Sankhya vs. Advaita Vedanta

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Feb 15 17:44:12 CST 1999

On Sun, 14 Feb 1999, Vivekananda Centre wrote:

> Quoting Shruti or quoting Shankracharya
> cannot be a good enough reason to reject the similarities that Ashish
> chandra has noted!

Here's another good example of the difference between the two.  For
Vedantins (of any stripe) It certainly is good enough to quote the Shruti.
Samkhya claims that omniescent seers like Maharshi Kapila are the valid
source of knowledge and though the Vedas and shastras are valid, it is
only insofar as they were written by such seers.  So if Vedanta says
something is so because "Shruti says".  Samkhya says it is so because
"Maharshi Kapila says".  I fail to see how this is any more "reasonable"
than the other.  Read the sections of the Brahmasutrabhashya Ramakrishnan
mentioned to you.  Even in Shankaracharyas time, Maharshi Kapila was an
old and legendary figure.  It was no less clear in those days that there
really was a person by that name who taught Samkhya.  And which of the
several contradictory versions of Samkhya is the "authentic" one that he
taught anyway? To cast doubton the validity of such claims does not imply
any "mud-slinging" or disrespect.  In the Nitya Tarpana we
(Shuklayajurvedis anyway) pay respect to Kapila, Asuri, Panchashikha, and
Vodhu, who are considered the legendary founders of Samkhya.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

"bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam"
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