[Advaita-l] A Peep into the Patanjali System

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Thu May 27 07:54:56 CDT 2010

Dear Subrahmanianji,
The Sankhya and Yoga schools, though very ancient and Sankhya could have been theistic in the earlier stages the Sankhya as taught to Lord Buddha by Allara Kalama was not theistic and Lord Buddha was not satisfied with leaving the multiple Souls just freed from the Prakriti. In his own ingenious way he said that after getting rid of the Prakriti there is no existence of any separateness ( which in fact means that there are no separate free souls, which can come under the influence of Prakriti once again)  This state of being free from the grip of Prakriti is Shunyata when all the five skandhas are dissolved. After about a thousand years of Lord Buddha's demise Vasubandhu criticised Samkhya and at that time Varshaganya's disciple Ishwara Krishna wrote the Sankhya karika and  Varshaganya's other disciple Vindhyavasin (Prof. Aklujkar thinks he is the Vyasa of Vyasabhashya and I also think alike) wrote the Vyasabhashya of Patanjali Yoga and these actions
 by these two disciples could  put the Sankhya and Yoga on firm footing. Sankhya neither said yes nor said no to the presence of Ishwara and there is Ishwara in Yoga and there is the further  hint that He is Brahman. I think all these make the Sankhya and Yoga compatible with Vedanta. In a limited way Sankhya and Yoga are dualistic and a common man will think it to be so and Adi Sankaracharya rightly feared that.  However if  one looks at between the lines Sankhya and Yoga taken together one would find that they are not dualistic. I think we have to try to understand what Adi Sankaracharya says in not too literal way.
I shall look forward to hearing what the orthodox scholars have to say on this.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Wed, 5/26/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] A Peep into the Patanjali System
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 6:25 PM

On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 8:37 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Subrahmanianji,
> Namaste,
> In Patanjali's Yogasutra Ishwara is the special Purusha, who is not uner
> the influence of Prakriti an through Ishwara pranihana the iniviual Purushas
> get anchored to Ishwara and gets rid of the influence of Prakriti. The
> Prakriti of the liberated purusha is dissolved but the Prakriti of the other
> Purushas remain. Calling Patanjali's Yoga as Dvaita is Ok if you ignore
> Patanjali's other statement that the Vachaka of Ishwara is OM. which equates
> Ishwara with Brahman. Just because Patanjali does not say about the fate of
> the anchored purushas it does not mean that he denied their being one with
> the Brahman, as most possibly he did not want to cross the scope of Yoga and
> silently left it to the Vedanta to say that Brahman and the Souls are one.
> Personally I believe the Yoga to be Vedantic. Kindly correct me if I am
> wrong.
> Regards,
> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

Dear Sunil ji,

I reproduce a portion from the Book  'Sridakshinamurtistotram' Vol.I
(Sankhya and Yoga) p.611:

// Taking the case of the Sankhya and Patanjala, it may be noted that
liberation according to them is secured by the discriminative knowledge of
the purusha (the knower, who is of the nature of Consciousness) from the
prakriti in its two states, evolved and causal 'vyakat-avyakta-jna-vijnAnAt
(Saankhya kaarikaa 2). In this state of Kaivalya where Atman alone shines,
there is neither the experience of any other individual nor of the prakriti
in either of its two states.  Also, they cannot be affirmed to exist, since
the existence is to be established by a pramANa, मानाधीना मेयसिद्धिः  and
there is no pramaaNa in that state.  That is, they are jnAnanivartya,
sublated on the dawn of knowledge leading to Kaivalya.  Again, what the
Yogasutra 2.22 says namely that though they cease to exist from the
standpoint of the liberated, they are experienced by others, is reminiscent
of the rope-snake.  Because of these two reasons, the plurality of purushas,
and prakriti are illusory, mithya, though not explicitly mentioned so by
these two schools; thus Atman which is of the nature of Existence and
Consciousness, is one without a second.
........Further, in the spirit of the Sruti असंगो ह्ययं पुरुषः
(Br.Up.4.3.16) [This PuruSha is indeed non-attached] the sAnkhyakaarikA 62

तस्मान्न बध्यतेऽद्धा न मुच्यते नापि संसरति कश्चित् ।
संसरति बध्यते मुच्यते च नानाश्रया प्रकृतिः ॥

which declares that, in reality, there is neither bondage nor transmigration
nor liberation for anyone; all such parlance is to be traced to prakRti
(which has been shown above to be illusory).  This is reminiscent of the
Mandukya kArikA:

न निरोधो न चोत्पत्तिः न बद्धो नैव साधकः ।
न मुमुक्षुर्न वै मुक्त इत्येषा परमार्थता ॥ २.३२

//There is neither dissolution nor creation, none in bondage and none
practicing disciplines. There is none seeking Liberation and none liberated.
This is the absolute truth. //
[End of quote from that book]

Unlike the other dvaita schools, Yoga does not teach travelling to another
Loka upon liberation and stay there.  The Atma-nAnAtva is, however, admitted
in the Yoga school. This is one of the reasons why Bhagavatpada says:
dvaitinaH hi te saankhyaaH yogaascha, na aatmaikatva-darshinaH.[The
saankhyaas and the yogaas are indeed dvaitins, they do not admit of the One
only Atman.] BSB 2.1.3 in respect of this school.  One can draw one's own
inferences from the material provided above.

Best regards,
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