[Advaita-l] Meditation (dhyAna), knowledge (jnAna) etc. in Sankara's advaita

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Jun 11 01:27:21 CDT 2008

Humble sAshtAnga praNAms Sri Vidya prabhuji
Hare Krishna

It is really my pleasure to do the manana with your goodself prabhuji.
Thanks for spending your previous time with me prabhuji.

Sri Vidya prabhuji :

bhagavatpAda says about citta vRtti nirodha and its relationship to
Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtati (bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1.4.7)Needless to say,
that leads to major misunderstandings about the term samAdhi also, but we
have already gone over all that on this list, two or three times.

bhaskar :

Yes, we have discussed this issue very long back & at that time we have
discussed about apUrva vidhi, niyama vidhi and why in this particular
context shankara ascribing even niyama vidhi to jnAni etc. And it has been
further clarified how jnAni will not be the victim of jnAna daurbalya
(weakness)by citing the references from sUtra bhAshya & bruhad vArtika of
surEshwara wherein it has been clarified beyond doubt that there cannot be
any *viparIta pratyaya* for a jnAni after the dawn of self-knowledge...but
you know all in vain...But here I am not able to understand how you are
relating this issue with samAdhi (if you have specific pAtanjala yOga's
samAdhi in mind!!)  Where shankara talks about samAdhi here??  Since it is
a long running bhAshya, I request you to give me the particular bhAshya

Now coming back to chitta vRtti nirodha, nowhere in shruti it is
recommended that chitta vRtti nirodha is a direct means to mOksha..Ofcourse
there is a scope for indriya nigraha in shamadamAdi sAdhana..but as you
know, this is suggested only for mental purification (chitta shudhyarthaM).
Shankara himself says chitta vRtti nirodha is not *mOksha sAdhana* in the
same bruhad maNtra bhAshya. Here is what he says in bruhadAraNyaka shruti
bhAshya (1-4-7) : nirodhaH tarhi arthAntaraM iti chet?? athApi syAt chitta
vRutti nirOdhasya vEdavAkyajanita AtmavijnAnAt arthAntaratvAt,
tantrAntareshu cha kartavyatayA avagatatvAt vidheyatvaM iti
chet..*na*..mOksha sAdhanatvEna anavagamAt...na hi vEdAntEshu
brahmAtmavijnAnAt anyat parama purushArtha sAdhanatvena avagamyat,
AtmAnamevAvet..Here shankara makes it amply clear that brahmAtva vijnAna is
the ONLY means to paramapurushArtha mOksha..and makes it explicitly clear
that the injuction of chitta vRutti nirodha is not required...

However, elsewhere in the same bhAshya shankara says cognizing the Atma
svarUpa *as it is* can be called as chitta vRutti nirOdha..I think you are
referring here shankara bhAshya vAkya : na hi AtmavijnAna smruti saMtAna
vyatirekeNa chitta vRutti nirodhasya sAdhanaM asti...But here it is once
again clear that shankara accepts here the chitta vrutti nirOdha in a
vEdAntic sense and concludes that na tu brahma vijnAna vyaterekeNa anyat
mOksha sAdhanaM avagamyate..In essence, it is mere repetition of earlier
emphasized fact that there is no other way/means but brahmavijnAna to
attain mOksha..From this noway we can presume that Sankara advising us to
follow patanjali's yOga shAstra's chitta vRutti nirodha..

Sri Vidya prabhuji :

I would request you to share with us whom you have in mind, as examples of
those who follow pAtanjala yoga in the name of Sankara vedAnta.

bhaskar :

Kindly pardon me prabhuji, I donot want to drag any specific names here
prabhuji...I know that would spoil the whole atmosphere of this
list...Anyway, when we are rejecting the unjustifiable influence of PY on
shankara's advaita, you can keep in mind that we are rejecting the views of
those who interpreted upanishad maNtra-s AtmA vA are drashtavyaH, shrOtavyo
maNtavyo, nidhidhyAsitavyaH, which shankara quotes in a sUtra bhAshya on
which they write commentary ...as :samAdhiH iti samyamaM upalakshayati,
dhAraNa, dhyAna samAdhayO hi saMyama pada vedanIyAH, yaThahuH *trayaM
ekatra saMyamaH* iti, atra nidhidhyAsitavyaH iti dhyAnOpadEshaH,
*drashtavyaH* iti samAdheH, yathahuH tadeva dhyAnaM arthamAtra nibhAsaM
*svarUpa shunyamiva* samadhiH iti...Here point to be noted is the sentence
: *arthamAtra nibhAsaM *svarUpa shunyamiva* samadhiH* is the yOga sUtra
(3-3)which is directly quoted by this vyAkhyAnakAra to give room for PY in
vEdAnta. Is there any further proof required to prove how PY neatly
fabricated in this vyAkhyAna??  However, I know, those who firmly believe
that samAdhi experience is indispensable in advaita jnAna, would read
nothing wrong in these interpretations.  But fact remains that this type of
convoluted interpretations are quite conspicuous by its absence in
bhagavatpAda's prasthAna trayi bhAshya.  On the other hand shankara
repeatedly says on yOga shAstra that :

(a) yOga is dvaita shastra & they are NOT atmaikatva darshins
(b) Even after waking from samAdhi there remains avidya
(c) chitta vRutti nirodha is not a direct means to mOksha
(d) dhyAna is an action of mind (mAnasa kriya) hence it is purusha tantra
cannot fetch jnAna
(e) dhyAna niyOga vAda & pratipattividhishEshavAda both goes against the
doctrine of vEda.

Having said all this, let me clarify that there is no outright rejection of
PY in shankara vedanta.  Shankara himself recommends first 5 limbs of PY
i.e. yama, niyama, Asana, praNAyAma, pratyAhAra. But usage, purports &
contextual interpretations of last 3 terms of PY i.e. dhAraNa, dhyAna &
samAdhi differs from that of classical yOga shAstra.

Humble praNAms onceagain
your humble servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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