[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 28 11:32:17 CDT 2005

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com  wrote:

>Yes, you may be right prabhuji. If possible, kindly let us know which are 
>the points have been >elaborated by Sri madhusUdana from shankara 
>siddhAnta??  Which are the points omitted by >shankara but pointed out by 

First, it is important to note that Shankara did not start something called 
shankara siddhAnta. He only formalized the interpretation of what was taught 
by the shruti and which we know as advaita. Coming to madhusUdana, he has 
defended, for example, the vivaraNa school interpretations of mithyAtva. In 
doing so, he was only elaborating, using logic, on the definitions given by 
the school. This elaboration was made necessary because of the challenge by 
nyAyAmR^ita which adopted a different (logical) approach to criticize 
advaita. There was no "ready-made" response available. If the challenge had 
been thrown earlier, say shortly after PrakAshAtman, the VivaraNAchArya, 
perhaps someone other than madhusUdana would have responded in a fashion 
similar to madhusUdana (although I admit that person would necessarily have 
been a genius like madhusUdana.)   And vivaraNa is itself based on the 
shruti, if not directly on shankara's interpretation of the shruti. For 
example, the vivaraNa definition "pratipannopAdhau 
traikAlikanishhedhapratiyogitvaM vA mithyAtvam.h" is based on the shruti 
statement "neha nAnAsti  kiJNchana" per the GauDabrahmAnandI.

When I said a subsequent AchArya may write on points that were not addressed 
by the previous AchArya, what I meant was that the previous AchArya may not 
have felt the necessity of addressing those points simply because there was 
no opponent school that required him to do so.
madhusUdana's explanation of various concepts is new in this sense and you 
will not find such explanations in Shankara's works.

>Kindly bear with my ignorance & clarify...if the path of realization has 
>multiple directions & in that >advaita is only *a* right method..why 
>shankara emphasized on *the* right method of Atmaikatva >jnAna & the 
>importance of teachings of saMpradAya though other schools ultimately one
>way or the other admitting non-dual state??

I think the verse I quoted was misunderstood. The vArtikakAra is *not* 
saying any approach is as good as advaita. He is saying any advaitic 
approach, that holds the identity of Brahman and jIva, is good. And, since 
he  is a firm adherent of the shruti, it follows he is saying that this 
advaitic approach has to be shruti based.

>>Perhaps, the only so-called "difference" between Madhusudana and Shankara 
>>is the emphasis of >>the former on bhakti, as described in the 

>bhaskar :

>that might not be the case IMHO prabhuji.

Shankara's main thrust is definitely that jnAna alone is needed for 
liberation. He makes this clear quite early (2.10-11)  in the gItA bhAShya - 
tasmAt.h gItAshAstre kevalAt.h eva tattvajnAnAt.h mokShaprAptiH. See 
madhusUdana's commentary on 12.5-7, for example, to note how he emphatic he 
is about bhakti.


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