[Advaita-l] Why Yoga is not a Pramana ??

K Kathirasan NCS kkathir at ncs.com.sg
Sun Jun 29 22:43:31 CDT 2003

Namaste Vaidyaji,

It seems that the coverse is true. Shruti Pramana is the sole means of
knowing the Self. It is the 'smoking gun' for the qualified seeker. There is
no other way. Jnana gained by shruti pramana alone leads to Moksha. Dhyana
is a karma and therefore it is preliminary. Karma makes the sadhaka an
adhikari and there its utility ends. 

best regards,
K Kathirasan

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Sundaram, Vaidya (MED) [SMTP:Vaidya.Sundaram at med.ge.com]
> Sent:	Saturday, June 28, 2003 3:51 AM
> To:	'A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta'
> Subject:	RE: [Advaita-l] Why Yoga is not a Pramana ??
> Namaskaram.
>  I am not sure I understand your question. Or perhaps I miss some of the
> assumptions of your question.
> > We have so much to say about Sruthi being a Pramana.
> > Pramana being that it can independently reveal the
> > Self. 
> Pramana as I understand it is only a "proof" or means of validating
> something. Pramana does not mean that it can independently reveal the
> Self. I don't think there is any such "smoking gun" pramana that can
> reveal the self. Even the sruti as pramana is to be accepted that there
> is an atma different from the body, there is a life after death for the
> ignorant individual etc. Sruti by itself is not going to reveal the self
> to you. It is a framework for giving direction and measurement of
> progress. That's all. 
> > Why did Srikrishna say in Bhagavad Gita 'j~nana yogena
> > sankhyanam karmayogena yoginam' ? He obviously means
> > that both j~nana and Karmayoga are means of the same
> > knowledge. In such case why is not Karma Yoga accepted
> > as a Darsana ?
> You seem to be suggesting that both jnana and karmayoga are means to the
> same knowledge. I don't think so. It's not obvious at all. Karmayoga is
> a preparatory step for jnana to take hold. As a simple analogy, consider
> a fresh twig that is still "green" so to speak and has moisture etc.
> Even putting into fire will not make it burn. Where as, when you let it
> dry, and the moisture is lost, no inducement is needed. A random rise in
> temperature or a random lightening stroke will do the trick. So also
> with karma yoga. As an individual mired in the raga and dvesha's of the
> world, entangled in karma, the individual is still "green" and not ready
> to "burn" in the fire of wisdom. The practice of karma yoga "dries" the
> person. Even listening to "tat tvam asi" once will cause the large
> conflagration that just burns all karmic balances away so to speak. As I
> understand it, the sanyaasi's after their final siddhi are not burned
> but buried because their bodies are considered to have already been
> burnt by the "fire" of wisdom.
> > In the 6 th chapter Sri Krishna again does not refer
> > to Karma Yoga, but discourses about Meditation or
> > Dhyana. Does it mean that this Dhyana is independent
> > or part of both J`nana and Karma Yoga ?
> Dhyana is both the means and end in my understanding. Only, the initial
> stages apparently need enormous effort/concentration etc., but after
> that it becomes natural. For example, consider the story of jada bharata
> - he mentions that for the aspirant, watching where one's feet fall
> while walking is important because he should not trample on the insects
> underfoot - after the attainment of complete jnana, that becomes a
> lakshana itself - their feet naturally miss the places where insects
> reside. The effort of dhyana in the earlier stages becomes the
> characteristic of the advanced.
> I don't see any contradiction here.
> bhava shankara desikame sharaNam
> Vaidya.
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