New member introduction: shrI Hari K. Tadepalli
Subhanu.Saxena at INTL.PEPSI.COM
Mon Dec 7 06:53:23 CST 1998
On December 6th, Jaldhar Vyas wrote:
> The Ishopanishad says "one should do
> Karma if one wishes to live for a hundred years." But it goes on to say
> "these worlds are called darkness." From this our Acharyas have concluded
> that for the person who wants success in this world, the Vedic pravrrti
> marga of performance of rituals, worldly duties etc. is the best way. If
> done correctly, this will lead to prosperity, attainment of heaven, etc.
> But for the person who realizes that in the end even svarga is finite
> "darkness" the nivrrti marga explained in the jnana kanda of the Vedas is
> the best way.
In connection with the above, the following passages from Sankara's
Brahma Sutra Bhashya (BSB) deserve close attention (I give an Enhglish
translation, with a reference to the Sanskrit original for those
1) BSB III iv 27
From "tasmAt yajnAdIni shamadamAdIni..." to "iti vivektavyam":
"Hence the rise of knowledge of the Self depends on yajna, charity
and austerity and the rest, also on inner and outer control etc, in
accordance of the performance of the duties of one's Ashrama. A
distinction, however, should be made between the 2 types of means of
knowledge. Inner and outer control etc are more proximate means, because
they are directly connected with knowledge of the Self through the phrase
"ya evamvit-he who knows thus" (Brihad IV IV 23). Rituals etc on the other
hand are only connected with promoting the desire to know, and are thus
regarded as more remote aids"
2) BSB III ii 21
From "drasTavyAdishabdA api..." to "cha jnAnam utpadyate", where
Sankara comments on the real role of injunctions to act, referring to the
famous Brihad passage "AtmA vA are drashTavyaha....etc":
"Texts in the form of a command such as "The Self should be seen..."
which are found in the sections dealing with the highest knowledge, are
fundamentally for the purpose of turning the hearer in the direction of the
knowledge of Reality, and are NOT PRIMARILY TO BE REGARDED AS INJUNCTIONS to
become aware of the real. Even in the world, when people give a command and
say "look here" or "listen to this", the meaning of such phrases really is
"pay attention" and not "acquire a piece of direct knowledge". When anyone
is in proximity with a knowable object, knowledge of it sometimes arises,
and sometimes it does not. Therefore, anyone who wishes to acquaint someone
with an object should show it to him. When it has been shown to him,
knowledge will arise according to the nature of the object and the means of
As always, classic stuff from the bhagavAn bhAshyakAra.
"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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