[Advaita-l] naiShkarmyasiddhi of sureSvarAcArya (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon May 29 06:38:43 CDT 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: subhanu saxena <subhanu at hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 22:46:46 +0000

I happened to be reading the archives and came across the question
regarding Naishkarmya Siddhi and AJ Alston's translation of a passage.
You have highlighted a rare and unfortunate example of an mistranslation
by the normally excellent translator Professor Alston. If you have access
to it, the translation by Prof R Balasubramaniam conveys the sense of the
Sanskrit more clearly, and provides the necessary clarifications of the
passage you quote by inserting the correct references to "he" as Jamini.
It is not uncommon for both Suresvara and Shankara to quote texts without
referring to the name of the original author. For example, Shankara often
refers to his paramaguru as "knower of the tradition". [A short aside, in
Sanskrit, as a mark of extreme respect not only is the name of the person
not always directly mentioned, but also the 3rd person plural is
frequesntly used, as opposed to the 3 person singular. As an
example,witness how Shankara referes to Gaudapada as "tathA cha
sampradAyavido vadanti", BSB 1-4-14. Suresvara refers directly to
Gaudapada in Nai Si 4-44, using the plural]. Surevesvara, frequently
quotes whole Upanishad verses without explicitly referring from where he
has taken them. Suresvara, who was well versed in purva mimamsa, refers
extensively to the purva mimAmsa and srauta sutram texts to establish his
the viewpoint of his sampradAya. It is therefore unlikely he could have
made a mistake in the authorship of the purva-mimAmsa.
The fact that both the purva mimAmsa and uttara mimamsa texts were seen
as connected by the tradition dates to well before Shankara. Shankara
mentions the name of bhagavAn upavarSa in BSB 3-3-53, who wrote a
commentary on both the purva and uttara mimama. Shankara obviosuly holds
this teacher in great regard , as he gives the title bhagavAn.
Unfortunately the works of UpavarSAchArya have not survived. As Rama
mentions in his post, Suresvara discusses this relation topic in the
sambandha-vArtika. I quote just 2 verses below from the S.V. to provide a
sense of what is written, with translation by TMP Mahadevan:
samskAra-mAtra-kAritvam sarveSAm api karmaNAm
jnAnakANDe pravesho vA teSAm nArthAntaram tatah (S.V. 301)
"All rites effect only purification; or, they are to be regarded as
subsidiary to the knowledge section. This, there is no different purport
for them"
vedo hi sarva evAyam aikAtmya-jnAna-siddhaye
ato nAnyo'bhisambandhah karma-vijnAna-kANDayoh (S.V. 325)
"The entire veda is, indeed, for the sake of gaining knowledge of the one
self. Therefore, no other relation there is between the ritual and
knowledge sections"
So, jnAna-kANDa brings knowledge directly and karma kANDa indirectly by
preparing the seeker for the rise of knowledge. Suresvara is completely
in line with his teacher here. You will find more of Shankara's views on
the role of ritual to prepare for the rise of knowledge in BSB 3-4-27,
where rituals are described as more remote means promoting the desire to
know vs direct knowledge (vividiSAsamyogAt tu bAhyatarANI yajnAdIni iti
Hope this clarifies

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