Differences between Vedantic schools

Devendra Vyas dev_vyas74 at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 31 03:52:57 CDT 1999

amidst all the dicussion going around regards jnana and karma,let us
remember the foll:
'karma is said to be the means of the muni who seeks to attain to
yoga;serenity is said to be the means when he has attained to yoga'
-gita 6(3)
>From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
>Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
>Subject: Re: Differences between Vedantic schools
>Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 04:08:11 -0400
>On Sat, 28 Aug 1999, Shrisha Rao wrote:
> > Quite; `kurvanneveha karmANi', etc.  But this brings up the question of
> > how anyone at all can afford to give up karma wholesale and still stay
> > within the pale of scriptural injunction.
> >
> > > To give them up there better be a good reason.  To say the sannyasi
> > > follows a different path you will have to explain what about him is so
> > > different.
> >
> > Need you ask?
>Well, yes. :-)  I know why the Advaitin sannyasi gives up karma.  I don't
>know why the dvaitin sannyasi does.  Hence the questions.
> >  For one thing, let's turn the board around and look at
> > things from your angle.
>Note even if it should somehow be proved that the Advaita view on karma is
>wrong, it doesn't mean the dvaita view is right.
> > If you say that sannyAsI-s don't have to perform
> > karma because they're into j~nAna, then is the j~nAna merely a function
> > their having taken the vows and the robes of sannyAsa?
>What is meant by sannyasa?  According to the shastras there are four types
>bahudaka, kuchitaka, hansa, and paramhansa.  The first three are generally
>apart from society but still in some ways connected with it so their
>adoption of symbols such as the danda etc. is not so bad.  The
>fourth type, the paramhansa is different and is the type of greatest
>interest here. In the kaupinyapanchaka, Shankaracharya extolls the
>paramhansa who is naked but for a loincloth, (so no question of robes :-),
>with matted hair and covered in bhasma, who wanders from place to place.
>He meditates on the Omkara or stays completely silent.  He is completely
>apart from any karma, religious or secular.  This according to
>Shankaracharya is the one who will achieve moksha.  It is true that even
>the paramhansa may on occasion observe social conventions.  In the Gita
>(karmayoga) Bhagavan says
>saktaah karmanyvidvamso yatha kurvanti bhaarata |
>kuryadvidvamstathaasktshchikeershurlokasamgraham || 26 ||
>From attachment to action do ignorant men act, O Bhaarata !
>So wise men should act only for the welfare of the world.
>na buddhibhedam janayedajnanaam karmasanginaam |
>joshayetsarvakarmani vidvanyuktaah samaacharan || 27 ||
>They should not cause them (the ignorant) mental confusion which will
>drive them apart from karma.  They should enthusiastically engage them in
>all karmas.
>This is key.  The Advaitin does not glibly say Jnana is superior.  It is
>superior overall because it deals with the imperishable while karma deals
>with the perishable but _only_for_the_person_who_is_capable_of_it.  For
>the rest, karma is the appropriate choice and it would be wrong for the
>wise man to recommend an inappropriate one.
>Any social conventions he undertakes are for others benefit not for his
> >  If so, then we
> > would have the absurd situation of suggesting that many renowned
> > of the past were not j~nAnI-s simply because they did not undertake the
> > Ashrama,
>One such was Vachaspati Mishra.  The story is that his commentary on the
>Brahmasutrabhashya was called Bhamati after his wife.  Because he lived a
>life of such ascetic rigor that they never had any children and this was
>his way of giving his wife the immortality which was otherwise denied to
>her.  Now I don't know if this story is historically true or not but the
>important thing is why did it need to be told at all?  It would seem for
>Advaitins it is the idea a grhastha could be a jnani which was absurd
>nothing else.
>Ah! one may exclaim.  That story only shows that he _acted_ like a
>sannyasi not that he became one.  I would answer that for a paramahansa
>the actions or lack of them are all there is to it.  For one who has
>nothing and is everything, how can he "become" anything?
>  Or look at Apayya Dikshita who took sannyasa on his
>deathbed.  Why did he bother?  He was the acknowledged master of Advaita
>Vedanta.  Yet he felt that his life was not complete without sannyasa.  He
>felt he had to take it.
> > and conversely, that certain individuals who do little justice to
> > the robe and class are nonetheless j~nAnI-s.
>In many places in the Gitabhashya Shankaracharya makes a distinction
>(karma)yoga and sannyasa.  One is renunciation of karmaphala, another
>is renunciation of karma itself. Now see for example ch. 5, v. 2.  Here  a
>distinction is made between renunciation of karma and
>_renunciation_of_karma_accompanied_by_jnana_.  Bhagawan says karmayoga is
>better than the first kind of karmasannyasa.  But the second kind is
>better than both the others.  A would-be sannyasi who is not engaged in
>the acquisition of jnana is worse off than the person who never took
>sannyasa at all.
> >  In fact, the karma-mArga and
> > krama-mukti would be mere chimera, for all anyone would have to do would
> > be to undertake the Ashrama, and bingo, that would give jIvan-mukti.
> >
>They would have to take the ashram with the attitude of mumukshatva.
>Otherwise they would only be self-delusional.
> > If that absurdity be disallowed, then it becomes necessary to accept
> > some sannyAsI-s at least are not j~nAnI-s, and thus, the exception
> > claiming for j~nAna cannot hold in their case.  So why don't they wear
> > yaj~nopavIta and perform sandhyA, etc.?  The only rational explanation
> > that it is the Ashrama, rather than the personal qualification for
> > which determines that such action is not required.
> >
>The absurdity is based on false premises.  The question to ask is are they
>_trying_ to achieve jnana?  Is the burning desire for moksha foremost in
>their minds?  If not, then yes they should be wearing yagnopavit, doing
>sandhya etc.  As householders because they are not really sannyasis at
> > I must add at this point that I have seen no evidence to suggest that
> > anything you've said in this matter is actually Advaita *as taught by
> > Shankara*.  Perhaps it is your understanding of what you've heard or
> > somewhere, but I'd much rather prefer to stick to cold, hard quotes and
> > explanations by Shankara and go from there.
>Well I've indicated which parts of the Gitabhashya contain relevant
>discussions.  If I haven't typed it all out it's because it's very late.
>But you can see for yourself.  Or ask Vidya or Anand.  I'm quite confident
>what I've said is according to the siddhanta.
>One thing I haven't done is prove the Advaita view is better than the
>Vishishtadvaita one (jnanakarmasamucchayavada.)  That will be my next post
>in which I'll summon cold, hard quotes from the sambandhavartika of
>  In fact, I don't seem to find
> > much real Advaita here except for occasional material from Anand H. and
> > Vidyasankar.
> >
>Are you refering to the the recent discussion about the Vedas?  If there
>is one canard I can dispel about Advaita Vedanta is that it considers the
>injunctions of the Vedas and shastras to be inferior or irrelevant.
>True, they are of no use to a jnani but nor is anything else.  For the
>rest of us, the shastras are of vital importance and very much "real"
>advaita vedanta.
>Oh and to all list members, if there is some subject you are interested
>in, you needn't wait for one of the frequent posters to bring it up.  Post
>Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
>bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam
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