[Advaita-l] Re: Yoga and Vedantha

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 19 12:54:29 CDT 2005

>As I read the first post of Sri Vidyasankar, I was reminded of a doubt that 
>has been long lingering in my mind. This pertains to the link between yoga 
>and Vedantha( Advaitha more specifically). I was once told by my guru(he 
>comes in the shisya parampara of Sri Sachidandeshwara Saraswathi of 
>Holenarsipur) that yoga is very subsidiary in the study of Vedantha. The 
>final stage is got  only by realization of one self and that comes by self 
>knowledge. My reading and understanding of yoga leads me to believe that it 
>has useful practices for removing Vasanas and preparing the stage for self 
>realization. What is view of scholars(esp Shankara) of Advaitha on Yoga 
>system? I request to answer this either separately or as a part of your 
>posts on Yoga in the context of Sreemad Bhagavat Gita.

We must be careful to distinguish between the Yoga system as a separate 
school of philosophy and yoga practice as a means to attaining knowledge. 
Taken as a separate system, Yoga is dualistic and there is no doubt that 
this is rejected. Especially see brahmasUtra bhAShya 2.1.3, under the sUtra 
etena yogaH pratyuktaH.

When it comes to the practice of yoga in the process of gaining knowledge, 
the situation is very different. Taking the bhagavadgItA, taittirIya and 
bR^ihadAraNyaka commentaries together, along with upadeSasAhasrI, it is very 
clear that SankarAchArya assigns a definite place for the practice of yoga 
(as commonly understood). This does not mean that yogic accomplishment is 
equated with liberation nor that yoga practice is seen as absolutely 
necessary for realization. I will touch on this in greater detail in my 
continuing posts on the gItAbhAShya.


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