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Monday, November 10, 2014

Mayavada by Sankaracarya

Sankaracarya taught the Absolute Truth is impersonal and thus he indirectly denied the existence of God. Sankaracarya's mission was special; he appeared to reestablish the Vedic influence after the influence of Buddhism. Because Buddhism was patronized by Emperor Asoka, 2600 years ago the Buddhist religion practically pervaded all of India. According to the Vedic literature, Buddha is an incarnation of Krsna who had a special power and who appeared for a special purpose. His system of thought or faith was accepted widely, but Buddha rejected the authority of the Vedas. While Buddhism was spreading, the Vedic culture was stopped both in India and in other places. Therefore, since Sankaracarya's only aim was to drive away Buddha's system of philosophy, he introduced a system called Mayavada.

Strictly speaking, Mayavada philosophy is atheism, for it is a process in which one imagines that there is God. This Mayavada system of philosophy has been existing since time immemorial. The present Indian system of religion or culture is based on the Mayavada philosophy of Sankaracarya, which is a compromise with Buddhist philosophy. According to Mayavada philosophy there actually is no God, or if God exists, He is impersonal and all-pervading and can therefore be imagined in any form.

For the Mayavadis, ultimately all is zero. They say that one may imagine any authority whether Visnu, Durga, Lord Siva or the sun-god because these are the devas generally worshiped in society. But the Mayavada philosophy does not in fact accept the existence of any of them. The Mayavadis say that because one cannot concentrate one's mind on the impersonal Brahman, one may therefore imagine any of these forms. This is a new system, calledpancopasana. It was introduced by Sankaracarya, but Bhagavad-gita does not teach such doctrines, and therefore they are not authoritative.