[Advaita-l] Re: Pa~nchapAdikAchArya
svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 29 07:12:14 CST 2006
> Could you please share your thoughts on the terms "nirvikalpa",
>"savikalpa" and "sabiija" samaadhi !
What makes this topic of Yoga and Advaita difficult to address
comprehensively is that there is a profusion of terminology and everybody
seems to mean different things by these terms.
If we go back to the core texts and traditions, sabIja and nirbIja are used
in Yoga, but the terms nirvikalpa and savikalpa are never applied to samAdhi
within the Yoga texts. Indeed, it would make no sense for yogasUtra and its
bhAshya to talk of nir-vikalpa samAdhi at all, because vikalpa is itself one
of the vRtti-s of the citta. According to yoga thought, the mind can only be
arrested (nirodha) by practice (abhyAsa), but even at the highest level of
samAdhi, where all thought is stilled, the mind does not disappear. The seer
(drashTA) stands alone and views all of a prakRti as distinct and separate,
the mind itself being part of this prakRti.
On the other hand, it makes sense for advaita vedAntins to talk of
nir-vikalpa samAdhi as a state where even this seed of a duality is
transcended, because even the mind does not exist as a separate entity any
more. As gauDapAda says, vikalpo vinivarteta (kArikA 1.18) and nirvikalpo
hyayam (kArikA 2.35), nigRhItasya manaso nirvikalpasya (kArikA 3.34) etc.
Some talk of this as sahaja sthiti or samAdhi, but again, I find different
people using the word sahaja in different ways. After all, along with
(saha-) what is this state born (-ja)? The Atman is unborn (aja) and as far
as advaita is concerned, every state of accomplishment of yogic samAdhi
(savicAra/nirvicAra, savitakra/nirvitarka, sabIja/nirbIja, ...) still falls
short of the Atma-darSana.
If one were to say "yoga influence," every time an advaitin (especially
post-Sankaran) talks of nirvikalpa samAdhi, that is absolutely incorrect.
Not only is the very term nirvikalpa used by gauDapAda (and not by
patanjali), the term samAdhi is used in the brahmasUtra and bhAshya in a
specific sense of Atma-darSana. After all, there is the word "drashTavyaH"
in front of "Srotavyo mantavyo nididhyAsitavyaH" and all of it is termed as
a teaching of samAdhi (samAdhir upadishTo vedAnteshu - BSBh 2.3.39; see post
numbered 5 in the Yoga and Advaita Vedanta series).
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