[Advaita-l] Re: Vivekachudamani vs Bhashyas

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 8 15:39:10 CDT 2003

>The author of the VC says that the meditation on the VedAnta mahAvAkyas
>results in GYAna that has not yet eliminated the vAsanas, so there is
>STILL effort to be made in order to obtain mukti!! Does Shankara ever
>say in his PrasthAna trayI BhAshhyas that there is effort to be made
>AFTER GYAna to obtain mukti?! Never. The upadeshasaahasrii is replete

Check the concluding lines of bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1.4.7 -

yady apy evaM SarIrAbdhakasya karmaNo niyata-phalatvAt samyag-jnAna-prAptAv 
apy avaSyaM-bhAvinI-pravRttir vA.n-manaH-kAyAnAm. labdha-vRtter karmaNo 
balIyastvAt, mukteShvAdi pravRttivat. tena pakShe prAptaM 
jnAna-pravRtti-daurbalyaM. tasmAd tyAga-vairAgyAdi-sAdhana-balAvalambena 
Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtatir niyantavyA bhavati ...

The gist of the above quotation is, "even after the rise of right knowledge 
(samyag-jnAna), due to the strong effect of prior karmA (balIyastva), whose 
momentum is like that of a released arrow (mukta iShu), and the relatively 
weakness of the newly acquired tendency towards jnAna, it is necessary 
(niyantavyA) to maintain a steady recollection of Self-knowledge 
(Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtati), assisted by sAdhana-s like renunciation 
(tyAga), dispassion (vairAgya) and the like.

Sankara goes on to say that this can therefore be seen as a niyama vidhi, in 
the technical mImAMsA sense of injunction, but his intention here is very 
clear as to what he thinks is required after the rise of right knowledge. 
This concluding passage comes after an extensive discussion where Sankara 
explains why nothing other than the knowledge taught in the vedAntic 
mahAvAkya-s is needed for liberation. He argues against 
jnAna-karma-samuccaya-vAdins, against prasaMkhyAna vAdin-s and against those 
who think yogic meditation (citta vRtti nirodha) is necessary after SravaNa. 
Yet at the end of it, he gives importance to the state of abiding in 
Atma-niShThA, AFTER the rise of right knowledge, even using words like 
balIya and daurbalya. And note that this is not in some prakaraNa text or 
minor bhAShya. It is an extremely important text we are talking about here, 
the bRhadAraNyaka commentary, on which sureSvara wrote a vArttika.

In upadeSasAhasrI, note that its third prose chapter does teach the 
parisaMkhyA meditation to be done by the mumukShu, saying it is for 
"vA.n-manaH-kAya-pravRtti ... tan mokShArtham" and ending with "upaniShad 
vAkyAni vistAraSaH samIkShitavyAni." Note the term samIkShitavyAni; it is 
not just SrotavyAni.

Back to VC - yes, the usage of the terms vAsanA, samAdhi etc. do seem 
post-Sankaran, but I see a quite large degree of continuity between this 
text on the one hand and the prasthAna trayI commentaries + upadeSasAhasrI 
on the other.

Best wishes,

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