[Advaita-l] Yoga and Advaita Vedanta - 0

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 24 21:02:26 CDT 2006

Every so often, a discussion starts on this list, regarding Yoga and Advaita Vedanta. Quite a few times, such
a discussion becomes nothing more than a set of heated exchanges, based on misconceptions on either side.
Starting with this one, I will be making a series of posts, through which I hope to address the following:

Misconception no. 1: Sankara completely denounces Yoga. Vedanta has nothing to do with Yoga.
Misconception no. 2: Sankara teaches nothing but Yoga.

Misconception no. 3: An experience of nirvikalpa samAdhi is essential for moksha, in addition to jnAna.
Misconception no. 4: A true jnAni/jIvanmukta will never be in any state of samAdhi, nirvikalpa or otherwise.

Misconception no. 5: Yoga is an independent means to moksha.
Misconception no. 6: Acquiring jnAna, the only path to moksha, has no place for yoga.

Misconception no. 7: Yoga theory and practice are quite independent of and not rooted in the Upanishads.
Misconception no. 8: The Upanishads teach nothing other than Yoga.

Misconception no. 9: Sankara eschews Yoga, but Vidyaranya and his successors endorse it.
Misconception no. 10: Not even Vidyaranya and his successors, but only Vivekananda and others emphasize Yoga.

That all the above, grouped into pairs of mutually contrary/contradictory statements, are indeed misconceptions,
and that the actual situation is much more nuanced and subtle, is my contention. I hope I will be able to show
this over the next few weeks and I will try to make a post roughly twice a week, in order to cover this properly.

The primary texts I will be referring to are:

brahmasUtra (BS), bhagavadgItA (BG) and their corresponding SAnkara bhAshya-s (BSBh and BGBh),
taittirIya upanishat (TU), its SAnkara bhAshya (TUBh) and sureSvarAcArya's vArttika on it (TUBhV),
bRhadAraNyaka upanishat (BU), its SAnkara bhAshya (BUBh) and sureSvarAcArya's vArttika on it (BUBhV),
chandogya upanishat (CU, its SAnkara bhAshya (CUBh),
upadeSasAhasrI (US) of Sankara-bhagavatpAda
naishkarmyasiddhi (NS) of sureSvarAcArya

patanjali's yogasUtra (YS) and its vyAsa bhAshya (YSBh).

SrI gurubhyo namaH,
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