While I discuss Shri Madhwacharya's Mayavada Khandanam in this question, his entrie argument against Advaita seems to rest on the fact that Advaitins claim that Brahman or Atman is Svaprakasha (Self luminous w.r.t Knowledge).

Is this true? Do Advaitins claim so?

Please supplement your answer with appropriate sources.

1 Answer 1


From Vivekachudamani

svaprakAshamadhiShThAnaM svayambhUya sadAtmanA .

brahmANDamapi piNDANDaM tyajyatAM malabhANDavat 289

Being the self-luminous Brahman, the sole substratum of all things, reject the macrocosm and microcosm, like a vessel full of impurities.

From the blog

The cognizing self alone is self-luminous and the rest of the three factors are not self-luminous being devoid of consciousness. It is the mind and the sense organ which relates the cognizing self to the object. The self alone is the knower and the rest are knowable as objects of knowledge. At the same time the existence of mind is indubitable. It is the mind that helps to distinguish between various perceptions. It is because of the self-luminous (svata-prakāṣa) nature of pure consciousness that the subject knows and the object is known. In his commentary to Taittirīya Upaniṣad, Śaṅkara says that “consciousness is the very nature of the Self and inseparable from It.” The cognizing self, the known object, the object-knowledge, and the valid means of knowledge (pramāṅa) are essentially the manifestations of one pure consciousness.

From The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara

The Self is not revealed by Sruti. The Self is self-luminous (sva-prakASa) and self-established (pra-Siddha). The work of the valid means of knowledge called Scripture (verbal testimony) is to remove all the false notions which have been superimposed upon the Self.

From pa~nchadashI (Chapter 10) of shrI vidyAraNya svAmi

Similarly, the supreme Self which is self-luminous exists before the origination of the universe, during the period of appearance of the universe, and also after the dissolution of the universe.

From advaita makaranda by lakSmIdharakavi

na prakAshe.ahamityuktiryatprakAshaikabandhanA . svaprakAshaM tamAtmAnamaprakAshaH kathaM spR^ishet.h .. 16..

Based on which light is the statement, “I do not know” made? How can the self luminous Self be covered by ignorance?

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    Oh my God, Shri Madhwacharya was correct. Advaitins do claim self to be svaprakasha. Then how do you explain Mayavada Khandana from Advaitha? Refer hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/44437/… "Based on which light is the statement, “I do not know” made? How can the self luminous Self be covered by ignorance?" exactly how can the self luminous be covered by ignorance? Or is it?
    – user13262
    Jan 28, 2021 at 6:29
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    The answer is given in the next verse. Verse 17 says 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. A simile given elsewhere talks about clouds [seemingly] covering the sun.
    Jan 28, 2021 at 12:53
  • The self is not knower. Self is not known. Self is both knower known and the unknown. It isn't covered by ignorance. It is the jeeva which is covered by ignorance. Individual being. Self isn't something individual. Jan 29, 2021 at 6:16

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