[Advaita-l] Bhamati and Vivarana

srirudra at vsnl.com srirudra at vsnl.com
Sun Aug 12 22:04:49 CDT 2007

Dear Sastri
I think there are  contrary views expressed in para 3 -Sureswara preaches 
the philosophy of Knowledge cum action in opposition to Sankara and the 4th 
para says that Sureswara rejects it as the theory of Purva mimasakas.Shall 
thank you to clarify.Krishnamoorthy.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "S.N. Sastri" <sn.sastri at gmail.com>
To: <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 12:18 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Bhamati and Vivarana

Sub: Bhamati and Vivarana schools of Advaita Vedanta- A Critical Approach-
by P.S.Roodurmun, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy and
Hindu Theology at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Mauritius. Published by
Motilal Banarsidass.

  This book is, on the whole, an excellent treatise, but I noticed the
following inaccuracies in chapter II- Historical Background of Advaita

On page 30 it is said: In his "Naishkarmyasiddhi" Suresvara declares that
Emancipation.  -----. He believes that the mere knowledge of the Jiva
–Brahman identity is not enough to remove ignorance, but added to it, "long
and continuous meditation on the same" is required, while performance of all
obligatory duties should continue. Cessation of action, believes Suresvara,
represents "transgression of one's duties", and, therefore, results in the
accrual of sin, and hence in further bondage. In opposition to Sankara,
thus, Suresvara preaches the philosophy of 'knowledge-cum-action'
(jnAna-karma-samuccaya) as a means to salvation. (These statements are said
to be based on S.N.Dasgupta's History of Indian Philosophy.

  Taking the question of jnAna-karma-samuccaya first, this is the theory of
the pUrva mImAmsakas, which Suresvara rejects outright. In Naishkarmyasiddhi
he first states the PrAbhAkara view as the pUrvapaksha in Slokas 14 t0 21 0f
chapter 1. He refutes this view in Slokas 22 onwards. Again in Sloka 54 of
the same chapter he says that action and knowledge cannot exist as the same
time as they are related as means  and end. Reference may be made here to
the excellent English translation of Naishkarmyasiddhi with elaborate notes
by Dr. R. Balasubramanian, published by the Radhakrishnan Institute for
Advanced Study in Philosophy, University of Madras. So, far from opposing
Sankara, Suresvara totally agrees with him on the question of

  The statement in P.S.Roodurmun's book quoted above, namely,-- "He believes
that the mere knowledge of the Jiva –Brahman identity is not enough to
remove ignorance, but added to it, "long and continuous meditation on the
same" is required", appears to imply the theory of prasankhyAna. This also
has been clearly rejected by Suresvara in Slokas 90 onwards of chapter 3 of

   I would request those members of this group who are conversant with
Suresvara's works to see if what I have said above is correct or not. I also
hope this note will somehow come to the notice of Mr. Roodurmun either
directly or through some one else, so that he may consider this point.

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