Mayavada-sata-dusani
or
Sri Tattva-muktavali
The Pearl Necklace of Truths or 100 Refutations of the Mayavada Fallacy

by Sri  Madhvacarya

 

Text 1 
All glories to Lord Krsna, who is simultaneously the protector of the faithful devotees and the devastating eternal time factor destroying the cruel demon kings. Krsna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, is as splendid as a young tamala tree. He is the source of the limitless Brahman effulgence. He is the master of all potencies. He is decorated with a vaijayanti flower garland, and His forehead is splendidly decorated with tilaka. 
 
Text 2 
A devotee has full faith in the words of the Puranas.  Every morning he faithfully and happily studies the  Puranas, and in this way his mind penetrates the actual  meaning of the scriptures. 
 
Text 3 
A certain imaginative Vedanta commentator has presented  a false theory that the individual spirit soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are one in all respects.  A devotee scholar, learned in the Puranas, rejects this  fallacy and, with expert logic, establishes the eternal  distinction between the individual spirit soul and the  Supreme Personality of Godhead. Quoting abundant  evidence from the sruti and smrti, the devotee scholar  presents many arguments to conclusively prove the  difference between the individual spirit soul and the  Supreme Personality of Godhead. 
 
Text 4 
The individual spirit soul is always limited. The  Supreme is always unlimited. The difference is clearly  established in the descriptions of Vedic literature.  Because the natures of the Supreme and the individual  spirit soul are so different, it must be concluded that  they are eternally different entities. They cannot be  the same. 
 
Text 5 
The Mayavadis may object: "The individual spirit souls  are not different from the Supreme, just as the air in  a pot and the air in the sky are not different. Indeed, simply by citing this analogy, I have proved that the individual spirit souls  are identical with the Supreme." To this statement I reply: "This is not a very good  argument. The Supreme is unlimited and cannot be  compared to any limited material manifestation, such as  the material sky. He is not at all like the material  sky and, therefore, your analogy is not very good  evidence to support your views." 
 
Text 6 
The Mayavadi commentator on the Vedanta claimed that  the words tat tvam asi are the maha-vakya, the most  important statement in the Vedas. According to this  explanation, tat means "the Supreme," tvam means "you,"  and asi means "are." He interpreted the phrase to mean  "you are the Supreme" and he claimed that there is no  difference between the Supreme  and the individual  spirit souls. 
The Vaisnava commentator on Vedanta interpreted these  words in a different way, saying that tat-tvam is a  possessive compound word (sasthi-tatpurusa-samasa).  According to his explanation, tat means "of the  Supreme," and the entire phrase means "you are the  servant of the Supreme." In this way the proper meaning  of the scriptural statement is clearly shown. 
 
Text 7 
O friend, the Supreme is all-knowing and He sees  everything. From Him, this entire astonishing and  variegated material cosmos has emanated. He creates,  maintains, and destroys the entire universe by slightly  moving His eyebrow. O friend, you are not like Him. You  are ignorant of so many things and your vision is  limited, although you wish to see everything. The  Supreme is full of all opulences, and He is the  ultimate witness who observes everyone. O friend, the  individual living entities are numerous, but the  Supreme is one only. You are stunted and impure by  material contact, but He remains always pure and free  from the touch of matter. O friend, your nature is  completely different from His in these ways. 
 
Text 8 
The objection may be raised: "The Vedas say brahmaham  asmi ('I am Brahman'). The word brahman is certainly in  the nominative case (prathama vibhakti). You cannot say  it is possessive (sasthi) and thus change the meaning.  How is it that you have foolishly interpreted tat tvam  asi as a possessive compound (sasthi-tatpurusa-samasa)?  How can you avoid interpreting the quote api ca so  yam  devadattah ('O Devadatta, you are that') in the  nominative (prathama) and try to make it genitive  (sasthi)?" 
To this I reply: "When the scriptures explain that the  individual spirit soul is Brahman, the proper  understanding is that the individual souls are like  tiny sparks that have emanated from the great fire of  the Supreme Brahman. As far as the possessive compound  (sasthi-tatpurusa) interpretation of tat tvam asi: you  may not like it, but it is certainly grammatically  sound. Why do you not accept it?" 
 
Text 9 
Accustomed to speak in metaphors, poets say: "This  youthful brahmana is a blazing fire," "This beautiful  face is the disc of the full moon," "These breasts are  Mount Meru," or "These hands are blossoming twigs." The  charm of these metaphors lies in considering two  things, which are actually different, to be completely  equal because they have one common feature. The poetic  author of the Vedas has used this device in the phrase  brahmaham asmi. The spiritual living entities have  emanated from the Supreme Brahman, but they are not  equal to Him in all respects. 
 
Text 10 
Innumerable waves splash within the great ocean and, in  the same way, countless spirit souls exist within the  Supreme  Brahman. A single wave can never become the  ocean. O individual spirit soul, how do you think you  will become the Supreme Brahman? 
 
Text 11 
Everywhere in the Vedic scriptures pairs of opposites  are described. Spiritual enlightenment and spiritual  darkness, religion and irreligion, knowledge and  ignorance are all described as different. The Vedic  scriptures also describe the Supreme Brahman and the  individual spirit soul as different in the same way. O  saintly audience, how can anyone, with an honest heart,  claim that the individual spirit soul and the Supreme  Brahman are identical in all respects? 
 
Text 12 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the foundation  upon which everything rests. He is the supreme monarch  and the independent controller of the illusory potency  (maya). O individual spirit soul, you are simply a  reflection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only  one moon shines in the sky, although innumerable  reflections of that moon may appear in the water or  other places. O individual spirit soul, the Supreme  Personality of Godhead is like that single original  moon, and the individual spirit souls are like  innumerable reflections of Him. Just as the reflections  remain always distinct from the moon itself, in the  same way the individual spirit souls remain eternally  different from their original source, the Supreme  Personality of Godhead. O individual spirit soul, this  is the eternal distinction between you and the Supreme. 
 
Text 13 
The Vedic scriptures say that the Supreme Brahman is  immeasurable, inconceivable, and without any material  activities or duty. O individual spirit soul, you are  very easily perceivable by the material mind and  describable by material words. How is it possible,  then, that you are the same as the inconceivable  Supreme Brahman? 
 
Text 14 
O individual spirit soul, your intelligence has been  stolen by the darkness of the Mayavada theory, and for  this reason you continually mutter brahmaham asmi ("I  am the Supreme Brahman") as if you have become mad. I  say to you, "If you are the Supreme Brahman, where is  you unparalleled opulence? Where is you supreme  dominion over all? If you are the Supreme Brahman,  where is you all-pervasiveness and all-knowledge? Your  equality with the Supreme Brahman is like the equality  of a mustard seed with Mount Meru!" 
 
Text 15 
O individual spirit soul, you are by nature very  limited, but the Supreme Lord is unlimited. You can  only be at one place at one time, but the Supreme is  eternally everywhere. At one moment you enjoy, and at  another moment you suffer. In this way, your happiness  and suffering is all temporary, but the Supreme Lord  experiences the perfection of transcendental bliss at  every moment. O individual spirit soul, why are you not  embarrassed to speak these words so  ham ("I am the  Supreme")? 
 
Text 16 
Glass is glass. A jewel is a jewel. An oyster is an  oyster. Silver is silver. They will never lose their  nature and become each other. If one thinks that glass  is a jewel, or an oyster is silver, he is mistaken.  Impelled by the same kind of illusion, the individual  spirit soul imagines he is the same as the Supreme  Brahman. Illusioned in this way, the spirit soul  propounds the Mayavada interpretation of tat tvam asi  and other statements of the Vedas. 
 
Text 17 
The Vedic statement tat tvam asi should be interpreted  in the following way: tat means "the Supreme Brahman  who is like a nectar ocean of perfect transcendental  bliss." Tvam means "the distressed individual spirit  soul, whose mind is anguished by the fears produced by  continued residence in the material world." Because the  natures of the individual spirit soul and the Supreme  Brahman are different in this way, they cannot be  equated. In reality the Supreme Brahman is the supreme  object of worship for innumerable universes, and the  individual spirit soul is His servant. This is the  actual meaning of tat-tvam asi. 
 
Text 18 
The Mayavadis claim that when the Supreme Person is  described in the Vedic literatures, one should reject  the literal meanings of such descriptions, and instead  accept them allegorically, or not in the sense conveyed  by the primary meaning of the words. 
 
Text 19 
O Mayavadis, if you insist on interpreting the Vedic  description of the Supreme in an allegorical, or  indirect, sense, then please tell us why you abandon  the direct literal meaning in favor of this indirect  interpretation? 
 
Text 20 
There are three reasons for rejecting a word s primary  meaning and accepting a secondary meaning instead. They  are: 1. If the primary meaning makes no sense; 2. If  tradition or common usage supplants the primary meaning  with a generally accepted secondary meaning; 3. If an authorized commentary explains that a secondary meaning should be understood. In these circumstances one may reject the primary meaning and accept the secondary meaning of a word. 
 
Text 21 
If the primary meaning is senseless, one must find a  secondary meaning that makes sense. 
 
Text 22 
One should not accept the primary meaning if it makes  no sense. For example, the primary meaning of grama is  "village," but if the grama is described as unlimited,  one must reject the primary meaning and accept a  secondary one  ("multitude"). In the same way, the  primary meaning of putra is "son," but if the putra is  described as appearing without a father, the primary  meaning should be rejected and a secondary one ("that  which rescues from hell") should be accepted. 
 
Text 23 
The sentence kumbha-khadga-dhanur-banah pravisanti is  an example of the use of secondary meaning. Pravisanti  means "enter" and kumbha, khadga, dhanuh, and bana mean  "pitchers, swords, bows and arrows" respectively. The  primary meaning of the sentence is "pitchers, swords,  bows, and arrows enter." This interpretation clearly  makes no sense. In these circumstances, the secondary  meaning should be accepted. If the first two words are  accepted as bahuvrihi-samasas, then the secondary  interpretation "men carrying pitchers, swords, bows,  and arrows enter" may be accepted to replace the  rejected primary meaning. 
 
Text 24 
The sentence gangayam ghosah is another example of the  use of secondary meaning. The primary meaning here is  "the River Ganges spoke." This primary meaning should  be rejected because a body of water cannot speak. Here  the secondary interpretation "he spoke the word Ganges"  is more appropriate. 
 
Text 25 
The sentence ayur ghrtam is another example of the use  of secondary meaning. Taken literally, the sentence  means, "Clarified butter is identical with long life."  In this sentence clarified butter and long life are  equated although they are not at all the same thing. In  this sentence, the secondary interpretation "Eating  foods prepared with clarified butter prolongs one s  life" must be accepted if the sentence is to make  sense. 
 
Text 26 
A text may be interpreted in three ways: 1. The literal  (primary) meaning may be accepted; 2. One may reject  the literal meaning and accept a secondary, not so  commonly used, meaning of the words, or 3. One may  accept the statements as metaphorical or allegorical.  In order to establish their theory, the Mayavadis have  diligently rejected the literal interpretation of the  Vedic statements and have put forward an interpretation  based on accepting the secondary meanings of the words. 
 
Text 27 
Taken literally, the Vedic statements do not at all  support the theory that the individual spirit soul is  the same as the Supreme Brahman. For this reason, the  Mayavadis have rejected the literal meaning of the  texts and concocted a figurative interpretation based  on accepting obscure definitions of words and rejecting  the commonly used meanings of words. How do the  Mayavadis expect to understand the truth about Brahman  if they adopt this devious policy? 
 
Text 28 
The Vedas directly state that the Supreme Brahman is  the original creator of the universe (jagat-karta).  From this statement it is only logical to infer that  the one Supreme is the cause of the many living  entities. The many living entities thus have the  Supreme as their creator. This is the direct meaning of  the Vedic statement. 
 
Text 29 
The sruti and smrti give abundant evidence to support  this interpretation: that the one Supreme Brahman is  the creator of the many living entities. That the Vedas  describe the distinct individuality of the one Supreme  Brahman and the many individual spirit souls is  confirmed by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita, where He said  (15.15): vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah ("by all the  Vedas I am to be known"). 
 
Text 30 
The Mayavadis claim that the Vedas say that the  material world is unreal. O Mayavadis, even if this is  so, how can you infer from it that the Supreme Brahman,  who is full of all opulences and the origin of all  moving and unmoving entities is also unreal? 
 
Text 31 
The Mayavadis may say that the Vedic scriptures clearly  state that the Supreme cannot be understood by the mind  or described in words. 
To this I respond: "O Mayavadis, please hear my reply.  This statement means that the Supreme cannot be  understood by the mental gymnastics of foolish  speculators. The Supreme can only be understood when  one hears about Him from the right source and with the  proper devotional spirit. Furthermore, because the  Supreme Brahman possesses infinite and unfathomable  transcendental qualities, no one is able to completely  know or describe Him." 
 
Text 32 
The Mayavadis claim that the Vedic statement avan- manasa-gocaram ("the Supreme cannot be understood by  the mind or described in words") proves that the  Supreme cannot be described or understood. To this I reply: "This description may apply to  ordinary words or thoughts, but not to the words of the  Vedas. The Vedas elaborately describe the Supreme  Brahman. Please do not think that the statements of the  Vedas are like a limping cripple who cannot describe  the Supreme." 
 
Text 33 
O proud Mayavadis, you think yourselves to be great  scholars although you actually have no place in the  company of the learned. The Vedas say, sabda-brahmani  nisnatah para-brahmadhigacchati ("expert in  understanding the Supreme, they who are actually  learned attain the spiritual realm"). There is no error  in these words of the Vedic sages. Please do not say  that no one can understand or describe the Supreme. 
 
Text 34 
The word ghata has a specific meaning, and the word  pata  also has a specific meaning. Various words  indicate specific objects. In the Vedas the words sat  ("eternity"), cit ("knowledge"), and ananda ("bliss")  are used to directly indicate the Supreme Brahman. 
 
Text 35 
Words have both primary and secondary meanings. If the  meaning of a word is ambiguous, then in the course of  the conversation the proper meaning will become clear  by the context. If one enters a conversation when  someone asks a boy, "please bring the saindhava," the  meaning of the man s statement may be unclear, for the  word saindhava may mean either "salt" or "horse."  However, when the boy returns with the saindhava the  person's intention will be at once understood. In the  same way, the proper meaning of ambiguous words in the  Vedas become clear when the serious student studies the  entire body of Vedic literature and sees the ambiguous  statement in the proper perspective. 
 
Text 36 
By repeatedly hearing the words of the spiritual master  and by thoroughly studying the Vedic literature, the  sincere student will be able to understand the proper  meaning of brahman and the other words in the Vedic  vocabulary. 
 
Text 37 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is also the supreme  controller and the supreme performer of activities and,  therefore, His form is perfect and eternal. A performer  of activities always has a form. No one has ever seen a  formless performer of activities. 
 
Text 38 
If the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is also the  supreme controller, has a form and is not formless,  then we may easily conclude that He has a human-like  form similar to the forms that we ourselves bear. This  may be concluded because al performers of activity have  forms that are quite similar. We do not see why the  Supreme Personality of Godhead should be an exception  in this regard. 
 
Text 39 
There is a difference between the one all-powerful  Supreme Personality of Godhead and the many living  entities. The living entities are continually beset by  the six waves (beginning with hunger and thirst) of  material existence. In order to accomplish something,  the living entities have to work very hard, holding  shovels, plows, and scythes in their hands. In this  way, very fatigued by working hard, the living entities  become morose at heart. The Supreme Personality of  Godhead is not at all like the individual living  entities in this matter. Simply by moving an eyebrow  the Supreme Personality of Godhead can attain whatever  He wishes. 
 
Text 40 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is able to effortlessly do anything, change anything, or destroy anything. This is a very great difference between the Supreme and the tiny jivas  (individual spirit souls). 
 
Text 41 
Someone may say: "If the living entities in the  material world sometimes suffer and sometimes enjoy  because of their bodies, then, if the Supreme has a  body, He must also suffer and enjoy in the same way." To this I reply: "The conditioned living entities  possess material forms subject to six changes (growth,  decay, death, etc.). The spiritual body of the Supreme  Personality of Godhead, because He is the master of all  opulences, is not at all like these material forms. The  Lord's spiritual body is never subjected to old-age,  decay, and death, and His happiness never diminishes." 
 
Text 42 
Someone may object: "Every living entity attains a  certain body because of his past karma and, therefore,  when the Supreme manifests a body, He has also attained  that body as a karmic reaction." 
To this I reply: "The Supreme is the ultimate  controller, and it is He who awards the karmic results  to us living entities. As the ultimate administrator of  the laws of karma, He is not under their jurisdiction.  That is the relationship between Him and us." 
 
Text 43 
Someone may object: "All bodies are temporary.  Therefore, the body of the Supreme must also be a  temporary manifestation." 
To this I reply: "No! The body of the Supreme is  eternal. Just as earth assumes various temporary  shapes, although the atoms that are the source of the  earth element remain eternal, in the same way, the  eternal living entity accepts different material bodies  because of his karma. The original spiritual forms of  both the Supreme and the subordinate living entities  remain eternal, although the conditioned soul may  accept different material coverings because of his  karma." 
 
Text 44 
The Vedic literatures explain that under ordinary  circumstances the conditioned living entity cannot  negate the results of his past karma. In order to  maintain the truth of this statement, the Supreme  Personality of Godhead, who holds the Sudarsana cakra  in His hand, pretends to be bound by the reactions of  past pious and impious deeds when He appears in this  world disguised as an ordinary person. 
 
Text 45 
I have heard in the Puranas that this entire universe  came into existence from the lotus flower sprouted from  the navel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Are we  then to conclude that the Supreme has only a  disembodied navel and not a complete body? If the  Supreme Lord has a navel, then He must have a body  complete with all limbs and senses also. 
 
Text 46  The transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of  Godhead is elaborately described in all the Vedas. That  celebrated form is very handsome, and it completely  delights the senses of all the devotees. That  transcendental form is endowed with the six opulences  of all beauty, strength, fame, knowledge, wealth, and  renunciation. The sacred Ganges river is the water that  has washed the Lord s lotus feet. 
 
Text 47 
Whenever, by the force of time, irreligion increases  and religion declines, the Supreme Personality of  Godhead protects the saintly devotees and destroys the  demons. 
 
Text 48 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself in  two features: 1. In His original form as the source of  all incarnations; 2. In His many visnu-tattva  incarnations. The many living entities may also be  divided into two groups: 1. The devotees (who are free  from the influence of the illusory energy); 2. The  nondevotees (who are bound by the illusions of maya). 
 
Text 49 
Some theorists claim that the individual spirit souls  are actually the Supreme, just as reflections on water  are the same as the reflected object. By simply  fabricating this analogy, these foolish persons do not  at all establish the identity of the individual spirit  soul and the Supreme. 
 
Text 50 
How is it possible that the individual spirit souls are  reflections of the Supreme and equal to Him in all  respects? The individual spirit souls are not equal to  the Supreme. If they are equal, then why is the Supreme  described as unlimited, all-pervading, and free from  material contamination? Why are the individual living  entities described as being conditioned, subject to  material illusion, engaged in the pious and impious  deeds described in the Vedas, and thus experiencing the  mixed happiness and suffering of material existence? The Supreme is niraqjana, never subject to the influence of matter. 
 
Text 51 
The sun or some other object fixed in a certain place and not all-pervading may be reflected in another place. By definition, the Supreme is all-pervading. Something not localized, but present in every place, cannot be reflected. Therefore the all-pervading  Supreme cannot be reflected. The analogy of reflection is completely inappropriate to describe the relation between the Supreme and the many living entities, and by using this analogy one cannot draw the conclusion that the Supreme and the many living entities are equal. 
 
Text 52 
Ramanujacarya, the most exalted of spiritual philosophers, has already refuted the Mayavada theory that the Supreme and the individual spirit souls are identical, just as the sun  and his reflection. Because of his expert refutation, intelligent readers will no  longer accept the Mayavada idea, but will simply joke and laugh at its foolishness. 
 
Text 53 
The sruti-sastra explains that the Supreme and the individual spirit soul are like two friendly birds sitting on a tree. It is clearly explained there that they are two, and in this way the eternal distinction between them is established. How have the Mayavadis  become so bewildered that they now contradict the Vedic statement and say that they are both one? 
 
Text 54 
The Vedas explain brahmaivaham na samsari ("I am Brahman; I do not belong to this material world of birth and death"). This means that the advanced transcendentalist no longer identifies himself as a product of material nature but understands that he is  spirit, different from matter. In this way he becomes free from all lamentation and all kinds of material contamination. This is the proper explanation of this statement, not the false oneness imposed by the Mayavadis. 
 
Text 55 
The Vedas explain aham eva khalu brahma ("I am Brahman"). This means that the advanced transcendentalist gives up the cripple-minded conception of materialism and understands his actual spiritual identity in relation to the Supreme, but it does not mean that at any time he will become identical with the Supreme Brahman. 
 
Text 56 
Some theorists claim that by meditating on the Supreme with fixed concentration of the mind, the aspiring yogi becomes the Supreme, just as a larva meditates on becoming a bumblebee and actually becomes transformed by that meditation.To this I reply: "You have created this analogy in the factory of your fertile brain, but it is not supported  by any Vedic literature. Just a the larva becomes a bumblebee, an individual spirit soul may attain some of the qualities of the Supreme in minute degree, but he never actually becomes equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead." 
 
Text 57 
By continually worshipping intellectuals with great devotion a person born with only small intelligence does not become an intellectual, although in some ways he may adopt the habits of an intellectual. In the same way, by meditating on the Supreme no one becomes the Supreme. Who will accept the foolish statements of the Mayavadis? 
 
Text 58 
In Vedanta-sutra Srila Vyasadeva affirms the eternal distinction between the Supreme and the individual spirit souls in the statement karma-kartr-vyapadesac ca ("there are two performers of activity"). In his commentary on this sutra, Sankaracarya admits the  eternal distinction between  the Supreme and the individual spirit souls. In explaining this sutra, Sankaracarya quotes the statement of the Upanisads: guham pravistau ("two living entities, the individual spirit soul and the Supreme Paramatma, reside in the heart"). 
 
Text 59 
In his commentary on Vedanta-sutra 1.2.5, Sankaracarya quoted verses from Bhagavad-gita* that clearly show that the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit souls are eternally different entities. If Sankara did not accept that the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit souls are eternally different, then how could he have quoted these verses that clearly reveal their relationship as master and servant? 
* "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine made of material energy" (Bhagavad-gita 18.61) 
"O scion of Bharata. surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode" (Bhagavad-gita 18.62). 
 
Text 60 
I am subject to conditional life, where I enjoy at certain times and at other times I suffer. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is naturally always full of transcendental bliss and He never suffers. This is the distinction between the Supreme and myself. How  is it possible for us to be identical if we are so different in this way? 
 
Text 61 
The Supreme is eternal, self-effulgent, always free from material contact, supremely pure, and the sole all-pervading, all-knowing witness and overseer of the entire universe. No reasonable person can present any evidence that these words may also be a description of the individual spirit soul. These words are a thunderbolt that strikes the tree of impersonalist monism and fells it. 
 
Text 62 
In the Vedas we find the word jivatmanoh ("of the individual spirit soul and the Supreme"). Although the obvious meaning of this word is that he individual spirit soul and the Supreme are eternally different and never become identical in a homogeneous merging, still, in order to keep their theory intact, the Mayavadis reject the rules of Sanskrit grammar and foolishly deny that jivatmanoh is a dvandva-samasa. 
 
Text 63 
In order to keep their theory intact the Mayavadis interpret the word jivatmanoh as a karmadharaya (adjective) compound. In this way they say that the word "individual living entity" is an adjective modifying the noun "the Supreme," just as the word "blue" may be employed to modify the noun "lotus flower." In this way, they reject the obvious  meaning  and by grammatical jugglery try to establish their own unfounded and fanciful interpretation. 
 
Text 64 
In Vedic literature we find the phrase annam brahma ("spiritual food") many times. This phrase means that, when food is offered in sacrifice to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it becomes spiritualized. In the same way, when we find the phrase brahmaham asmi ("I am Brahman"), these words should be interpreted to mean that by engaging in devotional service to the Supreme the individual spirit soul becomes able to  abandon the misconception of identifying the external material body as the self and understand that he is actually spirit (Brahman) and not matter. 
 
Text 65 
Many passages from the Vedas and Puranas may be quoted to prove that the individual spirit souls are different from the Supreme, and many other passages may also be  quoted to prove that they are not different. Abandoning all envy, learned spiritual philosophers have carefully considered these points and have concluded that both  the Supreme and the individual spirit souls possess eternal distinct forms and personalities. 
 
Text 66 
O bewildered individual spirit soul, your intelligence has been stolen away by the Mayavada illusion. Please give up this continual muttering of brahmaham asmi ("I  am Brahman") and understand that because you are drowning in the middle of the impassable ocean of repeated birth and death, helplessly tossed by the waves of the reactions of past actions, you cannot possibly see the Supreme. 
 
Text 67  The Supreme is the husband of the goddess of fortune. He is a nectar ocean of transcendental bliss. Lord Siva and all the great demigods serve Him. The sacred Ganges  is water that has washed His feet. Before the material cosmos was manifested, He created everything in a moment simply by slightly moving His eyebrow. O individual spirit soul, your continual muttering of so  ham ("I am the Supreme") is completely unreasonable and illogical. He is the supreme master, the monarch who rules all existence and you are His small son, always dependent on His protection. 
 
Text 68 
O foolish individual spirit soul, how is it that you are saying, "I am the Supreme who pervades the entire universe"? O individual spirit soul, who has placed you within this material universe? From where have you come? Why are you forced to suffer so greatly within this world? O individual spirit soul, please honestly reflect within your heart and try to understand what is the actual truth. Please give up this illusory path of the Mayavada theory. 
 
Text 69 
O individual spirit soul, please give up this muttering of so  ham ("I am the Supreme"). Know that you are the eternal  servant of Lord Hari, engage in His pure devotional service and thus become qualified to enter the eternal spiritual world. If you reject the service of Lord Hari, you will fall down into the wombs of mothers from may different species and you will suffer great anguish as you wander among the hells and heavens of the material world. 
 
Text 70 
O individual spirit soul, you have made a great mistake by accepting the motto so  ham ("I am the Supreme"). Please reject this illusion and engage in pure devotional service to Lord Krsna. Let your motto become "Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supremely powerful and opulent master of the three worlds, and I am His eternal servant." Give up the Mayavada fallacy and understand the eternal distinction between Lord Krsna and yourself. In this way, attain unflinching pure devotion for Lord Krsna. 
 
Text 71 
The eternal distinction between the Supreme and the individual spirit souls is clearly described in the Narada-pancaratra and all other Vedic literatures. Still, because their intelligence is devoured by the demonic Mayavada theory, many great scholars have  become stubborn and impious. They are now unable to understand the difference between the Supreme and the individual spirit souls. 
 
Text 72 
They who are afflicted with jaundice cannot taste the sweetness of sugar and, indeed, to them sugar is very bitter. They whose eyes are diseased cannot see the whiteness of a conchshell, because they see everything to be yellow. Those whose minds are always disturbed by frantic plans to attain sense gratification cannot understand spiritual purity. In the same way, they who are afflicted with the Mayavada disease cannot perceive the happiness in worshipping and glorifying Lord Krsna. 
 
[There is no Text 73] 
 
Text 74 
By the Supreme Personality of Godhead s mercy, the individual living entities are endowed with a tiny fragment of consciousness. O rascal Mayavadi, do not, on this account, arrogantly proclaim, "I am actually the Supreme." By saying this you have become like a criminal-minded persons who obtains elephants, cavalry, and infantry from the king on the plea of begging for protection during a journey and then decides to use all  these soldiers as his own personal army of bandits to plunder the king s property on the royal roads. 
 
Text 75 
The powerful illusory material potency, who bewilders the three worlds and is known as Maya, is the submissive servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the ultimate controller, the master of all transcendental opulences, eternal, and full of all  knowledge and bliss. The individual living entities are strictly subject to the control of that illusory potency, and for her they are like domestic animals led about by a ring in the nose. Please consider for a moment. This is a very substantial difference between  the Supreme and the individual living entities. 
 
Text 76 
After carefully studying the six schools of philosophy (Kapila, Kanada, Gautama, Patanjali, Jaimini, and Bhatta Bhaskara), intelligent persons raise the question: "What is the conclusion? Are the Supreme and the individual spirit souls different? Are they the  same? Is it possible for them to be one and different simultaneously?" 
 
Text 77 
In many places in the Vedas, Puranas, and Vedanta-sutra I have read that the Supreme and the individual spirit souls are eternally different. Then again, in many places of the same scriptures I have also read that they are the same. We must therefore conclude that the Supreme and the individual spirit souls are simultaneously one and different. This is certainly very astonishing. 
 
Text 78 
The Supreme is described as the supremely independent creator and controller of the entire universe. The individual spirit soul is described as always dependent on higher forces. How is it possible that these two radically different descriptions apply to the same  person? They must describe two distinct beings. 
 
Text 79 
Different medicinal plants and herbs manifest different flavors. Some are bitter, some sweet, and some a variety of complex tastes. They are not all one. If they were all one, then why are specific herbs useful for curing specific diseases and not others?  Even if  the herbs are mixed together to form a medicine, each herb still retains its specific powers within the mixture. In the same way, when the individual spirit souls merge into the body of Lord Visnu at the time of cosmic annihilation, they retain their individuality.  They do not become one. When the material cosmos is again manifested from Lord Visnu's body, the individual spirit souls also emerge and again enter various material bodies according to the pious and impious deeds they performed in the previous cosmic  manifestation. When the individual spirit souls enter Lord Visnu s body at the time of cosmic annihilation, therefore, they do not lose their individuality and become Lord Visnu. 
 
Text 80 
Ocean water is salty and river water has no salt. By observing their different qualities, the difference between the river s and the oceans may be perceived. The difference between the individual spirit souls and the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be seen in the  same way: by becoming conscious of their different qualities. 
 
Text 81 
Although the waters of the rivers flow into the ocean from all directions, the rivers and oceans do not become one in all respects. The ocean water remains salty and the river water remains fresh. They do not lose their natures. In the same way, milk and water are  also very different. They also do not lose their natures even when they are mixed together. 
 
Text 82 
When water and milk are mixed together, an ordinary person cannot distinguish where is the milk and where is the water, although a swan can separate them in a moment. In the same way, when the individual spirit souls enter the body of Lord Maha-Visnu at the time of cosmic devastation, the Mayavadis cannot distinguish where are the individual spirit souls and where is the Lord, although the devotees, who understand everything through the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master, can distinguish them immediately. 
 
Text 83 
A quantity of milk may be mixed with some milk and a quantity of water may be mixed with some water. Even though the substances are the same, the smaller quantity does not become one in all respects with the larger quantity. Rather, the difference of volumes  remains. In the same way, by engaging in yoga meditation, one may appear to merge into the Supreme. The yogi does not actually become the same as the Lord, because the yogi remains tiny and the Lord remains all-great. This is the description given by transcendentalists who are pure at heart. 
 
Text 84 
There are some scholars who, although they carefully follow the wrong path and are actually drowning in the great ocean of faulty logic, are nevertheless very expert at flowery speeches and debate. These persons are filled with hundreds of faulty theories and they  expound their ideas in many words, proclaiming: "I am the Supreme Brahman" and "Everything visible is nothing but the moving and non-moving Supreme." In this way,  they have cheated and misled the entire world. In this way, they have openly exposed to view the very sinful desire that pollutes their hearts. 
 
Text 85 
O Mayavadi friend, if you, I, and everyone and everything else are all actually the same Supreme Brahman and there is no real distinction between us, then  we are actually all one. If this is true, then your wealth, children, wife, and all your possessions are actually also mine. I claim them all now. Give them to me at once. 
 
Text 86 
O Mayavadi friend, if we are actually all the Supreme, then the divisions of the varnasrama system have no meaning, and the orders and prohibitions of the Vedas are also without meaning. You claim to base your theory on the Vedas, but  your theory leads its followers to ultimately reject the Vedas. What is the difference between your theory and atheistic Buddhism? If the Buddhists are heretics and offenders for rejecting the Vedas, why are you also not heretics for the same reason? 
 
Text 87 
O Mayavadi friend, please listen. In the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Kapila carefully explained to His mother that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally different from the five gross material elements, the material senses, the mind, the  intelligence, the false ego, and the individual spirit soul. He carefully explained the eternal difference between the individual spirit soul and the Supreme. 
 
Text 88 
Some meditate on the void described by their teacher. With an empty heart and mind, they see everything as empty and they conceive of the Supreme Personality of  Godhead as a void that cannot be described. The actual void is in their intelligence, and they receive nothing as the result of their labors. 
 
Text 89 
In the Mahabharata, Srila Vyasadeva criticized the voidists by saying, "They who believe that the Supreme is a void stand in the darkness of ignorance. Now and in the future they stand in the dark." 
 
Text 90 
In the Mahabharata, Srila Vyasadeva has refuted the impostor Kapila s theory that the Supreme is an empty spiritual effulgence. 
 
Text 91 
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is like an ocean of auspicious transcendental qualities, the Mayavadis, like a flock of sheep blindly following  Sankaracarya, claim that the Supreme has no qualities. Misinterpreting the words of the Vedanta-sutra, they mislead their unfortunate followers. 
 
Text 92 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the unlimitedly powerful original creator of everything, and He is full of all opulences and transcendental qualities. How can the Mayavadis be so foolish that they say He has no qualities? The Mayavadis are heretics who refuse to accept the words of the Vedas. 
 
Text 93 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of knowledge. He is the enjoyer of a host of  transcendental pastimes. His every desire is immediately fulfilled without His endeavor. He is full of all transcendental opulences and auspicious qualities. Where do the Vedas say that He has no qualities or opulences? O friend, why have you become silent? Why will you not say anything to describe the lack of auspicious transcendental qualities in the Supreme, who is like an  ocean of transcendental qualities? O friend, please consider all these points within your heart and mind. Try to understand what is the actual truth. 
 
Text 94 
Something that exists but has no qualities has never been perceived, either in anyone's direct experience or in the transcendental revelation of the Vedas. This conception of a qualityless substance is a phantasmagoria that exists only in the mind of the Mayavadis. It is like a great flower imagined to float in the sky. O friend, if by juggling words you think  you have found a scriptural quote describing this mythical qualityless substance, then I say no intelligent person will believe you. You will search the Vedas in vain for this description. 
 
Text 95 
The Vedic texts explain that just as when a Vedic sacrifice is completed the performer of the sacrifice may become inactive for a moment, in the same way, the Supreme may sometimes be described as qualityless for He sometimes declines to display His transcendental qualities. 
 
Text 96 
When the Vedas explain that the Supreme is without qualities, they mean that He has no material qualities imagined by a fanciful worshiper. 
 
Text 97 
O friend, although you say the Supreme has no qualities, the Vedas will not support your view. The Vedas say, sa satya-dharmah ("the Supreme is full of auspicious transcendental qualities"). 
 
Text 98 
One can only conceive of a thing by understanding its qualities. If one does not properly understand the qualities of something, then he misunderstands it. For example, a glittering oyster shell looks like silver and one may easily mistake it for silver. Such an  illusion arises from misunderstanding the qualities of the two objects. As one may mistake an oyster for silver, in the same way, one may mistakenly think that the Supreme has material attributes. The attributes of the Supreme are perfectly spiritual. 
 
Text 99 
The Vedas explain, yato va imani bhutani jayante ("the entire cosmic manifestation has emanated from the Supreme"). Some foolish theorists claim that the material cosmos is simply a transformation of ignorance and does not have the Supreme as its creator. No  intelligent person will accept this foolish idea. 
 
Text 100 
It is not logical to say that this material universe is manifested of ignorance. This world cannot be simply ignorance, for the Supreme Lord Krsna enacts His eternal transcendental pastimes here. 
 
Text 101 
The Mayavadis compare material existence to a dream, but in  truth it is not at all like a dream. The dreaming condition is full of many faults. In a dream one may eat and drink unlimitedly, but he will never became satiated, although in the waking condition one  quickly becomes satiated by eating and drinking. The use of this analogy by the Mayavadis is a great blunder, for the waking condition is not at all like a dream. 
 
Text 102 
If this material world is an illusion, as you say, then why do you perform different activities for material and spiritual elevation? Just as an earthen pot is useful for carrying water, in the same way, this material world is useful to the individual spirit souls. It may be temporary, but it is not unreal. 
 
Text 103 
If the material universe is simply created from illusion and is false, then all religious principles and penances described in the religious scriptures are meaningless. If this world is an illusion, then why should pious kings punish thieves and criminals? Because the Mayavadis are full of dirty material desires, they are very fond of saying that this  material world is false. In this way, they seek to become free from all moral restraints. 
 
Text 104 
O Mayavadi friend, you say that this material world is unreal, just as when a garland of flowers is mistaken for a snake in the dark, the imagined snake has no actual existence. This is a poor analogy. In this analogy one thing is mistaken for another, but still the garland exists. This analogy does not at all show that the material world has no existence. In truth, the material world exists eternally, although is constantly changing. 
 
Text 105 
This material world is created by the real Supreme Personality of Godhead, the husband of the goddess of fortune. Because the real Lord has created it, and because He is present as the Supersoul within every atom of His expanse, this material world is reality.  Indeed, when the productions of this world are offered to the Supreme Lord with devotion, these material products become spiritually pure, just as ordinary bell metal becomes gold by the touch of a sparsamani ("alchemist's stone"). 
 
Text 106 
Pure devotional service to Lord Krsna bears no relation at all to the enjoyment or renunciation of material objects. The devotee accepts all conditions of his life as the great mercy of the Lord. He does not consider his own sense gratification, but only the Lord s  service. 
 
Text 107 
When one is intent on enjoying material sense objects, he is called a visayi "materialist"). Rejection of  that enjoying spirit is called viraga ("renunciation").That renunciation makes one eligible to attain the supreme goal of life (pure  devotional service). 
 
Text 108 
In the company of saintly devotees, we repeatedly hear the description of the transcendental pastimes of the supremely opulent and powerful Personality of Godhead,  and in this way the lake of our hearts has become overwhelmed by great tidal waves of pure love and devotion. We reject the false Mayavada theory of impersonal monism, and we accept the truth that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally distinct from the many individual spirit souls. Fixed in this truth, we worship the two lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the husband of the goddess of fortune. 
 
Text 109 
In the ordinary affairs of this world, the king s representative is often called "king" or "his majesty," although the person is not the king himself but only his representative. In the same way, the Vedic literatures describe the individual spirit souls as "brahman," not because they are the Supreme Brahman, but because of their eternal relationship with Him. 
 
Text 110 
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the source from whom the sun, moon, all the planets, and the entire cosmos has arisen. At the time of cosmic devastation, everything enters the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even the demigod Brahma is not able to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead by speaking the Vedas. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme controller of everything. The Supreme  Personality of Godhead is beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature. O Mayavadi teacher, why do you teach the slogan so  ham ("I am the Supreme")? I do  not show any signs of supremacy at all. In fact, I am very weak, unlucky, and bereft of all opulence. 
 
Text 111 
Just as a troop of insects resides within a ripe udumbara fruit, all the material universes, composed of subtle and gross material elements and populated by innumerable spirit souls, rest within the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead during the time of  cosmic devastation, and then emerge at the time of cosmic creation. At that time they do not rest within the Lord. In truth, they remain always separate from Him. O Mayavadi teacher, I am not as great as He. How is it possible or sensible for the slogan so  ham ("I  am the Supreme") to come from my mouth? 
 
Text 112 
By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a dumb man can become an eloquent orator, a lame man can leap over mountains, and a man blind from birth can  attain a pair of beautiful lotus eyes. I offer my respectful obeisances to the moon-faced Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the son of Maharaja Nanda and a cintamani jewel for His devotees. 
 
Text 113 
Devotional service to Lord Visnu brings a great and eternal result. In addition to attaining that result, I shall also become famous in some circles for some time on this earth as result of having written this book. 
 
Text 114 
I have carefully studied the book Sri Narayana-bhakti-bhusa composed by Sri Narayana Bhatta, the best of scholars, as well as many other similar books. By the mercy of the devotees, I have been able to understand the confidential truths of devotional service, which I have described in this book of one hundred verses, Sri Tattva-muktavali, a description of the truth of the eternal difference between the individual spirit souls and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 
 
Text 115 
If in the course of writing this book we have become bewildered and made some mistake, we beg the expert scholars to please correct all the mistakes. Just as a baby crawling on his hands and feet may sometimes stumble and fall down, the speaker of this discourse  may have become bewildered and spoken something against the revelation of scripture. 
 
Text 116 
An envious person will search for some small defect in the poetry of a saintly devotee and will ignore all the good qualities in his poem. He is like a person who searches for an ant hole in a great palace bedecked with jewels. Such a person will never see the good in anything. 
 
Text 117 
Let they whose intelligence has been destroyed by envy find fault with my verses and refrain from seeing any good in them. They who know how to see the good in others will see only good and no faults in my poem. Let that saintly audience delight in this book. 
 
Text 118 
O most exalted devotees of the Lord, if you wish to attain in your  hearts pure devotion to the Lord, then please hear and  read this book, Tattva-muktavali, written by a poet who  is now filled with happiness. This book is very pure  and is full of very beautiful poetry. It is very  auspicious because it carefully distinguishes truth  from illusion. It describes the truth of pure  devotional service and reveals the eternal difference  between the individual spirit souls and the Supreme  Personality of Godhead. 
 
Text 119 
This book is filled with many poetic ornaments. Its verses are very sweet. It is very charming, splendid,  and beautiful. Its words are like nectar. It is a  pleasure garden where the intelligent devotees enjoy  many pastimes. It is full of all good qualities and  free from the slightest fault. May this book, Tattva- muktavali ("The Pearl Necklace of Truths"), always rest  upon the neck of the devotees.

[This article and more information at  www.stephen-knapp.com]

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