[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta - Shri Bharati Tirtha Svami's words

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 4 02:45:49 CDT 2005

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:

>prabhuji, IMHO the issue here is NOT whether latter commentators 
>representing *advaita >philosophy* in general...but whether these 
>commentators correctly interpreting advaita vEdAnta >as *advocated by 
>shankara* in particular.  SS thinks vyAkhyAnakAra-s are not upto the mark
>while claiming their works as shankara phil.

Why is absolutely necessary to interpret vedanta exactly as Shankara did? 
Remember, Shankara did not invent a "shankara philosophy." He only followed 
*one* way of interpreting the shruti and showed that the advaitic conclusion 
of nondual brahman follows from this intepretation. It is perfectly possible 
to follow a different way of interpreting the shruti and arrive at the same 
result as Shankara. This is what some of the later AchAryas did. Now, one 
cannot disclaim their approaches simply because they are different from 
Shankara's.  Shankara himself is quite open to admitting other approaches in 
his sUtra bhAShya. Besides 1.4.3, in 2.3.46, he has admitted reasoning along 
the lines followed by different vAdas that came from later AchAryas, such as 
avachccheda vAda, pratibimba-vAda, etc. Sringeri Kavi Narasimha Sharma has 
pointed this out in his introduction to the panchapAdikA.

We should view shankara's school with more magnanimity. Here is what Shri 
Bharati Tirtha Svami has to say, in his foreword blessing the publication of 
Appayya Dikshita's siddhAnta-lesha-saMgraha by Vedanta Bharati, 
Krishnarajanagar, Mysore District, 2001:

paramashivAvatArAH shrimachchhaMkarabhagavatpAdAchAryAH 
prasthAnatrayabhAShyANi virachayya advaitAtmaGYAnameva kaivalyasAdhanamiti 
spaShTaM pratyapIpadan.h | tadanantarakAlikA advaitAchAryAH ** 
siddhAntamimaM AikakaNThyena pratipAdayanto .pi  pratipAdanaprakAreShu 
vaividhyaM anvasaran.h ** | tadidaM vaividhyaM siddhAntasya na kShatikaraM 
kintu puMsAM pratyak-prAvaNya-saMpAdanAyaiveti

yayA yayA bhavetpuMso vyutpattiH pratyagAtmani |
sA sAiva prakriyA GYeyA sAdhvI sA chAnavasthitA |

iti vArtikakArapAdAH abhidadhuH |

Shri Shankara Bhagavatpada, an avatara of Parama Shiva, authored the 
bhAShyas on the prasthAnatraya (Brahma sUtras, upaniShads, gItA) and clearly 
established that the means to liberation is the knowledge of the nondual 
Self. AchAryas of later times, while **unanimously propounding the same 
conclusion, followed a variety of methods in explaining it**. This variety 
(of methods) is not damaging to the siddhAnta, rather it is meant for 
achieving inclination (becoming absorbed) in the Self by people.

And he quotes the verse of the vArtikakAra, which we have seen before.

So what is clear is that later AchAryas taught the same advaita that 
Shankara taught. And hence, no one can be led astray by studying the works 
of the later AchAryas, rather there is a benefit of gaining more inclination 
towards the Self (as opposed to the nonSelf).

About 1.4.3:
>I've seen this portion of bhAshya y'day...as you know before concluding his 
>commentary in >acceptance, shankara clearly expressed his disagreement with 
>vruttikAra's mata!! if the shankara's >concurrence is straightforward, he 
>would have not written his objection before partially agreeing >with one 
>particular point!!

My opinion is contrary to what you say, but unfortunately, I do not have the 
time to get into a debate.


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