161. hakArArthA

Ravisankar Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Sat Nov 28 16:01:43 CST 1998

161. hakArArthA

SHE who is meaning of letter "ha".

"ha" is the root letter (bIjAkShara)  of  the space (AkAsha).
SHE is the artha (meaning) of the AkAsha bIja which is
Self-Awareness. According to chandogyopaniShad verse 6-11-1,
"AkAsho ha vai nAmarUpayo nirvahito te yadantarA tadbrahma" which
means AkAsha is brahman supporting the name and forms but without
being touched by them.

AUM hakArArthAyai namaH

>From  a translation of sha.nkara bhAshyaM of shrI lalitAtrishatI

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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>From  Mon Nov 30 17:47:42 1998
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Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 17:47:42 -0600
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: Ravisankar Mayavaram <msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: AmnAya stotram.h Verse 11
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mahAvAkyaM cha tatroktaM praj~nAnaM brahmachochyate |
uttarasyAM shrImaThasyat kShetraM badarikAshramam.h || 11||

mahAvAkyaM assigned to the govardhana maTha of pUri is
praj~nAnaM brahma. With this details about the govardhana maTha
comes to an end.

The next maTha we will discuss is the one situated in the north.
It is called shrImaTha and at it is located in badarikAsharamaM.

More later.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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>From ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU Wed Dec  2 13:58:22 1998
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From: Subhanu Saxena <Subhanu.Saxena at INTL.PEPSI.COM>
Subject: Re: New member introduction: shrI Hari K. Tadepalli
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On Nov 24, Hari Krishna wrote:
>                 What is the history of Advaita Vedanta ? Does the word
> 'Vedanta" imply Advaita as taught by Sri Sankara or is it notion contained
> in the Vedas, only to be rejuvenated by Sri Sankara ?

I hope you enjoy being part of the list, and I look forward to your
contributions.  With regards to your above question, I would first recommend
the Advaita Home Page maintained by Vidyasankar (who also contributes to
this list), which is frankly superb.  Also, in the archives, if you see my
posting of Sep 15, there is some information there which you may find
useful. In that I have covered how Sankara and gauDapAda did not "invent"
their system, but were part of an ancient sampradAya, to which Sankara
frequently pays profound reverence in his works. You may find the following
also helpful:

1) The word VedAnta

We have, in the muNDaka upanishad (3-2-6), and also in the mahAnArAyaNa
upanishad (with a slightly different reading), the verse:

vedAnta-vijnAna-sunishchitArthAha sannyAsayogAt yataha shuddhasattwAha |
te brahmalokeshu parAntakAle parAmrtAha parimuchyanti sarve ||

"Those muni's, pure of nature, who have perfectly attained the knowledge of
the vedAnta, they become immortal in the worlds of brahman, and , at the end
of their life, have become completely free"

Also, in the mahAnArAyaNa upanishad, we have the famous mantra

"yo vedAdau swaraha prokto vedAnte cha pratishthitaha.."

"He who is proclaimed in veda swara at the beginning of the veda, and who is
firmly established in the vedAnta"

The word vedAnta is therefore an ancient term used well before Sankara's

2) Does the word vedAnta imply "advaita" only?

Post Sankara, vedAnta applies to the dvaita, advaita and vishishTadvaita
schools. One can be a vedAnta scholar, and not be an advaitin.

Pre Sankara, it becomes slightly more contentious as to whether there were
schools of dualism in existence, and flourishing.

We have, however, the following references in Sankara's bhAshya's:

"apare tu vAdinaha pAramarthikameva jaivam rUpam iti manyante, asmadIyAshcha
kechit" Sutra bhAshya (SB) 1-3-19

"Some others, as well as some of our own, hold the view that the nature of
the jIva is real (and one with brahman) from the transcendental standpoint"


"sarvopanishatsu hi vijnAnAtmanaha paramAtmanA ekatwapratyayo vidhIyata iti
avipratipattihi sarveshAm upanishadvidAm" Brihad Bh 2-1-20

"The position of all those who are knowers (and followers) of the Upanishads
is that in all the upanishads is taught the ultimate identity of the
individual Atman and the supreme Atman"

This lends strong evidence to the view that, as far as Sankara is concerned,
the traditional exposition of the vedAnta was of advaita prior to him.
Maybe other members of the list have come across references that support the
view that dvaita schools also existed before Sankara's time (which does not
seem implausible, as there is a long, rich and much encouraged history of
explaining the message of the Veda from different standpoints)

You may also find interesting the site at www.vedavid.org, which is from the
PhD work of John Gardner of the University of Iowa. Here he traces the
developement of key words, such as Atman and brahman through the Rig Veda.

3) What were some of the advaita schools that existed before Sankara?

We have a wealth of references both in Sankara's bhAshya's (particularly
brahma sutra bhAshya), but also in Sureshwara's works, where various ancient
schools of advaita have been taken up for discussion, and then refuted to
establish the traditional method of interpreting the vedAnta according to
Sankara's tradition. Here are a few examples, with some references for those
interested in further reading:

i) the school postulating diversity within brahman (anekAtmaka brahmavAda)

This has been associated with the name of the scholar bhartrprapancha.  His
views are refuted at length by by Sankara and Sureshwara.  Reference to a
description of the school at SB 2-1-14

ii) Schools that hold brahaman as subservient to an injunction or meditation

Reference SB 1-1-4

iii) The school that maintained the meditator 'goes' to the highest brahman
AFTER death

Refernce SB 4-3-14

iv) Schools that objected to the meditation of Isvara as identical with Jiva

Reference SB 4-1-3

v) Schools that demanded mental repetition of the knowledge (eg of tat twam
asi) is necessary for final knowledge and release

SB 4-1-2

In sureshwara's sambandha vArtikA, we have descriptions and then subsequent
refutations, of the following

vi) bheda vilaya, or prapancha vilaya, or dissolving the universe to attain

vii) vAsana nirodha or destruction of the  impression of reality in the 3

viii) jnAnavidhi schools as already mentioned above

ix) prasankhyAna vidhi, which required the injunction of the continued
practice of right knowledge+ratiocination to keep avidyA at bay

x) sAkshAtkAra jnAna school with proposed continued practice of indirect
knowledge gained through the shAstra.

There are more that one comes across as one reads the vArtika's of
sureshwara and Sankara's commentaries, which are all refuted by Sankara and
Sureshwara to establish the sampradAya according to their school. So
successful were they that these other schools have left no independent trace
other than the references in the bhAshyakAra's and vArtikAkAra's writings,
plus in the sub-commentaries after Sankara's era. All these schools pay
little attention to the method of adhyAropa-apavAda, and the distinction
between the paramArtha and vyavahAra standpoints that are at the core of
Sankara's sampradAya

Hopefully the above is useful in answering the question asked



"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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>From  Wed Dec  2 09:32:39 1998
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Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 09:32:39 -0600
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: Ravisankar Mayavaram <msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: brahmani me Atma amR^itattvAya
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Can someone explain the mantra "brahmani me Atma amR^itattvAya"
which occurs in the daily ritual before eating food.

Thanks for your help.

With regards,

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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