[Advaita-l] Why Yoga is not a Pramana ??

Sundaram, Vaidya (MED) Vaidya.Sundaram at med.ge.com
Fri Jun 27 14:51:26 CDT 2003

 I am not sure I understand your question. Or perhaps I miss some of the
assumptions of your question.

> We have so much to say about Sruthi being a Pramana.
> Pramana being that it can independently reveal the
> Self. 

Pramana as I understand it is only a "proof" or means of validating
something. Pramana does not mean that it can independently reveal the
Self. I don't think there is any such "smoking gun" pramana that can
reveal the self. Even the sruti as pramana is to be accepted that there
is an atma different from the body, there is a life after death for the
ignorant individual etc. Sruti by itself is not going to reveal the self
to you. It is a framework for giving direction and measurement of
progress. That's all. 

> Why did Srikrishna say in Bhagavad Gita 'j~nana yogena
> sankhyanam karmayogena yoginam' ? He obviously means
> that both j~nana and Karmayoga are means of the same
> knowledge. In such case why is not Karma Yoga accepted
> as a Darsana ?

You seem to be suggesting that both jnana and karmayoga are means to the
same knowledge. I don't think so. It's not obvious at all. Karmayoga is
a preparatory step for jnana to take hold. As a simple analogy, consider
a fresh twig that is still "green" so to speak and has moisture etc.
Even putting into fire will not make it burn. Where as, when you let it
dry, and the moisture is lost, no inducement is needed. A random rise in
temperature or a random lightening stroke will do the trick. So also
with karma yoga. As an individual mired in the raga and dvesha's of the
world, entangled in karma, the individual is still "green" and not ready
to "burn" in the fire of wisdom. The practice of karma yoga "dries" the
person. Even listening to "tat tvam asi" once will cause the large
conflagration that just burns all karmic balances away so to speak. As I
understand it, the sanyaasi's after their final siddhi are not burned
but buried because their bodies are considered to have already been
burnt by the "fire" of wisdom.

> In the 6 th chapter Sri Krishna again does not refer
> to Karma Yoga, but discourses about Meditation or
> Dhyana. Does it mean that this Dhyana is independent
> or part of both J`nana and Karma Yoga ?

Dhyana is both the means and end in my understanding. Only, the initial
stages apparently need enormous effort/concentration etc., but after
that it becomes natural. For example, consider the story of jada bharata
- he mentions that for the aspirant, watching where one's feet fall
while walking is important because he should not trample on the insects
underfoot - after the attainment of complete jnana, that becomes a
lakshana itself - their feet naturally miss the places where insects
reside. The effort of dhyana in the earlier stages becomes the
characteristic of the advanced.

I don't see any contradiction here.

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list