[Advaita-l] Sankhya & Yoga

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Wed May 20 09:16:48 CDT 2009

Dear Shri Bhattacharjya,


I am confused. What is God? What is Nirguna Brahman? Are they same or different?


Even advaita doesn't talk about Nirguna Brahman because there is nothing to talk about it. 

In addition to the nirguna Brahman, as per Shrutis, there are other pure causal states as well, 

about whom nothing should be reasoned about - Yajnavalkya "O Gargi, you are questioning 

a deity who should not be reasoned about". Effectively all causal states can not be reasoned 

about or talked about, other than saying everything is born from it or everything mergs into it, 

without mentioning by what sequence - because any sequence involves reasoning. 


So what is the big difference between advaita and sankhya? Is it just the samkhya's 

belief in one creation story from prakRti/pradhAna, whereas advaita believes in Maha 

vakyas and rejects all creation stories? 


First of all, there is no belief involved in either advaita or samkhya. The ShrutikAra of s'v.U 

described what he saw. If later students forgot the meaning that is their problem, but there

is no compulsion for them to accept what s'vetAs'vatara said. Second, if you consider the fact 

that s'vetAs'vatara also mentions mAya and mAyin, these words are no invention of Shi Sankara 

Bhagawatpada, so it is proved that advaita and samkhya are born of the same Shruti as two 

different views, with advaita being in a somewhat stronger position.


But my question was about Shri Michael's Abrahamic sounding statement that is 

supposed to have a philosophical meaning. That puts Kalidasa on his head with his 

vAgardhAviva saMpRktau (I may have to rethink if there was svarita in that sloka, 

just kidding) and brings back memories of Roberto De Nobili. 




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