Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 05 Jul 2012



Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

[This is a continuation of the question and answer session on Guru Purnima.]

6. The three philosophies of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva differ from each other as we see the disputes and arguments among their followers. How to bring unity among these three main philosophies?

The aim of the preacher is not only the exposure of truth but also upliftment of the people from their existing levels. If exposure of truth alone is the aim, there is no difference between these three preachers. The final 100th step is the absolute common goal for all the preachers. When Shankara came, people were standing on the ground and Shankara will not show the 100th step seeing which all the people will be discouraged to climb. In such case, only the first step should be exposed as the final step so that everybody is encouraged to climb the immediate first step. The teacher always should be aware of the standard of the students and also should be aware of the general human psychology. To expose the first step as the final step is certainly a lie in which there is no trace of truth. But, such a lie is inevitable to help the student to climb the next step from the existing standard. Therefore, the preaching of the preacher should be relevant to the standard of the disciples. Till the student reaches the 99th step, the final 100th step, which is the absolute final truth, should not be exposed. Majority was on the ground [level] at the time of Shankara and hence, only the first step was exposed by Him. This initial task was very tough because people were not interested in climbing at all. Only God can do this and hence, God Shiva Himself came down as Shankara. At that time, very few (His four disciples) were on the 99th step and Shankara showed the 100th step through His personal preaching.

Subsequently, Ramanuja showed the next immediate step to majority of people in higher standard since the standard of the people improved after Shankara. Subsequently, the standard improved and Madhva showed the next step to the majority. Both Ramanuja and Madhva also showed the final step to the minority situated on the 99th step through personal preaching. All the three preachers have written the multi-dimensional commentaries in such a way that any commentary shows the next step to any standard. Each commentary rotates to your angle conveying the necessary meaning to anyone in any standard. The commentary of Shankara is liked by several people in all the times. The reason for this is that several people are standing on the ground in all the times. But, the three commentaries differ in the fundamental level because of the difference in the levels of the majority in the corresponding times. The followers quarrel due to this fundamental difference forgetting that the source of the difference is not in the commentaries, but, is in the levels of majority existing at those corresponding times.

When Shankara came, Buddhists existed as atheists. The first preacher was Buddha, who kept silent on the absolute unimaginable God. Silence is the best way of explanation of the unimaginable item. This silence was misunderstood by the followers as negation of God. Therefore, all the Budhists became atheists. Buddha preached that the whole creation is shunyam, which is the vacuum or space. Again, space is misunderstood as nothing. Space is the first creation of God, which is the subtle energy. The special theory of relativity, proposing the bending of space, proves that space is something and not nothing. The whole creation is space (shunyam) and this means that the whole creation is subtle cosmic energy. Buddhists misunderstood space as nothing and concluded that everything is nothing. When the imaginable creation becomes nothing, there is no need to say specially that unimaginable God is nothing. The task of Shankara was to convert these atheists into theists. If God is said to be unimaginable, it becomes very difficult to establish the existence of the unimaginable God especially in such situation. Hence, Shankara took awareness as the medium for expression of God. Awareness charged by the unimaginable God is the awareness referred by Shankara. In fact, awareness is a specific work form of inert cosmic energy only. Awareness is imaginable item of creation acting as the medium for God. But, this awareness is different from the ordinary awareness or soul, which is a generated product of the inert energy in the functioning nervous system. This ordinary awareness requires the pre-existence of matter and inert energy. That Awareness existed before the creation of matter and energy. This clarification was not purposefully given by Shankara because He wanted to attract the atheists by stating that this ordinary awareness is that extraordinary Awareness or God. This ordinary awareness or soul was misunderstood as that Awareness.

Final Revelation of Datta Swami on God and Soul

In fact, the unimaginable God thinks due to His unimaginable power and not due to being awareness. This ordinary awareness does not exist at all in the unimaginable God. Since we think that thinking is awareness, we call the thinking of the God as awareness. The truth is that the soul is the ordinary awareness, which is imaginable item of creation. God, the creator, is not any item of the creation and is totally unimaginable. Hence, God and soul are totally different (poorna dvaita). Madhva also says that God and soul are different but accepts one similarity i.e., both are awareness. Ramanuja also says that God and soul are different. But, soul is a part of God and thus, qualitatively similar to God. Shankara says that God and soul are one and the same, which is the awareness. Now, Datta Swami says that God and soul are totally different because God is unimaginable and soul is imaginable. At the time of Shankara, the egoistic atheists did not accept the separate existence of God. They concluded that God does not exist at all. Shankara wanted that the atheists should accept first the existence of God. For this purpose, He made partial sacrifice by saying that God is soul. The existence of the soul becomes inevitable because if you yourself do not exist, there is nobody to understand that everything is nothing. The soul (yourself) must exist to understand that everything is nothing. If everything is nothing, [you] yourself should not exist. Therefore, the resolution for this contradiction is that everything is nothing except yourself. The only conclusion that can be arrived at this juncture is that you yourself alone exist and you are God. By this, Shankara proved that both the points of Budhists were wrong since

  1. It is not correct to say that everything is nothing because you exist and
  2. Since you are God, God exists.

At that time, further exposure was not done because the aim of Shankara was only to convert atheist into theist. Further exposure will spoil even this development. Only the intelligence of God could give such powerful trick in the argument to destroy atheism. By this, majority of atheists became theists. Such conversion was helped by fulfilling the human ambition that every soul is already God. The process of becoming God was also made very easy because one becomes God by simply knowing that he is God! Both these attractions associated with this trick worked out for the conversion. Who will not be attracted if you say that all the lottery money is already delivered in his house and the only thing remaining is to become aware of this and enjoy the money?

In course of time, when people were strongly established as theists, Ramanuja opened further truth slowly by stating that the soul is different from God. To avoid the shock, the consolation given was that the soul is a part and parcel of the God. In course of time, when the people are prone to the difference, Madhva stated that God and soul are totally different except that both are made of awareness. This similarity in awareness is the least consolation prize. Today, Datta Swami says that God and soul are totally different and there is no similarity at all even in one point because God is unimaginable and soul is imaginable. Awareness is only a work, which is the process of thinking like walking, talking etc. It is not a characteristic property (guna) that should be associated with the item (dravya). The black color of Rama and Krishna is the associated property of both in all conditions. But, the works like walking, talking, thinking etc., can be totally absent in one, while present in the other, in the same time. Rama is thinking, talking and walking but Krishna in deep sleep, neither thinks nor talks nor walks. Hence, work (kriya) is different from quality. You may say that the same awareness is thinking in awaken and dream states and is not thinking in the deep sleep. This is not correct. The thinking in deep sleep is absent because the awareness itself is absent. Hence, the very process of thinking is awareness. Therefore, the process of thinking does not give the information of any quality of the thinker. Hence, the thinking God and thinking soul are totally different and you cannot bring the similarity of thinking in both since thinking is not an associated quality in both. Thus, the difference between God and soul is gradually opened as the people reduce their ambition in course of time.

The Three Commentaries Apply in the Contemporary Incarnation

All these commentaries [Advaita, Vishistaadvaita and Dvaita] will apply to the concept of contemporary human incarnation in the case of people, who came out of ambition, ego and jealousy towards co-human form. In this new dimension, all the three commentaries are rightly interpreted. Advaita (God and soul are one and the same), Vishishtaadvaita (soul is inseparable part of God) and Dvaita (God and soul are different except the similarity of awareness) are correct concepts simultaneously if the discussion is confined to the topic of human incarnation only, leaving the context of God and ordinary soul. God charges the soul (human being) in the process of becoming human incarnation. Shankara feels that you should not differentiate God from the charged soul and serve the present human incarnation with full faith treating It as God. Shankara was authentic to declare such concept because He Himself was God in human form. The topic of difference between God and soul is also valid concept because people started believing that Krishna is God in one generation. The people of the next generation thought that Krishna alone is God and were unable to recognize the next human incarnation present in their time. Krishna said in the Gita that He will come again and again in human form (Yadaayadaahi …). Jambavan worshipped Rama as God but the same Jambavan could not recognize Krishna as God in the next generation. The reason was that Jambavan could not separate the unimaginable God from the imaginable human form called Rama. The unimaginable God changed to other imaginable human form called Krishna. Unless you are aware of the total difference (Poorna Dvaita) between unimaginable God and imaginable soul, you cannot recognize the contemporary human incarnation. At the same time, while serving the contemporary human incarnation, Advaita is inevitable because you cannot catch the unimaginable God in any way except through the contemporary imaginable and visible human form existing before your eyes. You can leave the past human incarnations with the help of Ramanuja and Madhva through difference and worship the present human incarnation of God with the help of Shankara through monism of God and soul.