[Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?
srirudra at vsnl.com
Mon Dec 19 01:32:57 CST 2011
I find that sandalwood tree does emit fragrance even as a standing
tree -need not necesaary to cut it to get its sweet smell as per information
about sandal tree.Its roots are full of oil and therefore it is uprooted to
get maximum commercial benefit further says the information.Thank you for
the query which led me to find out the saprtasloki and also about sandalwood
----- Original Message -----
From: "Shrisha Rao" <shrao at nyx.net>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2011 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?
El dic 17, 2011, a las 6:50 p.m., Rajaram Venkataramani escribió:
> In satasloki, Sankara compares the guru with the sandalwood tree saying
> that like the sandal wood tree which makes the nearby trees also fragrant
> with its own good fragrance, the guru also makes those around him free
> sorrow. As you know, sandal wood tree does not emit any fragrance in its
> natural state but only when it is cut and made in to a paste. So, how is
> this correct?
I don't know if it is, but then I don't know much about the properties of
I have heard it said by people trained as medical doctors that the
description of the human body given in the Vivekachudamani is not only
inaccurate per modern medical science, but also does not approach the level
of understanding seen in classical sources like the Charaka Samhita, etc.
However, an obvious defense on this is that the Vivekachudamani is not
intended to be a substitute for Gray's Anatomy; the incorrectness if any (in
describing the properties of sandalwood, or the structure of the human body)
is germane only when the illustration pertains to a contested point (rather
than the glory of a guru, or the difference of body and soul, which are
accepted by all seekers). For instance, the chArvAka-s claim that life
spontaneously arises in the universe (without the agency of a Creator) just
as spiders spontaneously arise in animal dung, and that consciousness
spontaneously arises in the living body (without the agency of a soul) just
as fermentation spontaneously happens in a sweet liquid like fruit juice.
The Astika response to this (a precursor to Pasteur) is of course that the
illustrations themselves are off the mark and show something other than what
they are claimed to.
> In Swami Vidyaranaya's Sankara Digvijayam introduction, he says "those who
> are proud due to the wealth that is attained by the dancer of unsteady
> mindlakshmi, who appeared in the milk ocean". Lakshmi devi cannot be said
> to be of unsteady mind because when the milk ocean was churned and the
It would be best to look at the actual words used in the original before
attempting to reason in this regard. The translation (or recollection of
it) may not be correct, and a different parsing of words/phrases ("those who
are of unsteady mind are proud due to the wealth of Lakshmi," etc.) would
easily resolve the issue.
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