Note on Vedic shAkhAs

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Jul 20 10:08:34 CDT 1999

Vedanta is entirely founded on the Vedas (and the shastras that derive
from them.) The difference between the various schools is mainly on which
statements of the Vedas should be given more weight.  Now Shankaracharyas
Advaita Vedanta places the emphasis on the parts that teach jnana which he
demonstrates requires vairagya and is 100% incompatible with karma.  So in
that sense the prescriptions and prohibitions of the shastras are not
relevant.  However this goes both ways.  If one is truly interested in
moksha it is not enough to sit around and talk about how enlightened
one is, one must completely give up all karma.  And this is not possible
for most people.  (including most people on this list.  There are only two
sannyasis AFAIK.)  For those people to give up the duties enjoined on them
would be a sin.  Thus Shankaracharya and his successors have propogated
two paths.  Nivrti or sannyasa which leads to moksha and Pravrti or
dispassionless action which prepares one for sannyasa.  This Pravrti marga
is taught in the Karma Kanda.

So knowing and practising the "worldly" aspect of the Vedas is very
important and we see the Shankaracharyas today encourage this as much as
they encourage Advaita Vedanta.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, B.S.S.Prasad wrote:

> Hi,
> I thought that this list was supposed to propogate/share the 'advaita'
> philosophy as taught by Sri Shankaracharya...
> don't you think that we are deviating much from that focussed objective
> which we had in mind?
> _prasad

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