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Core Difference In The Teachings Of Adi Shankaracharya and Vallabhacharya

Vallabhacharya is the founder of Pushtimarg and the corresponding school of philosophy known as Shuddhadvaita. Here is a look at the core difference in the teaching of Adi Shankaracharya and Vallabhacharya.

Adi Shankaracharya maintains that the world is only an appearance produced by the power of maya. Brahman limited by maya is God (Ishwara). According to Adi Shankaracharya, Nirguna Brahman (Ultimate Reality without attributes) is alone real; the world is unreal.

Vallabhacharya refutes this view of Adi Shankaracharya.

According to Vallabhacharya, God has created the world according to his own desire, just as a spider weaves a web around itself. Maya has no power of its own to create the world because maya is the real power of Brahman. It cannot create any illusion or an unreal world.

Vallabhacharya preaches that the Brahman is full of bliss; and the world is created by the will of God. God is real and therefore the world is also real. The Brahman and the world have a cause and effect relationship, on the analogy of lump of gold out of which ornaments are made.

Souls, being eternal, are not different from Brahman. But the individual souls that come of Akshara Brahman, like sparks emanating from fire. The souls are also real. Different beings have different classes in life, not according to the law of karma but because of the lila (sportive play) of God.