[Advaita-l] Re: Yoga and Advaita Vedanta - 6

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 24 19:09:58 CDT 2006

>As an example, consider the issue of samAdhi and its role in AV. As
>the UY teachings include samAdhi, this is a question that an AV AcArya
>would have to answer **even if PY had been non-existent**.

That is correct. And that is precisely what is done in BS, through the 
kartR-adhikaraNa and taksha-adhikaraNa, in which occurs the sUtra samAdhy 
abhAvAc ca (2.3.39)

>2a. It is well known that PY teaches certain yogavidhAna-s (among
>other things). Are PY's yogavidhAna-s the same as UY?

As far as the practices of yoga are concerned, I find not much in the 
yogasUtra and its derivative texts that are non-upanishadic in origin. When 
it comes to the philosophy, however, there are some departures.

>2b. Apart from yogavidhAna-s, what are the teachings of PY? Which of
>these teachings are compatible with AV and which are not? An example
>of a non-yogavidhAna teaching from PY is puruSa-prakR^iti dualism,
>which is obviously not compatible with AV. Another example is the
>teaching that the puruSa is pure consciousness, which is compatible
>with AV.

Another one that is not compatible is the PY view of ISvara.

>What I am trying to get at is that unless we provide clear answers to
>the above questions, this will remain an endless debate. Therefore,
>whenever we quote the shaastra-s in the context of yoga, we must be
>clear about the implications of the said quote in terms of UY as well
>as PY. When we just use the term "yoga", this distinction gets lost.
>In your posts so far, you have often used the term yoga
>interchangeably and this can cause confusion.

>From this distance in time, we could talk of UY and PY, but the situation is 
not as simple as that. It is not possible to draw a sharp distinction 
between UY and PY. Nor is it possible to dismiss all of PY, saying that 
everything that is compatible with vedAnta is there in UY. For the sUtra and 
bhAshya authors themselves, PY and sAMkhya are smRti traditions that are 
closest to vedAnta and their texts, especially of PY, are cited as smRti, in 
addition to gItA, other portions of mahAbhArata, dharmasUtras etc.

>1. Can one distinguish between yoga-shAstra (the "science" of yoga)
>and the specific darSana called PY, just as one distinguishes between
>tarka-shaastra (the "science" of tarka) and the nyAya-darsana or
>between mantra-shAstra & pUrva-mImAMsa?

Again, not quite. At least as far as BSBh, BGBh and other texts are 
concerned, what is described as yogaSAstra most often refers to texts 
central to PY.

>2. Just as the nyAya-darSana is considered an authority on
>tarka-shaastra, is PY considered an authority on yoga-shAstra?


>3. What is the role of yoga-shAstra (as opposed to PY) in AV?
>4. From the bhAShya references you have quoted, it appears that
>Sa~nkara himself "jumps" between UY & PY by using the term "yoga"
>interchangeably. From this can one infer that SrI Sa~Nkara considers
>the PY school to be an authority on UY/yoga-shAstra? In other words,
>is it SrI Sa~Nkara's opinion that PY is to be studied to understand UY
>just as (say) his own BUBh can be studied to understand the
>bR^ihadAraNyaka upaniShad?

The answer to Q. 1 above bears upon these. There is a very important role of 
yogaSAstra in AV. In BGBh, Sankara bhagavatpAda refers to dhyAna yoga in 
numerous places as an integral part of the vision of the Self 
(samyag-darSanasya antarangaM). In the bhAshya-s, he does not explicitly say 
that one needs to study PY, but it is evident from these texts that he knows 
the texts of PY very intimately. In upadeSasAhasrI, he has a chapter called 
parisaMkhyAna. In bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya, he says that the mumukshu needs to 
practice yoga-dharma and parisaMkhyAna. His direct disciple, sureSvarAcArya, 
says yogAbhyAsa needs to be practised after the renunciation of all karma.

The inference that a good study of PY is key follows inevitably from this!


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