Information requested (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Oct 6 16:00:29 CDT 1998

Sorry for the delayed response.

Anubhavadvaitins are not Advaitins at all.  they are the followers of
Ramanand who take the Shribhashya as their philosophical guide.  I don't
know about this Tattvasarayana.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

On Wed, 23 Sep 1998, Ravisankar S. Mayavaram wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 08:25:36 -0400
> From: sadananda <sada at>
> Greetings.
> I was going over the book Sarvagita sara by Sri Swami Sivananda where he
> presents abridged version of many gita-s.  In the list are two Rama-gita, I
> am familier with the one, which is from Adyaatma Ramayana, where Sri Rama
> teaches Lakshmana; and Swami Chimnayanandaji has written commentary on
> that.  The second one - Swami Sivanandaji says in his introduction that it
> is from the famous book - Tatva-Sarayana - is supposed to be text for
> Anubhavadvaitins. In this Rama teaches Hanuman. I found the slokas are very
> simple, yet very profound. Seems to have been written after Shankara.
> Since Swami Sivanandaji provides only an abridged text, I am trying to find
> the full text.  I am not familier with Tatva-Sarayana book nor
> Anubavadviatins.  I appreciate receiving any information on the book - the
> author, any commentaries, availability etc.
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda
> K. Sadananda
> Code 6323
> Naval Research Laboratory
> Washington D.C. 20375
> Voice (202)767-2117
> Fax:(202)767-2623

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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>From  Tue Oct  6 20:37:16 1998
Message-Id: <TUE.6.OCT.1998.203716.0400.>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 20:37:16 -0400
Reply-To: ramakris at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM>
Subject: Re: shankara's vivaraNa on vyAsa bhAShya of yoga sUtra-s
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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BSB: brahmasUtrabhAshhya
NaiSi: naishhkarmya siddhi
Sh: sha.nkarAchArya
Su: sureshvarAchArya

Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> 2.  Shankaracharya is vehemently against upasana as a method to moksha.  A
> preparatory step perhaps but thats not what the Yogasutras teach.  Also in
> the Bhagavadgitabhashya there are ample opportunities to discuss Samkhya
> and Yoga.  Shankaracharya refuses to discuss the gita as anything other
> than a work of Vedanta.

The points of Sh against upAsana as leading to moxa should be understood
in the right context. More on this later.

First from the BSB:

This is from shrI subbarAmaiya's book, daxiNAmUrti stotram: A study
based on the mAnasollAsa and the tattvasudhA, Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada
Peetham, Sringeri pp. 630-631:

Further, in this connection, it may be pointed out that the
sUtrabhAshhya (2-1-2-3) itself says:

samyagdarshanAbhypAyo hi yogo vede vihitaH `shrotavyo mantavyo
nididhAsitavyaH' iti | ...
(I'll leave the rest out and give the translation alone. Interested
people can consult the original).

[Yoga has been enjoined in the vedas as means to direct realization by
the shruti which prescribes hearing, reflection and contemplation.
Moreover, in the shvetAshvataropanishhad are found elaborate injunctions
about yogic practice in respect of the posture of the body etc., as for
instance, `Placing the body in a straight posture, holding the chest,
neck and head errect', etc. Furthee, there are very many passages in the
veda which point to yoga, as for instance, `This, the firm holding back
of senses is what is called yoga', `This knowledge and the method of
yoga in its entirety' etc. An in the yogasUtra itself the passage `Now
then yoga, the means to the realization of the reality' accepts yoga
only as a means to direct realization.]

The sUtrabhAshhya (1-3-8-33) says-

api cha smaranti - `svAdhyAadishhTadevatAsamprayogaH' ityAdi | ....
(Again the rest ommitted)

[Besides the smR^itis declare `From the recitation of one's own branch
of the veda follows the proximity to (and conversation with) one's own
chosen deity and so on. Also yoga which is spoken of in the smR^iti as
leading to the attainment of such mystic powers as becoming minute,
cannot be denied by a mere bold statement. The shruti also declares the
glory of yoga thus: `When the five elements-earth, water, fire, air and
ether have been conquered and when the yogic powers have started
functioning, then for the aspirant who has acquired a body constituted
by the fire of yoga, there is no disease, no old age, no death']

Now what does Su say in the NaiSi?

In the sambandhakoTi to 1.52 he says:

nityakarmAnushhThAt.h dharma utpattiH, dharma utpatteH pApa hAniH, tataH
chitta shuddhiH, tatah sa.nsArayAthAtmi-AvabodhaH, tataH vairAgyaM,
tataH mumuxatvaM, tataH tat upAya paryeshhaNam, tataH
sarva-karma-tat-sAdhana-sannyAsaH, tataH yogAbhyAsaH, tataH cittasya
pratyag pravaNatA, tataH `tat tvam asi' Adi vAkyArtha pariGYAnam, tataH
avidyA uchchhedaH tataH cha svAtmani eva avasthAnam

The causal chain he says is:

performance of daily rituals -> attainment of merit -> destruction of
sin -> chitta shuddhi (for Ravi: deja vu eh :-)) -> understanding of how
the cycle of birth and death happens -> vairAgya -> mumuxatva ("intense
desire for liberation") -> search for means for liberation ->
renunciation of all karma and their performance -> practice of yoga ->
concentration of the chitta "within" -> knowledge of texts like `tat
tvam asi', etc -> destruction of avidyA -> establishment in the self

This is in reply to the GYAnakarma samuchchhayavAdin. Su adds in the
following verses that karma is only a remote cause in the causal chain
leading to destruction of avidyA. So there is no need to combine karma
and GYAna.

Please note that yogAbhyAsa comes after sannyAsa! yoga cannot mean karma
for obvious reasons. It cannot mean GYAna since it is qualified by
abhyAsa (practice). It is only our good old pata.njala yoga which Sh has
eulogized so much in the BSB. It is also made clear from the fact that
it leads to concentration of the chitta within. Su should of course, be
understood in the proper sense. yogAbhyAsa is part of shravaNa, manana
and nididhyAsana as pointed out by Sh. This continues after taking up
sannyAsa also.

We should also be careful not to be confused into thinking that practice
of yoga is necessary for all. For some understanding of the mahAvAkyas
can come even without it, e.g., vidura, dharmavyAdha, Ramana Maharshi
etc. BTW, Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswami followed this route
mentioned by Su.

Of course, it does not mean non-sannyAsis should not try to practice
yoga or dhyAna. In fact Sh points out in his commentary on the IshA
upanishhad that _both_ karma _and_ dhyAna _have_ to be practiced by
anyone other than sannyAsis. In fact those who practice karma alone will
be lead to "tamas" or "blinding ignorance". I can discuss this more if
anyone wishes.  This brings out the importance of yoga, since it is the
authority as far as dhyAna goes, and of course this has been made clear
by Sh.

The arguments of Su and Sh against prasa.nkhyAna have to be understood
in the proper sense. They are not against it per se, but merely say they
cannot lead to moxa. If it did, the unreality of the world would be
denied. Su agrees that it can be part of the initial preparation. This
has been excellently brought out by Vidyasankar in his paper "On
parisa.nkhyAna". He may not be able to post the entire paper, but
perhaps if he posts a precis of it, it may make things more clear.

The relationship of yoga to advaita has been noted by Buddhist writers
also. For the observations of Bhavya on advaita, a pre-Sh Buddhist,
refer to: "The vedAnta philosophy described by bhavya in his
madhyamakahR^idaya", V.V.Gokhale, Indo-Iranian Journal-2, 1958, pp.
165-180. So yoga was not something taken up by post-Sh vedAntins as some
would very much like to imagine.


"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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