Mayavada Khandanam is one of the ten Prakarana works of Sri Madhvacharya also known as Sri Ananda Tirtha. It is one of the three texts known as Khandanatraya. Sri Jayatirtha has written a detailed commentary on it. This commentary is further commented upon by Sri Vyasatirtha, Sri Srinivasatirtha, Sri Pandurangi Kesvacharya and Sri Satyanatha. All these commentaries are included in this volume. Sri Padmanabhatirtha, a direct disciple of Sri Madhavacharya has also written a very brief commentary. This is also separately given. a krodapatra type essay written by Sri Pandurangi Kesavacharya, under the title Upanyasa is separately given at the end. All theses help an indepth study of the text.
Prof. D. Pralhadacharya has edited this work utilising the manuscripts procured by the Dvaita Vedanta Foundation. The manuscript of Panduragi Kesavacharya’s commentary was procured from Prof. K.T. Pandurangi’s Library.
We thank Prof. Pralhadacharya for editing of this work.
We thank Dhaarini Graphics for printing it neatly.
The ten (dasa) Prakaranas occupy an unique place among the 37 compositions of Sri Madhva. The Prakaranas are invaluable for the serious student to grasp not only the basic elements of the arguments, but also the relevance and importance of the subject in the totality of the Tatvavada.
The Ten Prakarana compositions are :
Tatvasamkhyana, Tatvaviveka, Khandanatraya, Pramana laksana, Kathalaksana, Karmanirnaya, Tattvodyota and Tattva nirnya.
Traditionally, Visnuttvavinirnaya, the biggest and most important is studied by the students, as it gives the basic tenets of Thatvavda, and also provides the valid Pramanas and analysis which support the conclusions. It also contains a full and critical examination of the position taken by Advaita, Charvaka, Nyaya and Prabhakara and other school and deals with the important issues in philosophy such as the theory of validity, Anvitabhidhanavada, Varna nityatva, Apauruseyatva of Vedas etc.
The three compositions named as Khandanas (Khandanatraya) are very short, but contain a very lucid criticism of Advaita and other similar schools which postulate identity of the soul with the Supreme being. Such a position originally postulated by Sanakara’s Advaita has been taken in varying forms by Ramanuja, Vallabha, Nimbaraka etc. The Prapancha Mithyattvanumana Khandana demolishes the theory of unreality of the world, which is essential for the true Advaita doctrine. The Upadhikhandana criticises the contrived explanations, which are unavoidable to support the doctrine of Identity, in the face of very obvious disparities between the souls and God which are observed. The Mayavadakhandana deals with the Advaita theory of the unreality of worldly bondage which is also a corollary of the premise that the soul is one with the supreme being.
This composition with only 20 Granthas (groups of 32 syllables) is being published along with Sri Jayatirtha’s commentary and sub commentaries of Sri Vyasatirtha, Srinivasatirtha , Pandurangi Kesavacharya and Sri Satyanatha. In refuting the ‘Mayavada’ of Advaita , Sri Madhva shows first that the Advaita sruti interpretation does not qualify for being studied (Anarambhaniya) as it does not have the fourfold essential requirements i.e., Anubandha Chatustaya. He compares the doctrine to the darkness which is dispelled by the Sun who is the supreme Lord Himself, who is full of countless auspicious attributes. His invocatory prayer to Narasimha form of the Lord contains also the essence of the composition: God’s Jnana (knowledge) is as it really is (Yathartha) without any element of incorrectness or incompleteness. His Sukha or bliss is without any trace of misery. This means that it is fully his own and not dependent or under the control of anyone else, it does not lack any thing which has to be secured, or which is limited in any manner. God’s Sakti or power is also not subject to any limitation in any manner. Lord Narasimha has been compared to an infinite (Amita) ocean (Payonidhi) of these qualities. Even the ocean though large is finite, whereas God’s qualities are infinite the prayer is offered to Lord Narasimha as He is the destroyer of all un-desirable and evil ignorance and wrong knowledge which is spread (in the form of darkness) by Mayavada and similar evil doctrines. They are evil because they lead the aspirant away from God into ignorance, thus denying this the chance of redemption. God being Himself an infinite ocean of bliss, knowledge and capacity is the giver of these qualities to serving souls. By describing the Supreme being thus and showing the total difference between Him and the other souls, Sri Madhva has shown that there is no substance in the Identity doctrine.
There are differences in the concepts of the four elements which are essential for the study of the Sastra :
1. Adhikarin (qualified aspirant)- In Advaita, he is one who has come to realize the hollowness of the world of pleasures and suffering, and desires to liberate himself from the coils of ajnnana, which is the root cause. In Tatvavada, the Adhikarin is one who understands that the bondage in the world of births and deaths which is real, can only be overcome by attaining Salvation or Mukti by the grace of the Supreme being. Having realized the futility of aspiring for worldly pleasures, he developes resignation in them and has by constant practice attains the desirable qualities of Sma, Dama etc.
2. Visaya (subject matter)- In Advaita, the essential purpose and subject matter of Sastras is to establish the identity of the soul with the supreme being. In Tatvavada, on the other hand, the Sruties, Smrties and the Brahma Mimamsa Sastra, which is regarded as a guide in the correct interpretation of Sruties etc., teach that Brahman is entirely different from the world of sentient beings an nonsentient matter. He is also the embodiment of all auspicious qualities and devoid of all blemishes.
3. Prayojana (Objective) – In Advaita when the aspirant understands the Sastras correctly, his Ajnana which is itself unreal, is destroyed and the soul realises his identity with brahman, who has no attributes. He is thus completely liberated from the worldly bondage. In Tatvavada, correct understanding of the Supreme person and the five fold difference leads to Aparoksa or ‘seeing’ of the Lord and eventually by His grace leads to Mukti, which is full of Bliss. Both the bondage and liberation are real.
4. Sambandha (Relationships) - Appropriate relationships exist between the three above named entities, base on their nature.
Sri Madhva analyses the Advaita position with regard to all these elements. He first asks Advaita, whether the Aikya of God with the soul is real or not? In Advaita, all entities other than Brahma, who is the only real, are unreal. Aikya also being not the same as Brahma is unreal. Advaita has two possible answers at this stage: The Brahmathamaikya is different in essence from Brahman itself, but is also absolutely real. This means the Advaita itself lost. The other alternative is to accept that such Aikya is real in an absolute sense, but is not different from the Swaroopa or essence of Brahman. A writer of Advaita Khandanakara has written- ‘Tacchadvaitam Brahmaivedam Sarvam’- everything that is real is Brahma only.
If Aikya is essentially Brahman Himself, being Svaprakasa, Brahma or Jiya must already knows himself. Hence, the Advaita interpretation of Sastra suffers from the defect of stating that which is already known (Siddha sadhanata) and hence is superfluous. To Avoid this defect, the Sastras have to be accepted to say something which is not known before (by other means) which means that the Svaprakasa Jiva (who is already aware of Himself) is not aware of Aikya which therefore can not be his essence. This defect is according to Dvaita concept of svaprakasatva of the soul which means Svavisyaprakasatva-knowing about oneself. If Svaprakasatva is interpreted as per Advaita-Avedyatvam svaprakasatvam– no being known by other means (such as mind etc., -Vrttijnana etc) the Sastras can not describe such an indescribable Aatman by their own definition.
Advaita can reply- Even when the swaroopa (essence) of the soul of known by it as a result of its Svaprakasa nature, the special feature of the soul/ Brahma being one only is not known and hence the defect of Siddha sadhanata is avoided. They quote the example- Though the possessor and its quality are identical (Gunaguninopi abheda), when a pot is felt or cognized in darkness, its colour is not. Hence, even when Aatman is Svaprakasa, some feature of itself may not be known by it.
Dvaita answers that as per Advaita itself, Aatman is nirvisesa (not having any qualities which can be defined or cognized seperatly) there can not be any separate quality which not cognized by the Svaprakasa Aatman. On the other hand, Dvaita accepts the concept of Visesa due to which a quality or an attribute such as dark colour of the object like the pot is cognized separately, though it is essentially one with it. If this is accepted by Advaita for the Aatman, it is possible to argue that such Islands of ignorace’ can exist in a Svaprakasa Atman. Advaia does not accept this concept. Aikya, which is not different from the soul can not be so cognized. Hence, it can not be argued that Aikya is not cognized by a Svaprakasa Aatman, though it is part of its essence. In other words, all that is part of its essence must always be cognized by a Svaprakasa Aatman.
The Accepted tenets of Advaita are all rejected on the basis of the non-acceptance of the concept of Ajnana, whose existence is shown to be impossible. The Visaya or subject for the Sastras in Advaita (Identity) can not exist without first accepting the existence of Ajnnana. Ajnana can not exist for the reasons shown earlier- lack of Vyapti relationship between Avarana and Avriyamana-Ajnana and its subject.
Therefore, Advaita can not stipulate that Aikya is distinct from the Swaroopa of the Aataman. It has to accept that it is a part of its essence. If it is so, Aatman is Svaprakasa, it would be so known. Hence, Aikya can not be the Visaya or subject of the Sastras. Sri Vyasaraja states in his own inimitable way that the statement of Aikya by the Sastras (if they are staying Aikya as per Advaita), will be like some one saying that there is a pot in the middle of a brightly lit place to some one who is intently looking at it. Obviously, the subject of such a statement is well known and hence it can not be included as a valid interpretation of the Sastras.
Dvaita also argues that just as there is no Visaya (subject), there are no adhikari, Praupjana (object) are for the Sastras, when interpreted as preaching Advaita based on their own accepted Nyaya-logic. Prayojana is not there as Ajnana itself can not exist, the subject of Ajnana (that which is not known) can not also exist. In the same manner, in the absence of Ajnana, the Prayojana or utility of the Advaita sastras, which is to remove the non-existent Ajnana also is non-existent. The final Prayojana being Moksa, which is of the nature of removal of the (non-existent) veil of Ajnana can not also be attained. An Advaita text is quoted: ‘Avidyastamayo moksah sa samsara udahrtah’- Moksa is the extinction or complete removal of Avidya (ajnana). The prayojana of Advaita Sastra is also shown to be non-existent in another manner: In Istasiddhi by Chisudha acharya of Advaita, it is stated that Moksa which is of the nature of removal of Ajnana, is the Swarupa or essence of the Aatman – Atman is already Siddha or established before commencing any efforts for attainment of Moksa, there can not be any Prayojana for the Advaita Sastra. The aspirant can not make efforts to achieve something which he knows he has already as his essence and hence nothing is achieved by such efforts.
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