[Advaita-l] Question on Samadhi

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Jul 29 08:29:33 CDT 2003

praNAm prabhujis
Hare Krishna

Further to Sri Stig prabhuji's comments, this is my humble attempt  to
present Sri Swamiji's observations in his own words on VC (in his kannada
translation) as presented in introduction , the prakaraNa Grantha Series
-3, Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, HN Pur.

(I)  Source Text of VC

Many verses of VC can be found in upanishads like adhyAtmOpanishad,
kuNdikOpanishad, AtmOpanishad.  Particularly AtmOpanishad draws heavily
from VC.  If we remove the VC verses from Atmopanishad (swamiji thinks that
these upanishads are later addtion based on VC verses) very few verses will
remain in this upanishad.

(II)  Who is the author of VC

It is widespread acceptance that VC is the genuine work of Sri Shankara.
In the opening verse the author offer praNAms to his teacher ( gOvindaM
paramAnandam sadgurum praNatOsmyahaM) & at the end author says *EShA
Shankara bhArati vijayatE nirvANa saMdAyini* All these at the face value
prove that this has been written by the author  whose name was shankara.
But it is very difficult to believe that this shankara (author of VC) is
prasthAna trayi bhAshyakAra.  I have following observation to strengthen my
claims :

(a)   There is substantial  difference in style of writing between
shankara's Upadesha Sahasri (US) &  VC.  (as said earlier, swamiji says, US
is the genuine work of bhAshyakAra & it is in complete harmony with
purports of prasthAna trayi bhAshya & Shri Shankara Bhagavadpada's direct
desciple Sri SureshwarAchAya quotes verses from US considering it as an
authoritative work from the pen of his guru Sri Shankara & vArtikakAra
hardly quotes any verse from VC.

(b)  The general usage of words & connotations in VC are conspicuously
absent in US & prasthAna trayi bhAshya.  Some specific words used to
illustrate the contextual meaning is  completely contradictory to US &
prasthana trayi (PT) usage.

(c)  Some of the referencial sentences (pramANa vachana/vAkya-s) quoted in
VC cannot be found in US & PT.  The quoted reference can only be found in
some minor upanishads, vAsistha ramAyaNa, sUta saMhita & bhagavatam.  &
more importantly, the opnions embedded in VC mainly drawn from grantha
called *paramArtha sAra* which is comparitively  recent advaitic work.

(d)  The philosophical stand in VC is not in line with shuddha shAnkara
siddhAnta ( I've given the doctrinal differences already & some more to

After considering the above, I have searched for the author who used to
this style of writing, who quotes these pramANa vAkyas, who upholds VC's
philosophical stand.  Finally, I found out one name *Sri Shankarananda* who
wrote *vruttis* in the name of  *dIpika* to upanishads & vEdanta sUtras &
also written an elaborate vyAkyAna to gIta in the name of *gIta tAtparya
bOdhini*(GTB).  One can easily find that there is lot of similarities
between GTB & VC in its writing  style, purports, philosophy etc.  It is
also believed that Sri shankarananda was incarnation of shankara (
shankarAmsha saMbhUta).  & in GTP mangala shlOka Sri shankarananda salutes
his teacher Sri AnandAtma saraswati who was also well known as
*vidyAshankara*.  With this we can assume that Sri Shankarananda might have
saluted his guru AnandAtma as govinda swarUpa & at conclusion *ESha
shankara bhArati* can be interpreted as his guru's (vidyAshankara) words.
(Swamiji requests here the historians to do more in-depth research work on
his assumptions to arrive at the credible conclusions).

 (III)  Similarities between Gita Tatparya Bodhini & VC :

(a)  Style of writing (bhAShA shaili) is same in both VC & GTB

(b)  Actual reproduction of generic usage of words, referential pramANa
vAkyas in VC from GTB.  (swamiji gives elaborated list of such words &
sentences at the end of the book  which are not found in PT & US)

(c) Minor upanishads quoted in VC such as amrutabindOpanishad, amrutanAda,
nrusimhOttaratApanIya, kaivalya have not been quoted  by shankara in PT

(d)  sUta saMhita, vAsiShta ramAyaNa & paramArtha sAra have not at all been
quoted by shankara anywhere in bhashya traya.  Whereas, in VC you can find
a plenty of quotes.  Moreover, author of VC seems to be highly influenced
by the style of sUta saMhita & vAsiShta ramAyaNa  & it is clear that he
tried to imitate this style in VC.  You can find lot of quotes from these
works in Shankarananda's GTB also.

(e)  It is quite evident that the main philosophical theme in both GTB & VC
is one & the same.  & at the same time one can find dis-similarities
between  VC & PT or US.

(IV)  Difference in philosophical stand between Shankara's prasthAna traya
bhAShya & VC

(  I have already quoted some of them in my previous mail.  Here are some
more )

(a)  Identification of kAraNa sharira with mAyA shakti:  Apart from stula &
sUkShma sharirA-s VC admits avyaktA kAraNa sharira (verse 119-120)  in
sushupti & has AvaraNa & vikShepa shakti (110-112).  This is not strictly
in line with purports of PT bhAShya.

(b)  After realising jagatkAraNa sat-chit-ananda brahman through shruti
mahA vAkya shravaNa of tattvamasi etc. realised soul has to do vAsanA tyAga
etc. is very near to mandana mishra's brahma siddhi purports which is
evidently absent in shankara's PT bhAshya.

(c) *brahma satya - jagan mithya* which has been clearly established in
shankara's avasthAtraya prakriya is not at all found place in VC.  Instead,
in one place VC says (Verse No.232) in sushupti there is no world as such,
but in another place (verse No.120) it accepts existence of kAraNa sharira
with avaraNAdi shakti is not only self-contradictory but also harmful to
prapancha mithyatva vAda.

(d)  VC advocates vidEha, punarjanma rahita mukti after attaining
nirvikalpa samAdhi, but shankara's stand is one can realise his true nature
in this janma itself i.e. sadyO mukti.

Kindly pardon me for too much sanskrit words & bear with me if there is any
grammatical errors.  I've tried to translate swamiji's comments from
kannada book.

As I said earlier, swamiji openly admits that more research work needs to
be done by historians/scholars  to determine whether all prakarana granthas
from the pen of bhAshyakAra before accepting them blindly as shankara's
work.  More details can be had from swamiji's books in sanskrit brahma
vidyA rahasya vivrutti & vedanta prakriya pratyabhigna.

I also request list members to kindly study in detail Sri Atmachaitanya
prabhuji's mails in Advaitin list  on mulAvidyA (under the subject heading
*whence adhyAsa*  & *upanishads are the only means of knowledge*.  In these
mails he has comprehensively discussed all these issues based on shankara's

While on the subject, I also humbly request  list members to throw more
light on points which up-holds the claim that VC is shankara bhagavadpada's
work. So that we can have parallel views of other scholars from the

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

PS :  By the way, His Holiness Paramahamsa Sri Sri SacchidAnandEndra
Saraswathi swamiji is founder of Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya in HN Pur &
Bangalore & author of over 200 reputed works on advaita in kannada,
sanskrit & english blessed the earth with his presence for 96 useful & rich
years (1880-1975).  The revered swamiji carried out research for over six
decades with a profound sense of dedication so as to cleanse advaita
vedanta of the dross & distortions that it has acquired in the post
shankara era.  All though the swamiji has authored nearly 20 odd books in
english & over 25 books in sanskrit, many of his masterpieces were written
in kannada.  Swamiji took sanyAsa at the age of 68 since then he led his
life with strict ascetic descipline.  His mahAsamAdhi is in HN Pur, Hassan
Dist. Karnataka, India.

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