[Advaita-l] Re: Why Yoga is not a Pramana ??
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 30 14:42:13 CDT 2003
>We have so much to say about Sruthi being a Pramana.
>Pramana being that it can independently reveal the
On the one hand, the Self reveals itself, because it is sva-prakASa. Sruti
tells us what the Self is and that it is self-revealing. That is why Sruti
>Why did Srikrishna say in Bhagavad Gita 'j~nana yogena
>sankhyanam karmayogena yoginam' ? He obviously means
Because these are paths meant for people of different capabilities, in order
to prepare them for the Self-knowledge taught in Sruti.
>that both j~nana and Karmayoga are means of the same
>knowledge. In such case why is not Karma Yoga accepted
>as a Darsana ?
I don't get this. Technically, jnAna yoga is not a darSana either. It is
called a mArga, i.e. a path. As hinted in this verse itself, this jnAna-yoga
is also called sAMkhya-yoga in other contexts in the gItA. As for karmayoga,
that mArga includes the performance of actions dictated by Sruti, with
detachment and as an offering to bhagavAn, so that is also not a pramANa
that is independent of Sruti.
>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 ?
Not really. A careful reading of gItA verse 6.3 is required - Arurukshor
muner yogaM karma kAraNam ucyate | yogArUDhasya tasyaiva SamaH kAraNam
ucyate || The yoga referred to here is dhyAna yoga. In other words, there is
a transition from karma to dhyAna. Also see the verse that says, "SanaiH
Sanair uparamed buddhyA dhRtigRhItayA. All these references should also be
read in conjunction with verse 13.24, where sAMkhya-yoga, dhyAna-yoga and
karma-yoga are all integrated together.
Not to toot my own horn, but I have written up an extensive discussion of
how Sankara and Suresvara weave this together with brahmasUtra and
bRhadAraNyaka passages in their commentaries. This has now appeared as a
chapter in a new book (2003) edited by Ian Whicher and David Carpenter,
called "Yoga: The Indian Tradition" and published by Routledge Press.
Briefly, the idea is this - karma yoga helps one cultivate citta-Suddhi and
prepares one for the rigor of jnAna/dhyAna.
Finally, correlate all this with what Sankara says in his commentary on the
sUtra, "etena yogaH pratyuktaH" - generally speaking, sAMkhya is jnAna and
yoga is dhyAna that are in accordance with what is taught in the
upanishad-s. The reason they are not given independent status as pramANa-s,
is that one, they are smRti, and derive their pramANa status from Sruti, and
two, the vision(s) and power(s) obtained through yoga have to be carefully
monitored and interpreted under the guidance of a guru. Or else, it is easy
to be led astray.
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