Essay on dvaita and advaita

Vishwesha Teertha, head of the Pejavar Adhokshaja Mutt, Udupi, speaks to B Sivakumar on monism, dualism and the oneness of cosmic energies

How significant is the difference between advaita and dvaita?
Advaita propounds that the world is an illusion.
All actions and emotions including sorrow are just false impressions.
Dvaita Vedanta is a sub-school in the Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy. Alternatively known as Bhedavāda, Tattvavāda and Bimbapratibimbavāda, Dvaita Vedanta sub-school was founded by the 13th-century scholar Madhvacharya. The Dvaita Vedanta school believes that God (Vishnu, supreme soul) and the individual souls exist as independent realities, and these are distinct. The Dvaita school contrasts with the other two major sub-schools of Vedanta, the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara which posits nondualism - that ultimate reality and human soul are identical and all reality is interconnected oneness, and Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja which posits qualified nondualism - that ultimate reality and human soul are different but with the potential to be identical.

Fundamentally, the soul and God are one; when the soul releases itself from this illusion; it merges with Brahmn, the Universal Consciousness.

According to dvaita, the world is real. God, the creator of this world, is also real.
In Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is without attributes and strictly impersonal. It can be best described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness and infinite Bliss. It is pure knowledge itself, similar to a source of infinite radiance. Since the Advaitins regard Brahman to be the Ultimate Truth, so in comparison to Brahman, every other thing, including the material world, its distinctness, the individuality of the living creatures and even Isvara (the Supreme Lord) itself are all untrue.

There is a natural difference between the ordinary, ignorant soul who experiences sorrow in this world and the God who knows all and is omnipotent. This is the essence of dvaita siddhanta. The concept of dvaita is relevant even in today's world.
At the most fundamental level, the universe is not just a physical or material entity, but pure consciousness of unfathomable power, having the ability to create, maintain, conceal, augment and destroy objective universe at will without effort or a specific intent. We identify this supreme consciousness of infinite capacities and unfathomable mysteries as Brahman. Being rooted in the sensory knowledge and limited by its own ignorance, human consciousness does not have the ability to comprehend or estimate the powers of Brahman beyond the domain of the senses, or realize the purpose of its own existence.

Sri Madhavacharya said that the world is real. The very thought helps in preventing escapism and motivates one to perform duties sincerely. It also establishes the Supremacy of God and indicates the path to devotion; it cautions us about His omnipresence thus stressing the importance of righteousness.
They identify the personal form of God indicated here as the transcendental form of Vishnu or Krishna (see Vaishnavism). The brahma-pura (city within Brahman) is identified as the divine realm of Vishnu known as Vaikuntha. This conclusion is corroborated by the Bhagavata Purana, written by Vyasa as his own 'natural commentary' on Vedanta-sutra. The first verse of Bhagavata Purana begins with the phrase om namo bhagavate vasudevaya janmadyasya yatah, which means, 'I offer my respectful obeisances to Bhagavan Vasudeva, the source of everything'. Vyasa employs the words janmadyasya yatah, which comprise the second sutra of the Vedanta Sutra, in the first verse of the Bhagavata Purana to establish that Krishna is Brahman, the Absolute Truth. This is clear testimony of the author's own conclusion about the ultimate goal of all Vedic knowledge.

Can a person practice both advaita and dvaita?
The only similarity between advaita and dvaita philosophies is that of bhakti or devotion, which is very essential.

What are the fundamental principles of Pejavar Math?
Sri Madhavacharya established the Pejavar Math and seven other maths known as ashta maths in Udupi and in Karnataka.
Dvaita Vedanta acknowledges two principles; however, it holds one of them (the sentient) as being eternally dependent on the other. The individual souls are depicted as reflections, images or shadows of the divine, but never in any way identical with the divine. Moksha (liberation) therefore is described as the realization that all finite reality is essentially dependent on the Supreme.

The main purpose of the maths is to propagate bhakti, dharma and hilosophical truths, along with the duty of performing aradhana and puja of Udupi Sri Krishna.

What is 'Tatvavaada?'
Tatvavaada is the philosophical school of thought which reveals the truths of Creation.
Dvaita and Advaita are two divergent schools of Vedanta philosophy in Hinduism which interpret reality and the relationship between Brahman, the Supreme Universal Self, and the rest of His manifestation differently in terms of duality and non duality respectively. According to the former (Dvaita) Brahman and His creation are existentially and fundamentally different and according to the latter (Advaita) the difference is only in our perception and understanding since all is Brahman only and nothing else.

Why is there still conflict of interest among followers of Shaivism and those of Vaishnavism?

Vishnu means the complete Para Brahmn. He can be addressed by any name. Para Brahmn Vishnu is the creator of the cosmos, is full of all good qualities and is bereft of any faults.
Dvaita Vedanta is a dualistic interpretation of the Vedas, espouses dualism by theorizing the existence of two separate realities. The first and the only independent reality (svatantra-tattva), states the Dvaita school, is that of Vishnu as Brahman. Vishnu is the supreme Self, in a manner similar to monotheistic God in other major religions. The second reality is that of dependent (asvatantra-tattva) but equally real universe that exists with its own separate essence. Everything that is composed of the second reality, such as individual soul, matter, and the like exist with their own separate reality. The distinguishing factor of this philosophy, as opposed to monistic Advaita Vedanta, is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe.

Just like the water in a vessel takes the shape of that vessel, similarly the Lord, present in all things and beings takes their form. Hence all names and forms can be related to Him. His roopa is chinmaya. This is the philosophy of Sri Madhavacharya who has given us a broad understanding of the universal truth.
Dvaita (द्वैत) is a Sanskrit word that means "duality, dualism". The term refers to any premise, particularly in theology on the temporal and the divine, where two principles (truths) or realities are posited to exist simultaneously and independently.

This tatva unites all. You must find time to worship the Supreme Being.

'Work is worship' — will this not suffice as prayer?

There are three forms of worship. A complete prayer consists of nitya karma or daily rituals of prayer, honesty and service to society.
Dvaita schools argue against the Advaita idea that upon attaining liberation one realizes that God is formless since this idea is contradicted by Vedanta Sutra 3.2.16 - aha ca tanmatram: 'The scriptures declare that the form of the Supreme consists of the very essence of His Self'. And furthermore Vedanta Sutra 3.3.36 asserts that within the realm of Brahman the devotees see other divine manifestations which appear even as physical objects in a city (antara bhuta gramavat svatmanah: antara - inside, bhuta - physical, gramavat - like a city, svatmanah - to His own, i.e. to His devotees).

All three are essential for inclusive welfare.

How do we ensure that we do not forget the rich cultural legacy we have?
Publishing small booklets in simplified language, conducting moral and cultural classes in schools and colleges, and also arranging camps and retreats for young people are ways in which dharma and cultural values can be inculcated among students and youth community.
The human mind does not belong to the domain of the spirit but of Nature. Since it is in the field of human awareness, veiled by its power, an individual soul temporarily becomes disconnected from its own identity, its absolute state, which is Brahman, as if a drop of water from a vast ocean is lifted from its surface momentarily and disconnected from its source. For the separated soul, which comes under the influence of Prakriti and assumes a material body, the available means path to merge with Brahman or its own absolute consciousness is through the paths of devotion, moral living, following the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga meditation, often expressed in various systems of spiritual practices known as yogas.

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    For the Buddhists the problem resolves itself because Buddhist does not acknowledge the existence of permanence in any form at all, except perhaps as emptiness or void (sunya). For the Jains the world is permanently and existentially different because it is devoid of God but filled with countless individual souls in varying degrees of purity and impurity. In the following paragraphs we will step into the shoes of Vedantins and examine the essential nature of reality and existence in terms of non duality and duality.

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