[Advaita-l] Discussion on the role of yoga in Adwaita.

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri May 2 08:11:59 CDT 2008

Dear All

As others have observed, yoga and advaita, have been much discussed earlier and now we seem to focus only on different ways of presenting the same opinion. As an example I cite the recent mail of Sri N. Srikanta which has the tone of contradicting Sri Vidyasankar's mail but does not say anything different, as demonstrated below. Could we avoid this sort of "I must have the last say" kind of mails?
P.S: Even as I was pondering whether I should send this or not, Sri N. Srikanta has sent one more mail on the same subject, repeating a lot of his earlier mail!  
VS (Sri Vidyasankar Sundaresan): "I have posted a series on Adwaita Vedanta and its relationship to
yoga,the whole topic of sruti-anusara-ananusara acceptance/rejection...."

NS: (Sri N. Srikanta) From the commentaries of Shankara no where it is said other systems are necessary to obtain jnana.again and Again he says that what is necessary is removal of ajnana or avidya.without right perception any amount of Yoga,dhyana will remove avidya.this is the hallmark of Shankara's stand.

* What is j~nAna? Is it only the realisation of "ahambrahmAsmi" (Definition 1) or is it the whole corpus (Sruti, smriti, prasthAnatrayI, prakaraNa-granthas, AptavAkya, experience) leading to Definition 1? VS is speaking with the latter definition in mind; NS with the first definition.

VS: "Shankara fully takes into account the contribution that Yoga and other darshanas make towards qualifying us for that jnana".

NS: shankara no where has made this observation that other darshana contribute for samyagjnana.Otherwise where is the necessity for vedanta?.Moreover,if other darshana contribute for jnana,then where was the necessity for puvapaksha and siddhanta?He only points out that in these darshanas if they contain certain points which donot violate Vedas,they may be accepted,not with reference to their systems or practices.
* Yes, the bhagavatpAda might not have said in so many words that other darSanas contribute to samyagj~nAna, but indeed the definitions (in case of nyAya), practices (in yoga - of one flavour or the other) etc. of other darSanas, technically a purvapaksha, are indeed used quite liberally. The same thing can be categorised as "they may be accepted", or as VS puts it. The irony is that VS starts this particular passage with "yes, advaita is self-sufficient"

VS: "After all,if the immediate perception for jnana of Brahman is that easy to attain we would all be sadyomuktas right now living out perfect exemplary lives"

NS: Yes,the jnana is hard to attain,but shankara says that it si everyone's reach.It is for us to see whether we are sadyomuktas or whether we are leading perfect exemplary lives(sadyomukti is not different from perfect exemplary life) or not,but with all these systems cluttered up in our mind and these futile practices,the sadyomukti will sure be elusive.
* VS is saying that if the other darSanas were right, mukti would be easy and instantaneous; the very fact that it is not so indicates that the other darSanas are not right. Now, what NS is saying is no different: "don't clutter your mind with these untrue darSanas, as your chances of mukti fade with that; rather follow the scripture - lead a perfect exemplary life, that is."

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