Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 16 May 2023


If an advaita philosopher thinks that he is Brahman and gets bliss, how can we criticize him?

[Devotees asked some questions during some recent Satsangas and Swami replied to them, which are given below.]

[Prof. Dr. Jsr Prasad asked:- If an Advaita philosopher thinks that he is Brahman and enters the bliss, is it not the same bliss in which the Brahman is entertained? Since bliss is a form of thought only, how can we criticise such an Advaita philosopher?]

Swami Replied:- I will give the whole story of the Advaita philosopher and also the point where he stopped his story. Had he moved one step further, the true picture of the Advaita philosopher can be easily understood by himself. The story is like this:- One person (Shankara) told everybody that everybody have got a 1 Crore lottery, deposited in their bank accounts. All ran to the bank. The gate keeper (Ramanuja) told that each got only Rs. 10,000/-. People thought that it is better to withdraw at least this small amount and went inside the bank submitting withdrawal forms for withdrawing that small amount. The manager of the bank (Madhva) told that all the news is false and one can get even 1 Crore by doing hardwork. One fellow went back, earned 1 Crore and deposited it in the bank to withdraw monthly interest. The other people told the bank manager that after all, the owner of 1 Crore is getting only theoretical bliss finally, which can be obtained even by them, even without earning 1 Crore. The manager told that he has no objection. At this point, the Advaita philosopher ended his story and came home enjoying the 1 Crore-theoretical bliss just like the owner of the real 1 Crore. Up to this point, the story says that one need not put unnecessary practical effort to earn 1 Crore because simply by enjoying the thought of assumed 1 Crore-ownership, one can get the same theoretical bliss of a real 1 Crore-owner.

But the story did not end at the above point. The real 1 Crore-owner is going to the bank, withdrawing the monthly interest, comes back to his home with so many purchased items and every false 1 Crore-owner is looking at him practically. When the unreal assumption of 1 Crore-ownership gave so much bliss, will not the real 1 Crore-ownership give many-folded misery to the Advaita philosophers? When the Advaita philosopher sees practically the Human Incarnation like Krishna, will his theoretical bliss not evaporate immediately? Hence, the monism of Shankara is correct in Krishna and is not correct in every soul. He clearly demonstrated this point by drinking molten lead saying that He alone is God Shiva (Śivaḥ kevalo'ham). He also told that one soul is God (Jīvo Brahmaiva nāparaḥ). He did not say that all souls are God (Jīvāḥ Brahmaiva nāparāḥ). At least, He did not say that any soul is God (Jīvo Brahmaiva ko'pi ca). Shankara is the most intelligent and is very careful in His statements.