New member introduction: Sanjay Srivastava

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun Aug 26 22:26:43 CDT 2001

On Thu, 23 Aug 2001, Sanjay Srivastava wrote:

> My teacher Swami Dayananda ji gives a different interpretation:
> " In the beginning of the creation , O sinless one, the two fold
> commitment was given by me in this world; the pursuit of knowledge for
> the sankhyas or the contemplative ones and the pursuit of action for the
> yogis or the active ones"(BG 3.3)"

True.  The shastras proclaim two paths for mankind, that of Karma and that
of Jnana.  The question is what is the relationship between the two?

Purva Mimamsa says Karma is superior to Jnana.

Some other schools of Vedanta say Karma and Jnana should be conbined to a
lesser or greater degree.

Advaita Vedanta says Jnana is superior to Karma.  Karma may have its' uses
(for Arjuna *at that time* it was the correct course to take.)  But Jnana
alone is the highest goal of life.

> He goes on to explain that sannyasa taken for the pursuit of knowledge is
> called vividisha sannyasa.

Yes.  That term comes from Jivanamuktiviveka of Swami Vidyaranya as we
have recently discussed.

> Just because a person is sannyasi in terms of
> an order does not mean he has knowledge. He does not have the knowledge
> as long as he has the notion " I am the doer".

This is only partially correct.  The realization "I am not the doer of
actions" is only negative knowledge.  It is important but it is not
enough, it only tells you what you are not. Jnana is only when you know
the positive knowledge of what you *are* i.e.  Brahman.

Thus sannyasa is a necessary step but it isn't the end of the journey.

>In this case sannyasa
> means karma sannyasa which is an ashrama at par with others. However
> contemplative disposition can not be gained by will and therefore karma
> yoga is necessary for such a person to gain preparation of mind.

This cannot be, according to the jivanamuktiviveka because both the vidvan
and vividisha sannyasis should be paramhamsas, those who have given up all
karma.  Karmayoga, the performace of actions solely out of duty and as an
offering to the Lord is impossible for one who has no dharma and therefore
has no required actions.

 The> ultimate goal of karma yoga as well as karma sannyasa is same that is
> reaching a state of  jnana sannyasa through preparation of mind. For some
> people karma yoga may be a better preparation and for others karma
> sannyasa.

Karmayoga is for the grhasthas.  That's 99% of the people reading this
list so we shouldn't minimize its' importance.  But those who would be
karmayogis should always bear in mind karmayoga is inferior to karma
sannyasa.  Sannyasa without knowing is in turn inferior to sannyasa with
knowledge which alone leads to Mukti.

> He further explains that Bhakti is not a separate marg as
> sannyasins and bhaktas both are supposed to have an attitude of Bhakti.

Agreed.  There was some discussion of this a couple of months back.

> He corraborates this interpretation through first and second verses of
> Isopanishad.

I don't quite know what it has to do with Bhakti but the beginning verses
of Ishopanishad do clearly illustrate the relationship between karma and
jnana (paraphrased):

1.  Renounce all the things of this world.  How can you say you own
anything when it is all created by and pervaded by God?

This is the argument for sannyasa.

2.  By diligently performing your duties you may will live (well) in the
world for a 100 years.  To achieve such a goal, there is no way except

This is the argument for karma.  Which is superior?

3.  These worlds are plunged in darkness and are the abode of the killers
of atman.

Through karma, one can achieve the goals of Artha, Kama, and Dharma in
this world.  But really this is a pyhrric victory.  You remain in
darkness.  Because you think the self is subject to death, you are a
killer of the self.  So sannyasa is preferable as it leads to Moksha the
supreme purushartha.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
>From ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG Tue Sep  4 00:00:19 2001
Message-Id: <TUE.4.SEP.2001.000019.0400.ADVAITAL at LISTS.ADVAITAVEDANTA.ORG>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 00:00:19 -0400
Reply-To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM>
Subject: pitr paksha started today
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The pitr paksha or Shraddha season started today.

It is interesting that according to the digvijayas Shankaracharya even
though he was a sannyasi and thus beyond karma, returned to perform his
mothers shraddha despite the censure of the Brahmans of Kaladi.

Now it could be argued that this story cnnot be true given Advaita
Vedantas' strong anti-karma stance but that only begs the question of why
some later Advaitin wanted to make something like that up?  The author of
the most well known digvijaya, Madhava, is none other than the purvashrama
name of Swami Vidyaranya who as we have recently discussed also concurs in
the Jivanmuktiviveka that a sannyasi is not bound by karma.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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