[Advaita-l] Fwd: Difference Between Sankya and Advaita!
Siva Senani Nori
sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed May 25 00:21:23 CDT 2011
> On Mon, 16 May 2011, Siddhartha Krishna wrote:
> > Sankhya does not believe in an Ishvara (God), yet Vedanta does........
> On Sun, 15 May 2011, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:
> > Sankhya does not disbelieve in an Ishvara (God) either. Sankhya says that
>Ishvara is asiddha, ie. the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved.
>On Mon, 23 May 2011, Jaladhar H. Vyas wrote:
> which is as good as not believing in Ishvaras existence. There is no place for
>a God-figure in the samkhya system. Classical Yoga on the other hand is Samkhya
>+ Ishvara. But even the Ishvara of the Yoga Sutras is just a passive spectator
>of prakrti, a pale imitation of the Vedantic God.
I recently came across a paper by Lokamanya Balagangadhar Tilak , where he
proposes that a kaarika is missing from Isvara Krishna's Saankhya Kaarikas. The
paper is scholarly in that it shows reason for each proposition and is not in
the tone of "it is so, because I say so." This kaarika is about rejecting Isvara
as the cause of the world. Crucially, though this Aryaa is misising from the
current editions, more than one commentary explains the phrases in the missing
kaarika - so it is not a Vedantin (Tilak) rubbishing Saankhya. I don't know if
this would persuade anybody to change his or her view that Saankhya is
indifferent to ISvara, but I hope others who have not yet formed a view would
find this useful.
Next when we say that Yoga is saankhya + ISvara, it needs to be emphasised that
it does not amount to anything significant. The ISvara of Yoga is a special
person, 'purusha-viSeshah'  (? like the arhat of Jains, whose
samyakchaaritram is exactly the same as the yamas of Yogasutras), whose main
drawback is that he is not the creator and that he cannot 'grant' moksha . To
that extent, this acceptance of Isvara does not have any conflict with Saankhya,
especially given the context that Isvara is mainly proposed as an aalambana for
yogaabhyaasana. From a meditation point of view, Isvara is as good as anything
that one likes , like a statue, a book, a teacher or whatever. Thus the
atheism of Saankhya and the theism of Yoga are not really different. I think
this is the reason why not too much stress is placed on this difference between
Saankhya and Yoga on this aspect.
N. Siva Senani
 published in his book on Vedic Chronology and Vedanga Jyotisha, available at
http://www.archive.org/details/vedicchronologya033083mbp, about 7 MB. For those
who are not interested in Jyotisha, I have a smaller 1 MB file with the 17 pages
of the article. Let me know in private if you want that.
 Yoga Sutras, 1.24: kleSakarmavipAkASayairaparAmrishTah purushaviSeshah.
Vivekananda's translation: Isvara (the Supreme Ruler) is a special purusha,
untouched by misery, the results of actions, or desires. Ganganath Jha's
translation: God is a distinct spirit, untouched by afflictions, actions,
deserts and impressions. James Haughton Woods's translation: Untouched by
hindrances or karmas or furition or by latent-deposits, the ISvara is a special
kind of Self.
 Translation from the Telugu prastaavana of MM, Padma Sri Pullela
Sriramachandrudu to his translation of the Yoga Sutras with extracts from
different bhaashyas into Telugu (p. xix, Second print, 2001): "However, the
Isvara accepted by Yogins is not the srishti-sthiti-laya karta, he is only a
special person. He does not control or bless other persons. Since Prakriti and
other purushas are also eternal, Isvara is somewhat limited. He does not grant
liberation; he only removes obstacles to liberation. Isvara is not in way
connected to the bondage (bandha) and liberation (moksha) of purushas. Bondage
is due to ignorance. Purusha is liberated once he gets the discriminatory
knowledge that he is different from Prakriti. The main object of purusha is not
to merge with Isvara; it is merely to stay distinct from Prakriti. In fact
acceptance or rejection of such an Isvara is one and the same thing. That is why
other philosophers (daarSankikas) have not accepted this aspect." Vivekananda's
comments on his translation of 1.24: "... The yogis, however, avoid many ideas
about God, such as creating. God as the Creator of the Universe is not meant by
the Isvara of the Yogis, although, according to the Vedas, Isvara is the Creator
of the universe.... The Yogis and Sankhyas both avoid the question of creation
 YS, 1.39: yathaabhimatadhyaanaadvaa; Vivekananda's tranlsation: Or by
meditation on anything that appeals to one as good. Other means/objects of
meditation listed are a) friendship, mercy, gladness and indifference in regard
to subjects, happy, unhappy, good and evil respectively (YS, 1.33); b) prANAyAma
(1.34); c) jyotishmatI (dwelling in the lotus of one's heart) (1.36); d) chittam
devoid of attachment to objects (1.37); or e) knowledge that comes in sleep
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