Does any Advaitin has answered or has answers to Shri Madhwacharya's Mayavada Khandana and Upadhi Khandana?



Edit: The existing answers have amply replied for Mayavada khandana. But Upadhi Khandana is not yet answered.

  • 3
    Dwaitha Vada is just speculation. There's no proof of Panchabheda and all that nonsence in Vedas. Read : archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.21934/mode/2up and qr.ae/pNqvFE Madhusudhana's book is final answer to their questions. Also, Advaitha is the natural conclusion of Upanishads Jan 28, 2021 at 2:35
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    Varun I dint downvote. You can check my profile. I dont know answer. I trust Advaitha because Swami Vivekananda says " I may make bold to say that the only religion which agrees with, and even goes a little further than modern researchers, both on physical and moral lines is the Advaita Jan 28, 2021 at 7:08
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    and that is why it appeals to modern scientists so much. They find that the old dualistic theories are not enough for them, do not satisfy their necessities. A man must have not only faith, but intellectual faith too" And Advaitha indeed is essence of Shruti also. Let me share some links. Jan 28, 2021 at 7:08
  • hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/40847/19211 Also go to his Blog and read all his articles. He studies Vedas. This is all I can say Jan 28, 2021 at 7:12
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    i had upvoted.. thanks but i would say advaitins are so afraid of critics they wanted to close as soon as possible.. its fun to watch..@VARUNNRAO
    – Prasanna R
    Jan 31, 2021 at 7:41

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are answers to Shri Madhwacharya's Mayavada Khandana and Upadhi Khandana given by Advaita scholars.

For example, in the Vakyartha vidwat sadas of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham held every year, scholars debate various philosophies and discuss why Advaita is tenable. In 2008, the refutation of Mayavada Khandana was provided. See the site containing the set of papers.

The fourth paper is मायावादखण्डननिरासः — विद्वान् के.पि. बाबुदासः, कालटी presented by K.P. Babudas of Kalady.

Similarly, in 2011, in the vidwat sadas, he refuted the work Shri Madhwacharya's Tattvodyota.

All major works of Dvaita have been refuted by Advaita scholars and Gurus. However, the primary source of Dvaita is the Nyāyāmṛtam of Sri Vyāsatīrtha. Sri Madhusudana Saraswati, the author of the Advaita siddhi and its commentator Brahmananda Saraswati have done monumental work in refuting the philosophy of Nyāyāmṛtam and given the arguments of Advaita.

Your primary question is If Brahman is Self luminous, why does Maya cover it? anAdi mAyA and samsara are not within the gamut of logic. Advaita holds all this ‘anirvachanIya’. Two answers can be provided: From the paramarthika point of view, Brahman was always luminous and there was no avidya at all. From the vyavaharika point, avidya is to be removed, then it will be realized that Brahman was always Self luminous.

Tirodhaanaanupapatti – logical inconsistency in regard to obscuration (aavaranam). Objection: Avidya obscures Brahman which is eternal self-effulgence amounts to saying that the nature of Brahman is destroyed. Refutation: The obscuration (tirodhaanai) is in the form of jiva’s non-apprehension of jiva himself being Brahman. This non-apprehension does not affect Brahman just like the formation of a cloud hiding the sun cannot be attributed to the sun.

Atma Bodha is very clear on this

parichChinna ivAj~nAnAttannAshe sati kevalaH | avachChinna svayaM prakAshate hyAtmA meghApAye.n.ashumAniva || 4||

Due to Ajnana (ignorance), one imposes limits to Atma. When this Ajnana is destroyed, Atma can be visualised just as sun appears emerging when dark clouds are dispersed.

Verse 17 of advaitamakaranda is similar:

tathApyAbhAti ko.apyeSha vichArAbhAvajIvanaH . avashyAyashchidAkAshe vichArArkodayAvadhiH .. 17..

This inexplicable ignorance appears in the absence of enquiry. It is like thick mist in the space of Consciousness that lasts till the rise of the sun of Knowledge, born of enquiry.

As the true nature of sun appears to be hidden by a cloud, the true nature of the eternal and self-luminous Atma is hidden by ignorance. This ignorance can be only destroyed by knowledge, arising due to realisation.

Regarding the upadhi, from Atma Bodha

dehendriyaguNaankarmaaNyamale sachchidaatmani . adhyasyantyavivekena gagane niilataadivat.h .. 21..

Due to lack of discrimination, people superimpose on the Atman [which is the Absolute-Existence-Knowledge (Sat-Chit)] all the varied functions of the body and the senses. This is just as they attribute blue color to the sky.

Sky is not blue but appears so. Due to lack of discrimination, upadhis are superimposed on Brahman.

aGYaanaanmaanasopaadheH kartutvaadiini chaatmani . kalpyante.ambugate chandre chalanaadi yathaambhasaH . 22..

The doership of action, enjoyment and other limitations really belong only to the mind but are understood to be the nature of the Atman due to delusion. This is like attributing the trembling of the moon reflected in the water to the moon and not to the water.

The ring is a name for Gold in that form (vAchArambhaNa) and is called upadhi of gold. Even though gold is identified in the form of ring, the form itself will not affect gold. The knowledge of gold is not influenced by the ring and is same as derived from ring, bracelet or necklace. The ring, - which is not a part of gold, but used to identify gold - is called the upAdhi of gold.

Shankara makes this statement in his Brahma sutra bhasya:

upAdhi, though attached to object, is not attached; upAdhi though appears to be in object, is not in object.

The names and forms of jagat are upAdhis for Brahman. Though Brahman may be identified by its upAdhis, it is unaffected by it just like gold is unaffected by the ring or bracelet.

In the Gita Bhasya of Shankara, the declaration of Krishna in gIta

mat sthAni sarva bhUtAni na cha aham tEshu avasthitah 9.4

Though all beings are in Me, I am not placed in them. Thus jagat itself is a upAdhi of Brahman. Gold is in all rings but change of form from ring to bracelet does not affect the gold.

Thus, according to Shankara, Brahman is the abhinna nimitta (undifferentiated material) as well as upAdAna kAraNa (intelligent cause) of the jagat.

  • Excellent answer, but its only half, please also talk about Upadhi Khandana, especially about 3B) b) If it is insisted that the Upadhi does not merely indicate the distinction but actually causes it, then, does it cause the distinction by contacting the whole of the object to be differentiated or a part of it? If the whole, then it is unable to differentiate, if by contacting a part, then to carve out that part another Upadhi will be required. This leads to the Infinit regress i.e., Anavastha.
    – user13262
    Jan 28, 2021 at 13:39
  • Added a brief discussion on upadhi based on advaita
    Jan 28, 2021 at 14:45
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    Sorry for being pedantic, but in the above answer does not answer the specific doubt raised Shri Madhvacharya. In Brahman there is no type of difference. But all the examples of upadhi give something with space difference. Like the Ghatakasha and Matakasha. The Akasha already has bheda, of here and there, the wall divides the bheda that is already present. So this analogy does not work with Brahman as there is no bheda in him like here and there. If at all Upadhi introduces Bheda, that has to be expained.
    – user13262
    Jan 28, 2021 at 15:56
  • Sorry. Maybe I am unable to explain better. There is no upadhi in Brahman. Upadhi in Brahman is imagined due to ignorance.
    Jan 28, 2021 at 16:36
  • Yes but there is no bheda in Brahman so what is the upadhi actually dividing? This is what precisely Upadhi Khandanam is asking.
    – user13262
    Jan 28, 2021 at 18:06

http://mayavadadarpanam.blogspot.com/2006/05/introduction-to-madhwacharyas-work.html Here is a long blog.

Also, about Upadhi 'dividing', the division/dividing is not real. It is impossible to bring about any division in Brahman. Yet, an appearance of such a division is caused by maya. That is why Maya is called 'aghaTita ghaTanA paTeeyasee.' - that which enables something that is impossible. For Advaitins the apparent bheda is derived from the Shruti vaakya-s themselves. For example 'Tat tvam asi' teaches that 'you are that' and not 'you will become that'. So, the already existing fact is what is reiterated here. That means there was no real 'I am not That'. When the correction 'You are That' is made by the shruti, it implies that there has been a mistaken notion that I am not that. This correction gives ample ground for the Advaitin to infer that 'there has been a difference, due to ajnana, which is now removed by this correcting instruction of the Shruti.' Same with 'aham Brahma asmi'. This realization is had by Brahman itself in Brihadaranyaka 1.4.10. The passage says: Brahman was Brahman before this knowledge too. It realized itself as 'I am Brahman' and as a result of that, realized its aparicchinna svarupa, tasmat tat sarvam abhavat. Before this realization there was asarvatva bhrama. This is eradicated by this realization. So, there is ground for the Advaitin to infer: the asarvatva bhrama was there for Brahman which is now removed.

  • Thank you for answering.
    – user13262
    Jan 30, 2021 at 18:38
  • The problem is even though the space is relative, there is still space . There is spatial difference. Any analogy given by the Advaitins like Sky, Ocean etc there is always spatial difference. This difference is made apparent by Upadhi. Ok. But in Brahman there is no difference. So what exactly is the Upadhi dividing and causing the universe. Every answer simply says maya does this. It creates bheda. But how?? How exactly does Maya create bheda. Not one analogy is given where something without spatial difference is divided.
    – user13262
    Jan 30, 2021 at 18:42
  • The classic example of Ghatakasha and Matakasha uses Akasha, which already has spatial difference. The relativity of here and there is irrelevant to the topic. The point is there is distance. This already existing distance is divided by wall. This analogy doesn't work for Brahman. Because unlike space, Brahman has no difference. This is what I'm facing difficulty in understanding.
    – user13262
    Jan 30, 2021 at 18:46
  • "Yet, an appearance of such a division is caused by maya" How....?
    – user13262
    Jan 31, 2021 at 7:07

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