Scholastic Theism Dilemma: Justice vs. Mercy of God

Subject: Religion
Pages: 3
Words: 582
Reading time:
2 min

In this context of theism, which aims to address the scholarly interpretation and references to Vedas, Madhava has a more logical approach that addresses the discussion about ‘advaitya’ and ‘davaitya’ with more logical references to real life and Vedas as the source of verification. Madhava’s approach to bhakti has been significant but has been supported by immense logical writings which can be presented as sacred texts which are provided as guidelines for the everyday sermon. He advises that scholarly texts and sacred texts must be read in harmony with the experiences which are derived in the everyday experience of life. Thus he advocates that the life experience should merge with the philosophy and the message derived from the texts.

He places great importance on understanding and everyday life experience as the source of overcoming the barrier of Atman and Brahman. His argument is based on the fact that even though Vedas presents us with a supra-sensible realm that is beyond imagination, this realm, and its phenomena cannot be understood by the knowledge of Vedas alone. Personal experience is the key to understanding what has been described. Therefore path cannot be followed by scriptures and sacred texts alone. He also argues that Vedas cannot teach the non-difference between the atman and the brahman, as this textual knowledge would contradict our experience.

In Madhava’s view, the sacred texts teach the five-fold differences between Vishnu and jiva; Vishnu and Jada; Jiva and Jada; One Jiva and another and one form of Jada and another. This understanding of the differences at different levels of experience has to match with sacred texts in order to give the experiencer a complete understanding of the complex relationship between Atman and Brahman. Ramanuja’s Bakti cult has been very popular in certain sects of Hinduism and leads to chanting, sutras, and total immersion in Bhakti, leaving the intellect aside, but it does not provide the logic which balances the experience.

The logical stance of Madhava is very important for the human being who is immersed in the physical plane of life and its experiences, so that gradually through self-knowledge, which is verified with self-experience, he can gradually climb the ladder of evolution to the point of total immersion and oneness with the Atman. It is also Bhakti backed by rational understanding, which is very good for people of the intellectual bent of mind and educated class of society as well as those souls which are in possession of an inquisitive mind.

Madhava has been remembered as the strongest contest for debate with Shankara. This led to tension which was there between several schools of thought, very often between Vaishnava’s as and Shaivas/ Shaktas. This also led to numerous controversies and debates on theology. This openness to discussion and debate has been a very strong aspect of Hinduism. He propounded that Vishnu is supreme but also advocated the theory of plurality.

He gave more emphasis to the attributes and traits which help the seeker in identifying and unifying himself with the goal of unity. He believed that each individual possessing an innate moral inclination and karma is merely the mechanism by which a given soul is propelled towards his or her destiny. His approach is more logical, interesting, and practical in harmony with the Vedas and the scripture. His acceptance of justice based on karma which directs destiny is highly intriguing.