[Advaita-l] Re: Vivekachudamani vs Bhashyas

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Mon Aug 18 07:14:56 CDT 2003

HUmble praNAms Sri Vidyashankar prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Kindly pardon me for the delay in response due to intervening holidays.

So does brahmasUtra, 4.1.7-9 - AsInas sambhavAt ... acalatvam ApekShya.

>  But prabhuji, the above sUtras talk about preparation to do upAsana,
shankara clarifies this in his commentary.  But we are not talking here
about upasanAdhIna jnAna.

Before we discuss this, let us be very clear about two things. One, NOWHERE
in patanjali's aShTAnga yoga do you find any mention of nirvikalpa samAdhi,
NOR do you find it in the yogabhAShya of vyAsa.

>  But we do have sUtras which says about saMpragnAta or sabIja &
asaMpragnAta or nirbIja samAdhi.  Is there any difference between nirvikala
& asaMpragnAta or nirbIja samAdhi prabhuji??  kindly clarify.

Two, taking over elements of yogasUtra/bhAShya teaching is not foreign to
Sankara. See sUtrabhAShya 4.1.7, where Sankara refers positively to padma
and other Asana-s as taught in the yogaSAstra.

>  The adhikaraNa here is *adityAdimatyadikaraNa* purely advocating upAsana
prabhuji.  Not about ultimate knowledge gained through samAdhi.AsInaH
saMbhavAt, dhyAnAcca, achalatvaM chApEkshya, smaranti ca etc. are said in
this context, but not sAdhana part to realise one true self which is
self-existant prabhuji. While on the subject, it would be better for us to
see what shankara says on vasanAkshaya after brahma jnAna in 4-1-13.

As far as I can make out from comparing yoga and vedAnta texts, the term
nirvikalpa samAdhi has its origin in the advaita vedAnta tradition, not in
the independent pAtanjala yoga tradition.

>  But we cannot hold Sri Shankara responsible for this as his mUla
siddhAnta says something else.  The *samAdhi* & *sustained effort* to
maintain jnAna originates from post shankara schools such as bhAmati &
paNchapAdika vivaraNa schools is it not prabhuji??

Back to gItAbhAShya - what is the referent of the terms acalA and
vikalpa-varjitA? It is buddhi. Sankara mentions this immediately before and
after the reference to samAdhi, which is to be maintained still (acalA) and
without mental constructions (vikalpa varjitA) IN the Atman (Atmani), which
is therefore called samAdhi (samAdhau). Now, pray what is this practice of
maintaining the mind (antaHkaraNa) still and devoid of constructions,
into the Self, if not what has come to be called nirvikalpa samAdhi?

>  prabhuji, I think we have discussed this when we discussed Br.Up. 1-4-7.
After the dawn of kEvala jnAna a jnAni's doership /enjoyership
(katrutva/bhOktrutva) will be completely eradicated since this state is
sarva pramAtru, pramANAtIta vyavahAra.  This maintenance work will be taken
care by itself *automatically* without any sustained effort
(injuction/vidhi) from jnAni.

Yes indeed, but what exactly does one mean by the statement, "samAdhis is
the implicit meaning of AtmajnAna"? Does this mean that AtmajnAna is
manifested in samAdhi, or does it mean that practising samAdhi is necessary
for AtmajnAna, or does it mean that samAdhi and AtmajnAna are synonymous,
does it mean something entirely other than the above three alternatives?

>  IMHO, third alternative is more appropriate..but here samAdhi/AtmajnAna
is not sitting inert & stilling mind (deliberate suppression / oppression
of thought flow), it is his own swarUpa realised by apt student through
mere shravaNa of shruti vAkyA.

And as far as doctrinal issues are concerned, does VC say anywhere that
samAdhi is different from maintaining the state of AtmajnAna?

>  prabhuji, we know, how VC emphasises on the importance of samAdhi &
AtmajnAna which can be had ONLY in samAdhi.

As far as advaita doctrinal questions are concerned, the real question is,
where is the need to talk of the sthitaprajna's remaining in AtmaniShThA?
Unless of course, Sankara is serious about teaching something in this

>  shankara's teaching is clear here prabhuji, meditation, upAsana etc. are
prescribed for mandha & madhyama adhikAri-s, shankara makes his stand
crystal clear in kArikA bhAshya 3-36 & 3-40 prabhuji.

Traditionalists have also given great importance to the upanishad
starting from sureSvara, who wrote commentaries on two of them (taittirIya
and bRhadAraNyaka).

>  Agreed prabhuji, that is why I said *comparatively*.  Apart from these
two vArtika-s by sureSvara, all major works on shankara's advaita siddhAnta
sprout out of his shArIrika mimaMsa.  Just to quote some of those from HN
pur swamiji's book vEdAnta ItihAsa : padmapAdas paNchapAdika known as
vivaraNa prasthAna with several glosses & annotations on it like
prakASAtmayati's vivaraNa, nrusiMhASrami's vivaraNa bhAva prakAshika &
vedAnta ratna kOsha, sarvajnA-viShNu's ruju vivaraNa, amalAnanda's
paNchapAdika darpaNa, viJnAnAtman's tAtparya dyOtinI, ramaNanada's
vivaraNOpanyasa, vidyAraNya's vivaraNa pramEya saNgraha ( Sri Jay
Nelamangala prabhuji used to quote from this work very often) etc. etc. &
from bhAmati prasthAna we have vachapati miShra's bhAmati, amalAnanda's
vedAnta kalpataru, achuta krishna's bhAmati bhAva prakAshika, allala sUri's
bhAmati tilaka, appaya dikshita's parimala, tAraka brahma's parimala
saNgraha.  Besides these there are many general works seeking to explain
the ideas in shankara's vedAnta sUtra bhAshya.  From this it is clear that
how later advaita vedantins given lot of importance to VSB & their
dependence on it to propagate their respective views.

This is a piece of scholarly dogma, which I have been questioning a lot,
because it deliberately ignores other texts, most importantly the upanishad
bhAshya-s, and especially the two mentioned above. There is absolutely no
second opinion about the authorship of taittirIya and bRhadAraNyaka
by Sankara, nor is there any more doubt about the gItAbhAshya. Everybody is
satisfied with the bona fides of upadeSasAhasrI too. So why shouldn't we
discuss authorship issues with respect to these four other texts too?

>  Yes prabhuji I humbly accept this.  There is not even an iota of doubt
about shankara's authoship in PTB (for the time being let us keep aside
US).  Though some minor differences one can find in shruti prasthAna
bhAshya when compared to VSB, these differences can be easily reconciled
with shankara's mUla siddhAnta as differences are highly negligible.  But
whereas prakaraNa grantha's ascribed to shankara differ drastically from
mUla siddhAta of shankara as established in PTB, then it will be primary
duty of any sincere follower of shankara to scrutinise the authenticity of
authorship with open mind.  This is what HN Pur swamiji's call to all
modern day advaita scholars.

This line of questioning would be especially useful in explaining the fact
that bhAskara's sUtra bhAshya is almost verbatim identical with
SankarAcArya's in many places,

>  I am really surprised to see this statement from you prabhuji.  I think
you are referring about bhaskarAchArya of bhEdAbhEda school.  His sUtra
bhAshya taken by all post shankara advaitins (bhAmati & vivaraNa) for
refutation as his bhAshya categorically refuting shankara's mayAvAda.
Swamiji of HN Pur dedicated one whole chapter on this bhedAbhEda school
teacher in vedanta prakriya pratyabigna & clearly shows bhAskarAcharya's
objections against advaita.  Even for that matter we can find small episode
where shankara wins argument against bhatta bhAskara in mAdhavIya shankara
vijaya.  Prabhuji, though bhAskarAchArya propagated bhedAbhEda doctrine it
is not in line with bhatruprapancha's same school of thought. Swamiji also
gives some detail about bhAskarAchArya's desciple kullUka bhatta.  If it is
some other bhAskara kindly let me know prabhuji.

Mayeda, the only modern scholar who has analyzed this text from the angle
authorship, concludes that both pada and vAkya bhAshyas on kenopanishad are

>  But prabhuji Prof. SKR says only pada bhAshya of KenOpaniShad  is
genuine work of Adishankara.  As we know, prof's observations are not mere
push overs.  Swamiji says in introduction to kEnOpaniShad bhAshya that
shankara not anywhere in bhashya says that he has written 2 commentaries,
even in vAkya bhAshya we have word-by-word meaning.  There is some
difference in meaning of some words like IShitaM, prEShitaM, vAchOha
vAchaM, yadasya dEvEshu pratibhOda viditaM etc. & also there is some
serious difference in explanation of same word in these 2 commentaries.
You tell me prabhuji, who should I follow in determining the authorship of
these commentaries.

Let us leave aside those upanishad commentaries on which doubts can be
raised. Let us also leave aside the two kenopanishad bhAshyas (inspite of
Mayeda's conclusions) and the mANDUkya bhAshya (about which also various
opinions exist). That still leaves us with commentaries on taittirIya,
bRhadAraNyaka, chAndogya, kaTha, ISa, aitareya, muNDaka and praSna
upanishads. Among these, the first two are clearly beyond question and
is no reason why chAndogya bhAshya shouldn't be genuine. Adding gItAbhAshya
and upadeSasAhasrI, we have five or ten additional texts to draw up
to decide issues of writing style and doctrinal conclusions for Sankara as
an author. That way we will have included an independent text and
commentaries on two prasthAnas. Why restrict scholastic attention to the
sUtrabhAshya, which is only one prasthAna out of three?

>  I completely agree with you prabhuji.  Giving importance to VSB does not
mean that scholars are denying the validity of other two prasthAnas.  Here
stress is on determining the authorship of minor prakarana grantha-s which
are doing great harm to shankara's shruti pratipAdya siddhAnta.

Well, padmapAda wrote pancapAdikA, which is incomplete, while the vivaraNa
on this by prakASAtman came at least two centuries later. vAcaspati miSra's
bhAmatI on sUtrabhAshya was written perhaps half a century (or one century)
after Sankara.

I am puzzled by this. As far as I can see, sUtrabhAshya 4.1.2 refers to the
fact that not everybody obtains jnAna immediately, which is why repetition
is necessary (as seen in the repeated teaching of tat tvam asi in the
upanishad). If anything, it points to the value of repeated instruction and
the steps involved in internalizing the upanishad teaching.

>  The sUtra here is liNgAcca (4-1-2) commentary on this by shankara says
that repetition of ShravaNa, nidhidhyAsana etc. are required TILL the
realisation.  But as we discussed already, after realisation these
injuctions are not applicable to *maintain* that state.

>otherway round ??  if possible I'd like to have your opinion on 1-1-4 &
>1-4-1 also.

How do these two sUtra-s change anything in a discussion of style and
content for authorship questions?

>  prabhuji its about VC verse 264 : jnyAte vastunyApi balavatI
vAsanAdirEShA kartA bhOktApyahamiti ...munayO vAsanAtAnavaM yat...these two
sUtras (1-1-4 & 1-4-1) talk about adhyAtma yOga as in kathOpanishad.  If
you wish we can take this up separately for the discussion prabhuji. We can
take up 2-1-3 also while discussing these sutras prabhuji.  If your time

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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