[Advaita-l] waking, dreaming, sleeping, as mutually supportive

Kathirasan K brahmasatyam at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 20:38:11 CDT 2009

Namaste Vidyashankarji,

My earlier comment was made having studied, practiced and taught some the
teachings of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and also other Hatha Yoga shastras
(gheranda samhita, shiva samhita, hatharatnavali etc). From the standpoint
that you come from, obviously any practice can be fused into Advaita
Vedanta, even if it may be islamic or christian. To me this is the plight of
modern vedanta where you don't find an uncompromising Shankara anymore.

But I am in complete agreement that Shankara had no issues with Yoga Sadhana
but it is obvious that he had issues with Yoga Darshana as a soteriological
system compiled/taught by Patanjali.

I would be very interested to know if Jalandhara, Uddiyana & mula bandhas
were taught by shankara in his Bhasyas as a valid means to advaita atma
darshana or citta shuddhi. Or was it that the acarya realised that the
prasthana traya lacked teachings/practices to bring about mental

2009/10/14 Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>

> > Swamiji is an example of a Vedantin who has fused the practices of Hatha
> > Yoga which is part of the Shaiva Natha Sampradaya into Vedanta. It is
> very
> > interesting to note how Vedanta and Tantra have merged in spite of its
> > teachings being mutually exclusive during the times of Shankara and
> > Matsyendranatha (the principal teacher of the Hatha Yoga School).
> This opinion seems to be based altogether on the artificial boundaries
> created by a section of modern academic scholarship on Indian traditions.
> Can you tell me where haTha yoga begins and ends, whether it was exclusive
> to the Saiva Natha Sampradaya and whether it came to influence Advaita
> Vedanta from some external source at some point of time?
> Please read the brahmasUtra bhAshya under the sUtras "AsInas sambhavAt"
>  etc, where Sankara bhagavatpAda concludes that the yoga SAstras teach many
> Asana-s, beginning with padmAsana, as a means to promote ease of
> concentration in brahmavicAra. I have had multiple occasions to point out
> the various references in the sUtrabhAshya, gItAbhAshya and the major
> upanishad bhAshyas, which exhibit an intimate familiarity with and even
> approval of yoga practices and traditions. I have also pointed out numerous
> times that this is not limited to pAtanjala yoga sUtras and the "official"
> yoga-darSana.
> I will leave the question of Vedanta and Tantra and their fusion aside for
> the time being. Here is a parallel point to ponder. Take the taittirIya
> upanishat reference - sa ya esho'ntar hRdaya AkASaH | tasminn ayaM purusho
> ... vyapohya SIrshakapAle | ... Please read Sankara bhagavatpAda's
> commentary on this passage. What kind of upAsana do you think is being
> described here? What would you imagine are the physical correlates of the
> description in this source text of vedAnta? Is such upAsana then
> upanishadic-vedAntic or tAntric/haTha yogic?
> Suffice it to say that if you think you can identify boundaries based on
> textual references, you had better read the texts in the original in great
> depth and not rely on secondary or derivative scholarship. And don't you
> think someone like Swami Abhinava Vidyatirtha, the Sringeri Sankaracharya,
> had more knowledge of the various traditions to know what is mutually
> exclusive and therefore contradictory versus what is acceptable and
> traditionally part of the life of a genuine vedAntin?
> Vidyasankar
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