[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 18 16:35:00 CDT 2005

A couple of clarifications on this thread -

1. The commentary on the yoga darSana, attributed to Sankara bhagavatpAda in 
the manuscripts, is not a bhAShya on the yogaSutra. Instead, it is a 
vivaraNa, a subcommentary, upon vyAsa's commentary on the yogasUtra. The 
following textual hierarchy should make it clear

patanjali ---> yogasUtra
   vyAsa ---> yogasUtrabhAshya
Sankara ---> yogasUtrabhAshya vivaraNa

Whether the SankarabhagavatpAda who wrote this vivaraNa is the same as the 
SankarabhagavatpAda of advaita tradition is a matter of discussion.

2. As for the question, how did others know what view of yoga was taken by 
Sankara BhagavatpAda of the advaita tradition, the answer is simple. There 
are numerous references to yoga and its sister school, sAMkhya, in the 
bhAshya-s on the brahmasUtras, gItA and the upanishads (prasthAna trayI). By 
this, I mean not a general usage of the word yoga, but specific discussions 
on key concepts and methods integral to pAtanjala yoga as a school of 
philosophy. In the brahmasUtrabhAshya, for example, there is a sUtra, etena 
yogaH pratyuktaH (2.1.3), which says that by this (etena, i.e. the 
refutation of the dualistic sAMkhya school that has been discussed up to 
sUtra 2.2.1), the school of yoga (yogaH) has also been addressed 
(pratyuktaH). At two other places in the same brahmasUtra commentary, 
SankarAchArya quotes other sUtras from yoga, while making different points. 
>From these kinds of references in the key prasthAna trayI commentaries, it 
is quite possible to infer the views of our Sankara bhagavatpAda himself on 
the yoga system.


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