[Advaita-l] Sankhya & Yoga

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed May 20 18:59:21 CDT 2009

Dear Shri Bhadraiah,
I think you said it yourself.
Even advaita doesn't talk about Nirguna Brahman because there is nothing to talk about it. 

The Sankhya doesn't talk about Nirguna Brahman because nothing can be talked about it. Actually Sankhya uses the word "Ishvara" and says that Ishvara is Ashiddhah. Sometime ago I read a verse in which Vedavyasa prays requesting God to excuse him as he was describing Him with Gunas though in reality He is Nirguna (meaning Gunatita to my understanding).
Sankhya gives us the basic knowledge of the individual Purusha and Prakriti and how Purusha got involved with the Prakriti. Yoga is the practice that is required to give the Purusha the realisation of that knowledge through the practice of any of the ways such as Karma, Bhakti or Jnana. Therefore Lord Krishna considers Sankhya and Yoga as one as both are complementary to each other. Purva Mimansha is more like an intermediate step between the Sankhya-Yoga and the Uttara Mimansha and it takes the Purusha to a higher state of evolution like that of the higher beings like the Devas and the Siddhas, through a sacrificial association with them. This step is yet short of the highest goal. Uttara mimansha takes us to the highest goal of universal unitary principle, which is Brahman. Svetasvatara Upanishad combines the Sankhya and Yoga on hand with the Upanishadic teaching of the Unitary principle that is Brahman (which is the cause of it all), on the
 other hand. In the eighth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita the Lord tells Arjuna that he would talk about what Brahman is but it appears that some verses are missing from the Bhagavad Gita at that point as we find that the Lord skips that and moves on to talk about the ways of attaining that Brahman. All the Upanishads help us to Know about the Brahman either negatively through "Neti--Neti" or positively such as given in the Mundaka and the Kena Upanishad. That is my understanding of Indian philosophy. It is not necessary that you have to agree with me.
You wrote about the Maya and Adi Sankaracharya. It is the Dvatist propaganda that Adi Sankaracharya invented the concept of Maya, little knowing that 5,000 years ago Lord Krishna talked about Maya in the Bhagavad Gita. There is a small book where an American lady researcher traces all the references to Maya in the Vedas. but at this moment I do not remember the name of the author.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Wed, 5/20/09, Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Sankhya & Yoga
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 7:16 AM

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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