It would be interesting to note that:
- Just as in Advaita,in Dvaita(D) and VishiTAdvaita (VA) too there is no independent existence/reality to the jiva-jagat.
- While Advaita uses ‘vyavaharika satyam’ nomenclature, D uses paratantra to signify the dependent reality consisting of jiva-jagat. In VA they have a sheSha-sheShi bhAva where too the former (jiva-jagat) is dependent on the latter (Brahman). In the Bhagavadgita bhashya 14.1 Shankara has used the term ‘paratantra’ to denote the prakRti-puruSha duo (jagat – jiva) – ईश्वरपरतन्त्रयोः क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोः जगत्कारणत्वम्, न तु सांख्यनामिव स्वतन्त्रयोः….[the cause of the world is the jiva-prakRti duo which are subservient to/dependent on Ishwara (Brahman) and not the duo which are independent as held by the Sankhya system.]
- While only Advaita openly denies an absolute existence-reality to the dependent jiva-jagat, the other two systems do not openly say so, although they clearly imply that the duo does not have an existence/reality independent of Brahman.
- Since a sattA, existence, that is derived from another entity, Brahman, is similar to the sattA of the superimposed snake (which derives its sattA from another entity, the substratum rope), the dependent’s sattA is really no sattA at all. In other words the dependent (jiva jagat) does not have any existence of its own. By extension, just like the superimposed snake, the dependents have no reality too of their own; their reality is only relative. Says Dr.B.N.K.Sharma, noted author of books in English on Dvaita Vedanta (in ‘The History of Dvaita Vedanta and its Literature’):
// Though *existence is thus ‘reality’*, Madhva recognizes that its highest expression must be metaphysical independence of every other form of existence in *finite reality*, in respect of its being, powers and activity. Everything in *finite reality* is therefore grounded in the *Independent Reality,* known as Brahman and needs it for its being and becoming. //
- Thus one can see all the three schools have this in common: The world/jiva duo has no independent existence/reality. Brahman alone has independent/infinite existence/reality. The dependent entities are grounded in Brahman.
- This commonality will come to the limelight only when one examines the Brahman of each school to determine that the ‘attributes’ of Brahman are all ONLY jiva-jagat dependent and therefore do not really belong to Brahman as intrinsic to It. In other words, for example, the jagatkAraNatvam (cause of the world/creation) attribute of Brahman depends on the world. To explain further: Brahman gets this epithet of jagatkAraNam ONLY through the agency of prakRti without which no creation is possible by Brahman. Says Shankara in the BSB 1.4.3: //But this primal state is held by us to be subject to the Supreme Lord, but not as an independent thing. That state has to be admitted, because it serves a purpose. Without that latent state, the creatorship of God cannot have any meaning, inasmuch as God cannot act without His power (of Maya)…// We can see how Brahman does not enjoy limitless power in creation. मया अध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सूयते सचराचरम् (Bh.Gita IX.10). This shows that Brahman’s is only a supervisory role/sAkShi providing sattA and sphuraNa. The actual creating is on the part of the prakRti (called Lakshmi, etc. in other schools). Without the world this attribute of Creatorship can not inhere in Brahman. यत्सत्वे यत्सत्वम्, यदभावे यदभावः This means: जगत्सत्वे जगत्कारणत्वम् ब्रह्मणः, जगद्विना तत्कारणत्वाभावः ब्रह्मणि. In this manner each of the attributes can be seen to be ‘attached’, tagged on, to Brahman ONLY on the basis of something that is extraneous to /different from Brahman. As we saw at the beginning all schools admit jiva-jagat to be different from Brahman. When thus the attributes are discerned to be not belonging to Brahman, we arrive at the attributeless Brahman of Advaita.
Thus one can see that there is no real difference between/across the three schools.
Om Tat Sat