It is often said Adi Shankaracharya and Dhyaneshwar advocated the same philosophy: Advaita Vedanta.
However, after some research, I found out that there are some sharp contrasting differences in the philosophies of the two individuals:
Shankara terms the world as mithya (illusion) whereas Dhyaneshwar, like other Vaishnava philosophers, sees the world as a manifestation of Brahman and hence, real.
Shankara believes only Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are eligible for Self-realization. On the other hand, Dhyaneshwar argues that people of all castes and even intercaste progenies are eligible for Self-realization.
It is unclear whether Dhyaneshwar subscribes to the Vedanta school as he regards all castes eligible for Self-realization and also is an admirer of the Nathas, something which is heavily criticised in the Brahma Sutras. Dhyaneshwar also remains silent when the Brahma Sutras text is mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita.
My questions are:
- Does the Varkari sect founded by Dhyaneshwar subscribe to the Vedanta school? If yes, how do they interpret the caste restrictions on Self-realization in the Brahma Sutras?
- What other striking differences are there between the philosophies of Adi Shankaracharya and Dhyaneshwar?