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Shuddhadvaita 1

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Shuddadvaita (Sanskrit: śuddhādvaita; pure non-dualism ) is the "purely non-dual" philosophy propounded by Shri
Vallabhacharya (1479-1531 CE), the founding philosopher and guru of the Vallabhā sampradāya (tradition of
Vallabh) or Puśtimārg (The path of grace), a Hindu Vaishnava tradition focused on the worship of Krishna.
Vallabhacharya's pure form (nondualist) philosophy is different from Advaita. The Shrinathji temple at Nathdwara,
and compositions of eight poets (aṣṭachap), including Surdas, are central to the worship by the followers of the
Though the tradition originated near Vrindavana in the current Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in modern times
followers of Shuddadvaita are concentrated in the states of Rajasthan and Gujurat.[2]
In the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge and understanding of reality, the central topic would be describing the
Supreme Entity or Brahm. Vedas primarily contain references to the adwait nature of Brahm. However, depending
on how a scholar perceives those verses, s/he might see duality— dwait aspect as well. This ambiguity has led to
several philosophical traditions in the Indian history, such as:
• Adwait vaad or Mayavaad of Shankaracharya
• Dwait vaad or Bhedvaad of Madhvacharya
• Vishistadwait vaad of Ramanujacharya
• Dwaitadwait vaad of Nimbarkacharya
• Shuddhadwait vaad of Vallabhacharya
• Achintya Bhedabhed vaad of Krishna Chaitanya
Shuddhadvaita 2

Vallabhacharya was a devotional philosopher, who founded the Pushti sect in India. He won the title of acharya by
traveling and debating advaita scholars from a young age. He is considered an avatar of Krishna by the followers of
the tradition.[1]
In 1493-94 Vallabhacharya is said to have identified an image of Krishna at the Govardhan hill at Braj. This image,
now called Shrinathji and located at Nathdwara, Rajasthan, is central to the worship by Vallabha followers.[3]

Initiating mantra
According to Vallabha tradition, one night in 1494, Vallabhacharya received the Brahmasambandha mantra (the
mantra that binds one with Brahman, or Krishna) from Krishna himself (hence the name, mukhāvatāra) at Gokula.
The eight-syllable mantra, śri kṛṣṇaḥ śaraṇaṃ mama (Lord Krishna is my refuge), is passed onto new initiates in
Vallabh sampradaya, and the divine name is said to rid the recipient of all impurities of the soul (doṣas) .[2] [3]

The school of in-essence monism or purified non-dualism of Vallabha sees equality in "essence" of the individual
self with God. There is no real difference between the two (like the analogy of sparks to fire). However, unlike
Shankara's Advaita, Vallabha does not deny God as the whole and the individual as the part. The individual soul is
not the Supreme (Satcitananda) clouded by the force of avidya, but is itself Brahman, with one attribute (ananda)
rendered imperceptible. The soul is both a doer and enjoyer. It is atomic in size, but pervades the whole body
through its essence of intelligence (like sandalwood makes its presence felt through its scent even if sandalwood
can't be seen).
Unlike Advaita, the world of Maya is not regarded as unreal, since Maya is nothing else than a power of Ishvara. He
is not only the creator of the universe but is the universe itself. Vallabha cites the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
account, that Brahman desired to become many, and he became the multitude of individual souls and the world.
Although Brahman is not known, He is known when He manifests Himself through the world.
Bhakti is the means of salvation, though Jnana is also useful. Karmas precede knowledge of the Supreme, and are
present even when this knowledge is gained. The liberated perform all karmas. The highest goal is not Mukti or
liberation, but rather eternal service of Krishna and participation along with His activities in His Divine abode of
Vrindavana. Vallabha distinguishes the transcendent consciousness of Brahman as Purushottama. Vallabha lays a
great stress on a life of unqualified love and devotion towards God.
In all the philosophical traditions, it is common practice to describe how the Supreme Entity Brahm is related to us
and our surroundings. In the system of Suddhadwait Vedant, otherwise known as Brahmvaad, the One, secondless
Ultimate Reality is the only category. Every other thing has proceeded from it at the time of creation, is non-different
from it during creation and merges into it at the time of dissolution. The two other well known categories namely the
animate souls and the inanimate objects are respectively its parts and modifications. The animate souls are its parts
because they retain to some extent the essential qualities thereof namely consciousness and joy. The inanimate
objects are its modification because the above said qualities are absent therein.[4]
Shuddhadvaita 3

Everything is Krishna's Leela

According to the version of Vaishnava Theology Vallabhacharya espoused; the glorious Krishna in His
"Satcitananda" form is the Absolute, Svayam bhagavan. He is permanently playing out His sport (leela) from His
seat in the goloka which is even beyond the divine Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and Satya-loka, the abode of
Brahma the Creator, and Kailas, the abode of Shiva. Creation is His sport.

Path to bliss in the Kali Yuga

Followers of Vallabhacharya maintain that if one wants to obtain moksha and the bliss given by Krishna, the only
path to do so is bhakti. In the Kali Yuga, it is believed that the forms of bhakti mentioned in the scriptures are nearly
impossible to practice, so the followers of Vallabhacharya recommend pushti bhakti – obtaining the grace of God for
seemingly no reason. This path is called pushti-maarg.

It is that bhakti which gives itself up body, heart and soul to the cause of God. It is considered to be the fullest
expression of what is known as Atma-nivedana (= giving-up of oneself) among the nine forms of bhakti (Nava
Vidha Bhakti). It is the bhakti of the devotee who worships God not for any reward or presents but for His own sake.
Such a devotee goes to Goloka after leaving this body and lives in eternal bliss enjoying the sports of the Lord. The
classical example of this complete self-effacement is that of the cow-herdesses towards Krishna. They spoke no
word except prayer and they moved no step except towards Krishna. Their supreme-most meditation was on the
lotus-feet of Krishna.Thus it is by God's grace alone that one can obtain release from bondage and attain Krishna's
heaven, Goloka.

Eight disciples of Vallabhacharya are called the ashta-chaap (eight reprints). Foremost among them was Surdas, the
blind poet of Agra.
These are Surdas, Krushnadas, Paramanand, Kumbhandas, Chaturbhuj, Nanddas, Chhitswami, Govinddas.

Shuddhadwait Martand
Shuddhadwait is defined more thoroughly in verse 27-28 from Shuddhadwait Martand:
शुद्धाद्वैतापदे ज्ञेय: समास: कर्मधारय: I
अद्वैतं शुद्धयो: प्राहुः षष्ठी तत्पुरुषमं बुधा: II
मायासंबंधरहितमं शुद्धमित्युच्यते बुधै: I
कार्यकरणरूपमं हि शुद्धं ब्रह्म न मायिकम़् II [5]
"It is Karmdharay samaas : Shuddham ch tat adwaitam (The Pure and its non-dualism). Or, it is the Shashti
Tatpurush samaas Shuddhyoh adwaitam (The Non-dual is pure). In this system, the combination of Maya with
Brahm is done away with; therefore the cause of this world is not Brahm covered by Maya. But the pure
Brahm and only pure Brahm is the effect and cause of this world."[6]
Shuddhadvaita 4

• Beck, Guy L. (1993). Sonic theology: Hinduism and sacred sound. Columbia, S.C: University of South Carolina
Press. ISBN 0-87249-855-7.
• Flood, Gavin (Ed) (2003), Blackwell companion to Hinduism, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-21535-2

Related links
• Pushtimarg [7]
• Shuddhadwait Blog [8]

[1] Martin, Nancy M., "North Indian Hindi devotional literature" in Flood 2003, pp. 182-198
[2] Beck 1993, pp. 194-195
[3] Colas, Gerard, "History of Vaiṣṇava traditions" in Flood 2003, pp. 229-270
[4] PhD thesis, "The system of Shuddhadwait Vedant of Vallabhacharya" (http:/ / www. pushtimarg. net/ newPushti/ pushti_vidhanam/ book/
english/ bramhavaad. pdf) by Goswami Raghunathji
[5] Shuddhadwait Martand, verse 27-28
[6] Anubhashya on Brahmsutras, 2005, Introduction pp. iv
[7] http:/ / www. pushtimarg. net
[8] http:/ / shuddhadwait. blogspot. com
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