[Advaita-l] Re: Vivekachudamani vs Bhashyas

venkata subramanian venkat_advaita at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 7 23:17:10 CDT 2003

Dear Karthik,
For your quotation of Upadesa Sahasri 2.18 of Madhavananda translation, please refer the commentary of Rama Tirtha.

S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:


> >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.

Vide HH's commentary on this verse, "What can Vedas such as the Rg,
shAstras such as vyAkaraNa, avail?" Is there any instance in his
BhAshhyas where Shankara speaks of the Veda/shAstra in this manner? I'd
be interested to know.

Secondly, on role of the VedAnta mahAvAkyas, see VC verses 241-266.
They essentially ask the disciple to "meditate on the statement 'tat
tvam asi'". The culmination of such meditation is stated in verse 267
(translation by Swami Madhavananda): 

GYAte vastunyapi balavatI vAsanA.anAdireshhA .
kartA bhoktApyahamiti dR^iDhA yA.asya sa.nsArahetuH ..
pratyag.hdR^ishhTyA.atmani nivasatA sApaneyA prayatnAn .
muktiM prAhustadiha munayo vAsanAtAnavaM yat.h ..267..
"Even after the Truth has been realized, there remains that strong,
beginningless, obstinate impression (balavatI vAsanAH anAdiH) that one
is the agent and experiencer (aham kartA bhoktA api), which is the
cause of one’s transmigration. It has to be carefully removed by living
in a state of constant identification with the Supreme Self. Sages call
that Liberation (munayo muktiM prAhuH) which is the attenuation of
impressions here and now (tat iha vAsanAtanavaM)." 

The author of the VC says that the meditation on the VedAnta mahAvAkyas
results in GYAna that has not yet eliminated the vAsanas, so there is
STILL effort to be made in order to obtain mukti!! Does Shankara ever
say in his PrasthAna trayI BhAshhyas that there is effort to be made
AFTER GYAna to obtain mukti?! Never. The upadeshasaahasrii is replete
with verses that contradict the VC on this point. Just as an example, I
will quote from 2.18 (translated by Swami Jagadananda):

101. It is the indirectly expressed meaning of the word "I" viz., the
innermost and self-luminous Self which is expressed in the teaching,
"Thou art That." And the result (phala=fruit) is liberation
190. It is from the sentence only and from nothing else (vAkyAt bhavati
nAnyataH) that one knows oneself to be EVERFREE (nitya-muktatva

Shankara says in his UpadeshasAhasrI: 
"The mahAvAkya *by itself* results in mukti." 

OTOH, the author of the VC says: 
"The mahAvAkya *by itself* DOES NOT result in mukti." 


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