As we see many people enter this blog in search of AdvaitaSiddhi, we decided to post these few blogs, which will be till the Panca Mithyatva Siddhi. These are from the lectures (at present we can see the MP3 links both in english and Tamil of complete AdvaitaSiddhi in the forum), given to the Disciples here in Rishikesh. The text is meticulously keyed-in by Shri Rajit Biswas, after carefully lisetening to the lectures.
Advaita–Siddhi is one of the Brihat prasthana trayis. It was written by Shree Madhusudana Saraswati Swamiji, who was one of the greatest mind India, or rather the world ,had ever seen. He is the author of many books, all of which are greatly lauded in the tradition. Madhusudana Saraswatiji wrote a book called Gujhyartha-Dipika which is not an independent text but based on Gita Bhasyaof Bhagavan Bhasyakara Sankaracharya. One of His another famous texts is Bhakti Rasayana , in which He explains in details the various nuances of Bhakti. This He did of course because he Himself was a great Bhakta and a great Advaitin simultaneously. Madhusudana Saraswatiji was close to Emperor Akbar , as He finds mention in the biography of the Emperor Ain-e –Akbari. It is said that the akhadas like juna akhada etc were started by Him to protect hIndus from Muslim persecution ,with the patronage of Akbar. Advaita Siddhi is perhaps his most famous work as it is considered as one of the Brihat-Prastyhan trayis.All Brihat –Prasthan texts are refutation of some other text and are not independent works. Chitsukhacharya’s Tatwapradipika and Shri Harshaji’s Khandanakhandakhadya both are celebrated texts that deals with refutation of Nyaya-Vaishishika school of thought.Advaita-Siddhi is based , or more precisely, a refutaion of a very celebrated text called Nyayamrita written by Vyasatirtha of the Dualist school.
Though Bhagavan Sankaracharya had beautifully explained the meaning of Shutis , Smris and Brahmasutras in His Bhasyas , in later period due to various factors doubts were raised on this system of Advaita epounded by Him.People who have a pre-concieved mandate of misrepresentation can always find enough scope from any work, even if it is penned down by Bhasyakara Bhagavan Himself.Curiously , those who went against this system of Advaita were generally people who had come to study it, but later changed their affiliations! Maybe it was due to the fact that people in those periods who called themselves Advaitins were just parroting out their beliefs without any realization, had no surrender, lacked devotion, and thus all these Acharyas decided to put their faith on Ishwara rather than following Sankara Bhagavatpada who was Ishwara incarnate.They expounded devotion to a very personal Ishwara calling Him/Her by various names like Shiva, Narayana, Devi etc. Post-Acharya period there was misrepresentation of not only Bhasyakara Bhagavan, but all other great teachers of this Advaita system by these people , who started their own schools of thought like Dwaita, Visthiadwaita.No school can be established without condemnation of other schools of thought. One such person Vyasatirtha Maharaj who belonged to the Dwaita school of Madhvacharya, collected all the criticisms levied by these schools against Advaita and wrote a beautiful book called Nyayamrita. In this book he collects the criticisms of Advaita not only of His own school but also made by Visthiadwaita, etc.
A common feature of Brihat Prasthan Trayi is that all of them are written in Navya Nyaya language. Technical words like avacheda, visesha etc are employed here amply to enhance precision. The debate between dualists and Monists however,does not end here with the Advaita Siddhi. Later another Dualist scholar wrote a book called Tarangani,refuting the arguments of Advaita-Siddhi. A disciple of Madhusudana Saraswati Gauda- Brahmananda replied by writing a commentary on Advaita-Siddhi called Gaud-Brahmanandi.
This book is a prakarana grantha. Each chapter is called a upaprakaranas and there are 108 such Upaprakaranas. The condemnation starts from the very introduction.