| Refutation of
the impersonal understanding of the Absolute
(Shankaracharya vis Ramanujacharya)
Shankaracarya said: "In half a verse, I am summarizing the truth that has been expressed by volumes and volumes of scripture. Within only half a verse I shall give the essence of all truths: brahma satyam, jagan mithya. Brahman, spirit, is true - this world is false. And the jiva is nothing but Brahman. This is the substance of all the scriptures." Proper knowledge is not possible under the philosophical systems of Buddha and Sankaracharya. If what they say is true - the world is false - then we must ask, "Why do you speak? And to whom? If everything is false, is your philosophy also imagination?" We will have to ask Sankaracharya, "Does your coming to this world and your endeavor to refute Buddhism and establish oneness as the ultimate truth have no meaning? Who have you come to preach to? Why have you come to preach if this world has no reality? If this world is false, then why are you taking so much trouble to explain your philosophy? For what? Is your mission also imagination?"
The first great opponent of Sankaracharya was Ramanuja. Ramanuja's refutation
was very strong and based on a sound foundation. Ramanuja argued: "What
is the necessity for Sankaracharya to endeavor with so much energy to
establish his philosophy if it is all fictitious? To this Ramanuja say,
the world is false, is a suicidal position. Has he come here to do nothing?
He has come to correct us and free us from error, but there must be errors.
Error or misconception has reality, otherwise, what is the necessity of
spending so much energy refuting so many propositions? Maya exists. Maya
is eternal. The individual soul is eternal, and maya is also eternal."
from the book: SUBJECTIVE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS