[Advaita-l] Re: Vivekachudamani vs Bhashyas

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 6 12:54:43 CDT 2003

Combining responses to Bhaskar and Kartik ...

> >  But what swamiji  raising objection against VC here is *this 
>happens only in nirvikalpa samAdhi* which is obviously not in line with
>Shankara bhagavad pAda's PT purports.  If we check the Verse-339, it is
>evident that author of VC holding *nirvikalpa samAdhi* very close to his

The only VC verse which uses the word nirvikalpa is no. 239, which does not 
talk of nirvikalpa samAdhi. Rather, that verse says that brahman, the para 
tattva, the supreme principle, is nirvikalpaka, i.e. beyond mental 
constructions. Sankara says this in many places in his primary bhAshya-s.

As for verse 339, I am puzzled by your reference to nirvikalpa samAdhi here. 
This verse only talks of sarvAtma-bhAva and AtmanishThA. Again, there are 
many places in the bhAshya-s where Sankara says that the fruit of 
brahman-knowledge is sarvAtma-tva. Also, note the reference to the Sruti 
that says "SAnta, dAnta" etc. in the same context (verse 341), and also that 
the author here says that the bhikShu is one who has already done SravaNa 
(bhikshoH kRtaSravaNakarmaNaH). The phrase, samAdhiM vidadhAti in this verse 
may also be compared to sUtrabhAshya 2.3.39 - where Sankara says, "samAdhir 
upadishTo vedAnteshu".

As for the notion of nirvikalpa samAdhi itself, see gItAbhAshya 2.53 (in the 
context of sthitaprajna), where Sankara says that samAdhi is the Atman and 
that it is vikalpa-varjitA. Note that the gItA verse itself only uses the 
word acalA, i.e. still/unmoving. It is the bhAshyakAra who says that this 
samAdhi is vikalpa-varjitA, i.e. devoid of mental constructions, i.e. 

> >  Swamiji has given more than one reason to justify his claims as regards
>to authorship of VC prabhuji.  As swamiji himself says further digging in
>this issue by historians is very much required before determining
>authorship of these grantha-s.

Agreed. However, I would like to emphasize that such comparative textual 
studies should not be restricted by the sUtrabhAshya alone and have to take 
into account (and very seriously) what is said in the gItAbhAshya and 
upanishad commentaries too, particularly those on BU, TU and CU.

>The jumble of words is a great forest (shabdajAlaM mahAraNyaM) which
>will confound the mind (chittabhramaNakAraNaM). Therefore, by special
>effort, one must learn the Truth about the Atman from those who have
>known It (tattvaGYAt tattvamAtmanaH). To a person who is bitten by the
>serpent of aGYAna, the only remedy is brahmaGYAna. To such a one, what
>can the Vedas, shAstras, mantras and medicines avail?
>Here, the author of the VC says to the effect that the *study of
>shAstra* is practically useless to an aGYAnI. This verse is not related
>to Karma at all.

On the other hand, even the study of scripture, i.e. adhyayana, is one of 
the prescribed ritual karma-s.

Taken as a whole, VC is not putting down study of scripture itself for the 
ajnAnI. It puts down *mere* study of scripture bereft of Self-knowledge from 
a tattvajna.


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