[Advaita-l] Adwaita and God.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 8 11:04:53 CST 2010

Dear Sri Srikanta,
I again hesitate to contribute to this thread, but will clarify two points and
then withdraw. 
> Let me elaborate on that point.All Dwaita schools,and Yoga school is no
> exception start with the premise that there is a creator.Whether we call

Not necessarily. Strictly speaking, pUrva mImAMsA also does not recognize
non-dualism, and that system of thought has no room for a creator. Yoga 
also, strictly speaking, is quite silent about an ISvara creating the universe.
> it Purusha,or Ishwara with Purusha associated with prakrthi,they all end
> up with Dwaita drsti.Only the Adwaita or vedanta discriminates Ishwara
> from Brahman or Turiya.

sAMkhya and yoga actually begin with a nAnAtva-dRshTi (multiple purusha-s
and one prakRti who multiplies into multiple tattva-s). Again, to understand
pAtanjala yoga in its own right, one should not impose the notion of ISvara
as a creator upon that system. In sAMkhya and yoga, creation happens due
to purusha-prakRti saMyoga and therefore, in yoga, other purusha-s also
have a role in creating, not just ISvara, the special purusha. I hope that the
distinction and its enormous implications are clear. 
That said, let me turn to the various legends that have been cited in this
thread so far, both by you and Sri Sunil Bhattacharya. You wish to view the
legendary story that govindapAda was an incarnation of patanjali as not 
having any great implication for the philosophies of yoga and advaita. Quite
correctly so, if I may say so. However, on this and other threads, I also see
you citing a bunch of other unverifiable legends that have no bearing at all
on philosophy or for that matter on plain historical fact. These include the
legends that gauDapAda used to be a brahmarAkshasa, or that someone
called Candrasarma copied down the vyAkaraNa bhAshya and lost part of
it to a goat, etc. Please note that the patanjalicarita of rAmabhadra dIkshita
is a fanciful poem originating in the imagination of one scholar, who never
intended it as a historical record. Please also note that the original author
of this poem used the named Candragupta, not Candrasarma. The latter
emendation of the name is a modern innovation by those who wish to see
history in poetic fancy.
Also, the supposed reference to Appollonius of Tyana having met Gaudapada
has been discounted by none other TMP Mahadevan, who has doubted whether
the Gururatnamala was written by Sadasiva Brahmendra. Similarly, the story
that vidyAraNya and vedAnta deSika were classmates in Kanchipuram is quite
unsubstantiated. Neither do texts such as Vidyaranya Kalajnana, giving legendary
biographies of Vidyaranya mention any such thing, nor do Srivaishnava accounts
of the life of Vedanta Desika say so. You are no doubt aware of the political
implications of such myths pertaining to important personalities from different
sampradAyas. It would be best to keep away from these and other related
complications on this list.
Best regards,

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