Sankara SampradhAyam - 16

Dr. S.R.Marur smarur at EASI.SOFT.NET
Fri Sep 24 10:18:11 CDT 1999

'thrayI sAnkhyam yOga: pashupathi matham vaishnavam ithi'

'thrayI' refers to vEdha matham. Then sAnkhyam and yOgam. This
pashupathi matham is the same pAsupatha matham that denigrates other
deities and claims that Siva is the supreme lord. Similary,
vaishnavam is the one which refutes (nirAkaranam) other deities
and establishes the supremacy of Vishnu. VyAsar referred this only as

Both VyAsar and Pushpadanthar had accepted all these five schools.
They have spoken in praise of them by equating them to five different
rivers which finally take to the same sea. They have accepted even
those who claimed that 'Only our deity is supreme'. However, as this
attitude was considered to be against the true spirit of vEdha matham,
they had chosen to classify these schools as those differing /
deviating, completely from it [*vEda*].

In the case of Pushpadanthar, it is quite interesting. Because, he
himself was a great sAmbhavA. The theme of his sthOthrA is nothing
but Siva MahimA. He had even mentioned that these five schools are
five different rivers leading to the confluence into the same sea of
ParamEshvarA. Inspite of all these, he hadn't considered the saivaite
pashupathi matham to be our sanAdhana dharmam, known also as vEdha
matham. VEdha matham is the one that rejects nothing. As it is the
one which absorbs everything, he had differentiated it from

The third one is a poet. If there is significance to the utterance
of VyasA, an important personality for all the three [*vEdAntic*]
schools; if there is importance attached to the differtiation of the
school which holds only Siva as the supreme from vEdA, by the
saivaite Pushpadanthar himself; then there exists a great amount of
value to the outpouring of a poet (kavi-vAkku) who remains totally
unbiased without aligning himself with any particular school, and
claiming neither superiority nor inferiority of any deity.

Let us look at the opinion of such a poet here. Who is that poet? It
is the one who composed the story of Nalan as 'naishadham' -
srI Harshar. When he was attempting to give a similie in a scene with
extra ordinary literary merit, he also touches upon this topic of
five schools.

The svayamvaram of Dhamayanthi is going on. She is in love with
only Nalan. She is very particular that she has to garland Nalan
alone, who is present in the svayamvaram hall. Even the four dEvAs
- IndrA, VarunA, Agni and yamA - are pining for her. It is their
desire to have her as their wife. They are also aware of her love for
Nalan. Therefore, all of them disguised themselves exactly like Nalan
and arrived there. Five Nalans are seated in the hall where the
svayamvaram is going on. How could Dhamayanthi find the real Nalan
[*from these five*]?

It is only here, srI Harshar says that similar to the presence of
'true' [*school of*] advaitha in the midst of five mathams, the
presence of true Nalan amidst five Nalans caused confusion [*in her*]
and describes the astonishment of Dhamayanthi due to her inability to
identify him.

        "panchama kOti mAthrE ... mathAnAm advaitha thathva
                iva sathya tharEpi lOka:"

'tharam' means the comparative degree. The poet hasn't said the other
four schools are invalid/wrong, per se. Similar to VyAsar and
Pushpadanthar, he also accepts them to be true and valid. But still,
in comparison with them, as advaitA alone is found to be superior
in expounding the truth exactly, he appreciatively referred to it as
'sathya thara api advaita'.

Similar to the way our AchAryAl has classified the sathyam into three
types, Sri Harshar also categorised it as 'ordinary truth' and
'extra-ordinary truth' (uthama sathyam) and declared that out of the
five schools mentioned in the [*MahA*]bhAratham, the other four are
ordinary truth while advaita alone is the extra-ordinary truth.

In the bhAratham, in BhIshma vachanam, the term used is not
'advaitham'. The actual word employed is only 'vEdhA:'. But,
whenever a school had set in the process of politicization such as
'Vishnu is the only Godhead' or 'Siva alone is the supreme lord',
it came to be regarded, then, as differing from [*the true import
of*] vEdic thought. The same view is echoed by the words of
Pushpadanthar. Even in his composition, the vEdha matham has been
referred to only as 'thrayI' and not by the name 'advaitham'.

In the post AchAryAl period, with the advent of saivaite and
vaishnavaite schools, which invariably denigrate one [*deity*] and
affirm the superiority of another [*deity*], it is only the smArtha
matham of advaitins that had turned out to be the complete (pUrna)
vEdha matham, accepting every thing. That is why, Sri Harshar had
employed the term 'advaitham' itself [*in his verse*], in lieu of
'vEdha matham'.

                                .... to be continued



Translated from,
HH Sri Chandhra sEkharEndhra Saraswathi Swamiji, 'Sankara
SampradhAyam'. Deivathin Kural (in Tamil), Vol. II, Second
Edition, ed. rA. Ganapathi, Vanathi padhippagam, Chennai,
pp: 119-157 (1980).

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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>From  Sun Sep 26 00:07:35 1999
Message-Id: <SUN.26.SEP.1999.000735.0800.>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 00:07:35 +0800
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To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Venkataraman <venkataraman at PACIFIC.NET.SG>
Organization: Venkataraman
Subject: Re: Jivan Mukti and Advaita
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Ashish Chandra wrote:
> Namaste,
> .............
> If I remember correctly, some time back Jaladhar posted a note saying that
> "as far as Advaita is concerned, jivanmukti is essentail". I hope I haven't
> erred in this recollection. It was a clarification of this that I had asked
> for but am thankful for all the knowledge all the same.
> dhanyavad
> ashish
   Let us look at it this way:

   Advaita affirms the one-ness of Jiiva and brahman.  Realisation of
this fact
   is brahma-jnaana.  This jnaana has to be gained through a guru.
Such a guru
   should himself have gained this jnaana .  This guru has to be a
living person
   too in order to be able to teach.

   Now, the moment a person gains  brahma-jnaana, he attains mukti.
If that Jiiva
   were to merge in brahman immediately, his body should die.
Therefore, if the
   mukti    were to be co-terminous with  the person's death, there
would be  no
   brahma-jnaani who is also living.  This would imply that there can
never be a
   guru available to impart   brahma-jnaana  to any mumukshu.

   In other words, only jiivanmukta-s  (those who have attained
brahma-jnaana, and    are still tenanting a body can  be  competent
guru-s to propagate advaita.

    This is perhaps why jiivan mukti is considered *essential* in

    I shall be grateful if any flaws in this  argument are pointed out
    rectified  by anyone who has made a deeper study.

    ---  V.M.Sundaram

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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