[Advaita-l] Re: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 1, Issue 32

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 1 17:29:13 CDT 2003

>I am aware of the fact that some interpret this to refute
>the school of sAmkhya.

The "some" are Sankara and followers of his school, viz. the traditional 
advaita vedAntin-s.

>1) First of all,  to say that sAmkhyas say "Prakrti is ashadba" and then
>to refute it is incorrect,  because sAmkhyas do not say Prakrti is ashabda.

That is not how the argument goes at all. Firstly, sAMkhya-s do not say 
"prakRti is aSabda." Nor do the vedAntin-s think that the sAMkhya-s say that 
"prakRti is aSabda." Rather, we (vedAntins, especially advaita vedAntin-s) 
say that there is only one, the SOLE, cause of the entire universe, 
including the material universe, mind you). Nothing that is aSabda is 
accepted as the cause of the universe, including the material universe.

Now, what is that which is aSabda? The prime example is the prakRti of the 
sAMkhya system, which postulates a purely material prakRti as the cause of 
the material universe and credits all seeing (IkShaNa) to the purusha, who 
is entirely different from prakRti. The purpose of this sUtra is to show 
that the brahman of vedAnta is not to be confused as being equivalent to the 
prakRti of the sAMkhya-s. In spite of being the material cause of the 
universe, brahman nevertheless is endowed with IkshaNa. Indeed, brahman 
creates merely through IkshaNa. The rest of the sUtra-s that follow within 
this adhikaraNa, especially the one that says "heyatva avacanAc ca", make 
this further clear.

Your interpretation would leave "heyatva" without a referent at all. If, as 
you claim, there is no mention of sAMkhya at all in sUtra 1.1.5, then the 
question of heyatva (fit to be discarded) does not arise at all.

>2) Sri VedavyAsa has dealt with sAmkhya in the second chapter in
>detail,  and so to say Sri VedavyAsa has refuted in 1.1.5 and repeated
>it  again in II.2.1-10 is against the
>"alpAksharam asamdigdham sAravat vishwatOmukham
>astObham anavadyam"   nature of the sootras.

Not at all true. If this is the argument you want to use against 
SankarAcArya's interpretation of the Ikshaty adhikaraNam, then how would you 
explain the fact that even before (tentatively assuming your principle) 
taking up sAMkhya in II.2.1-10, the sUtrakAra says "smRty anavakASa dosha 
prasanga iti cen na, anya smRty anavakASa dosha prasangAt" and "etena yogaH 
pratyuktaH" in sUtras II.1.1 and II.1.3?

bhavato'bhiprAye, yadi sAMkhya-darSanasya nirAkaraNaM 
racanAnupappaty-adhikaraNa evArabdham, tathA kena vai yogaH pratyuktaH?

According to you, how has the yoga school already been handled, in sUtra 
II.1.3, if sAMkhya has not been taken up before II.2.11-10?

May I reiterate, whose interpretation of the sUtra-s do you espouse? Or is 
it your own?


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