VichAra vs. yoga (was Re: Kashmiri Shaivism)

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue May 7 12:20:20 CDT 2002

Shrinivas Gadkari <sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

> >Could you give some examples from these Puranas wherein a liberated one
> >fell again into bondage.
> >
> Namaste Ashish,
> Some examples from pauranic accounts:
> When Sati burnt herself, Bhagvan Rudra was imSersed in grief. And Bhagvan
> Vishnu had to intervene.
> Bhagvan Rudra had to run to save himself from Bhasmasura again Bhagvan
> Vishnu had to intervene.
> In the amarnath episode, Bhagvan Rudra told Parvati that he knows may
> secrets to avoid death. That is to say, he has to practise yoga.
> Bhagvan Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra were cursed by sage Brighu, showing that
> even they are a subject to curses.
> Two residents of Vaikuntha were cursed to take birth as Hiranyaksha and
> Hiranyakashapu. Nahusha fell from heaven to become a snake.
> Indra has been cursed many a times, e.g. Ahilya episode and had to suffer.

The Self residing in the hearts of all beings was never cursed by the
Rishis, was never in grief, and never had the need to practise yoga.

The deities like Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra in their saguNa aspects are
indeed subject to the law of karma like everyone else.

> Such accounts make me suspect that one cannot assume that it is possible
> to establish oneself eternally in perfect yoga. Small lapses will be
> there. What is important is to have the knowledge and skill to recover
> from such temporary lapses and prevent them from snowballing. This in
> my view is liberation.

Your view is false. There is no one struggling for liberation.

This was quoted before in this list, and is worth repeating:

"There is no cessation, no coming-to-be, none in bondage, none struggling
for liberation and none liberated. This is the ultimate truth."

(GauDapAdIya Kaarikaa 2.32)

> Then what is this big deal about brahma jnana ?
> On acquiring brahma jnana/ atma jnana, the practice of yoga becomes
> effortless. This is the great value of brahma jnana. Hence acquiring
> brahama jnana is equivalent of liberation.
> (Again this is my understanding and is possible that may be incorrect.)

Your understanding of advaita is indeed incorrect. The GYAnI has no need
for yoga. As Ramana Maharshi said, "Yoga is for one who is in viyoga
(separation)." When there is no separation, for whom is yoga? The entire
text of the talk with RM is given below:

Question: Yoga means union. I wonder union of what with what?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Exactly. Yoga implies prior division and it means
later union of one thing with another. But who is to be united and with
whom? You are the seeker, seeking union with something. If you assume this
then that something must be apart from you. But your Self is intimate to
you and you are always aware of it. Seek it and be it. Then it will expand
as the infinite and there will be no question of Yoga. Whose is the
separation (viyoga)?

Questioner: I don't know. Is there really separation?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Find out to whom is the viyoga. That is yoga. Yoga is
common to all paths. Yoga is really nothing but ceasing to think that you
are different from the Self or Reality. All the Yogas -Karma, Jnana,
Bhakti, and Raja- are just different paths to suit different natures with
different modes of evolution. They are all aimed at getting people out of
the long-cherished notion that they are different from the Self. There is
no question of union or yoga in the sense of going and joining something
that is somewhere away from us or different from us, because you never
were or could be separate from the Self.

RM also distinguished enquiry into the Self as the only direct method and
quite different from yoga:

Question: What is the difference between Yoga and enquiry?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Yoga enjoins chitta-vrittti-nirodha (repression of
thoughts) whereas I prescribe atmaniveshana (quest of oneself). This
latter method is more practicable. The mind is repressed in swoon, or as
the effect of fasting. But as soon as the cause is withdrawn the mind
revives, that is, the thoughts begin to flow as before. There are just two
ways of controlling the mind. Either seek its source, or surrender it to
be struck down by the Supreme power. Surrender is the recognition of the
existence of a higher overruling power. If the mind refuses to help in
seeking the source, let it go and wait for its return; then turn it
inwards. No one succeeds without patient perseverance.

The above quotes that are extracted from "Talks" are at the website , which I feel is an excellent resource for
Hinduism in general.

> >
> >But where is this creation taking place if we go by the pAramArthik view?
> >Brahman, as we know from Vedanta, is Ekameva-advitIyam, one without a
> >second.
> >
> Creation is a image projected in the mind of Jiva. The same as with
> dreams.

Then you know that Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva are all only in your dreams.
Where is the question of their undergoing suffering?

> >However the question would be why a perfect one would need to rejoice,
> with
> >or without intent. Then we can no longer call It the perfect one as It
> too
> >has states of rejoicing and non-rejoicing, the latter being a not-so-
> >perfect state.
> No one knows answer to this question. Why does the perfect one
> wish to entertain itself ?
> We just know that it does like to play and this world emerges.

Creation as a lIlA is not the correct view, as GauDapAda clarifies in the
KArikA 1.9:

"Some say creation is for God's delight, others that it is for mere sport
(lIlA). But it is the very nature of the Divine One - what desire can He
have whose every desire is ever fulfilled?"

There is no creation. There is simply the One.

> Regards
> Shrinivas


PS: My guess is that you believe in the path of yoga as the direct method,
which is disputed by all advaitins who hold Self-enquiry as the direct

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