[Advaita-l] article by Coman

MC1 at aol.com MC1 at aol.com
Tue Jun 12 19:56:28 CDT 2007

Anyone interested in investigating further the idea of Sankara as a yogin  
prior to Advaita may be well advised to consult Paul Hacker  (selected English 
translations from the original German may be found in,  Philology and 
Confrontation, ed.: W. Halbfass). For those unfamiliar, Hacker is  a seminal and 
insightful academic who has provided some  interesting analysis of Sankara. 
Notwithstanding and possibly because of the  occasional critique, Hacker is a good 
read for any serious student of  Advaita.
Message: 2
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 19:52:32 -0700
From: "Vidyasankar  Sundaresan" <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] article  by Coman
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Message-ID:  <BAY101-F239CE9866A75793466B3E5DB190 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain;  format=flowed

>I don't get it - aren't you and a significant  number of the members
>of this list later/contemporary Advaitins?  At  best, Prof. Coman's
>article reads as play-by-play coverage of a  non-existent dialectic between
>Adi Sankaracarya and Christopher  Ishwerwood.  The unspecific use of the
>term, "modern Advaitins,"  seems wholly unwarranted here.
>   No scriptural support is  adduced in Coman's work for the claim
>that samadhi is somehow an end in  its own right in yoga either.  I
>certainly don't recall reading  anything to that effect in the Patanjali
>Yogasutra or its traditional  commentaries (pace Christopher Isherwood, I
>guess).  That the PYS  preaches a "necessity for total thought suppression"
>(presumably a crude  translation of cittavrtti nirodha) is also  highly
>Gerald  Penn

Dear Gerald,

The article on Samadhi in Advaita Vedanta by  Michael Comans is primarily 
meant to address what is nowadays called  neo-Vedanta. Specifically, it 
addresses the emphasis that is laid on the  experience of brahman, following 
the time of Swami Vivekananda. So, in a  sense you are right in bringing in 
Christopher Isherwood's name here, as he  stands in the first generation of 
translators of Indian thought in modern  America.

There is one point that is well-taken in Comans's paper, and  that is the 
mistaken tendency to treat Vedanta as theory and Yoga as  practice. There are 
numerous other points that we have covered in earlier  discussions on the 
list. One of my goals in the Yoga and Advaita Vedanta  series was to show how 
an intimate connection exists between these two  schools even in Sankara's 
own  works.


************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list