Vallabhacharya’s Suddhadvaita (Pure Nondualism)

Unlike Shankara, Vallabhacharya’s system of suddhadvaita (pure nondualism) does not admit of a notion of Maya distinct from Brahman. For this reason, it affirms a true formulation of the Upanashadic ‘one without a second.’ For Vallabha, there is no conflict whatsoever between the diverse appearances of nature and their ultimate nonduality as modes of the absolute (Brahman).

Thus a ‘tree’ is both fully a tree and fully Brahman. Its treeness and Brahmanness are both completely real and form a nondual unity. It is not mere conceptualization to affirm that a tree is real, contrary to the claim of most Neo-Advaitan ‘gurus.’ Neo-Advaitans say that affirming that there are REAL trees, real distinct things, etc. involves dualism.  However, this is not the case if individual things are regarded as the diverse modes of embodiment/manifestation of the one Brahman.  Properly understood,therefore, there are distinctly appearing things which are seamlessly one in their being.  This is the final insight of Zen as well as of Suddhadvaita, which agrees far more with my own experience and realizations than the Advaita Vedantic position.

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