and Saktism  too. Upanisad-s constitute centrality of the wisdom of Vedanta  also known as Uttara Mimamsa  with Purva Mimamsa  being narration of Karmakanda. Later, Brahma Sutra-s and Srimadbhagvadgita  too were included into the core of VedantaBrahmaSutra Darsana  journeyed through infinity of time to be regarded as the main text of Vedanta  though it does not propose or expose either Advaita / Visistadvaita  or even Dvaita


Advaita  and Visitadvaita  differ only in one aspect, beholding the Reality from two ends of the same telescope !! Advaita  asserts, it is One and One alone irrespective of any attribute or manifest whatsoever while Visistadvaita  asserts, whatever attributes and manifests exist, are again, already included in the One and One alone. Contrarian view of Advaita  is that the Absolute Truth is binary in structure and one is means to attain the other albeit both are independent entities and eternal. Doctrine of Dvaita  provides definition of religion with exactitude of the highest order i.e. all activities directed towards attainment of Param Brahmatma  with the means / instrumentality of Jada, is in fact, religion. Other than these, may be dubbed merely as life-styles !!  


Question likely to agonise  a Mumuksu  i.e. seeker is, which doctrine out of these may be regarded as stating the truth and upto what extent. In reality, the complex issue cannot afford an absolute state of position with respect to doctrines of DvaitaAdvaita  and Visistadvaita  or even Suddhadvaita  for that matter. All these doctrines are deeply interconnected, intensely intertwined and inseparably discernible. Analogy with a vibrant ocean very well drives home the rigmarole to it’s logical conclusion. If Param Brahmatma  is like an ocean holding infinite quantum of Cetana, He is absolutely serene and tranquil at the core while on surface, turbulent with attributes and manifests. All these attributes and manifests merge and emerge eternally with respect to the infinite cosmic ocean of Cetana  like waves and surfs on surface of an ocean and seashore. Now whether He appears as the Absolute One or Absolute One with attributes and manifests, is a matter of wisdom, cognition or conjecture of the beholder aspiring to dive into it to attain the core of serene absoluteness transcending turbulence on surface. And with both possibilities, beholder of the cosmic phenomenon shall be precisely accurate as with an ocean replete with acric water. Now a proponent of Dvaita  would dive into the cosmic ocean of Cetana  to arrive at the core of Supreme Absoluteness adorned with accou’tremont bare enough to survive and achieve the goal. Thus we conclude, all streams of Vedanta Darsana  are inseparably intertwined, mutually inclusive and all encompassing.


Those three Rsi-s Adi SamkaracaryaRamanujacarya  and Madhavacarya  are one of the greatest Seers in world history. Together they were analogous to three tines of Bhagavana Siva’s Trisula  (Trident) converging into Siva, The Absolute One. 

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