[Advaita-l] A Peep into the Patanjali System

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri May 28 12:43:26 CDT 2010


This is what my understanding is:

The Brahmasutra-s are called 'shAreeraka mImAmsA' by Bhagavatpada Himself in
the preamble to the BSB.  That means 'the a study of the nature of the jiva,
the resident in the body'.  That defines the scope of the BSB in particular
and the Upanishads in general.

With this as the baseline, the entire discussion is centred on what the jiva
is, both in the bound state and the liberated state, what is the means for
liberation, what is the fruit of practicing various sadhanas, the nature of
the fruit and certain other miscellaneous related topics.  These are widely
divided into the four adhyAyas: samanvaya, avirodha, sadhana and phala.
While examining other schools, darshanas, the guiding principle is:  The
word 'darshana' itself means:  दृश्यते आत्मतत्त्वं अनेन इति दर्शनम्  That
which enables the comprehending/realizing of the Atma tattvam, the true
nature of the Atma, is called 'darshanam'.  The Brahma sutra examines how
this is accomplished if at all, or sought to be accomplished, by the various
'darshanams'.  Since the subject matter of discussion of the Brahma Sutras
is the Upanishads and related Smriti-s, the compatibility and compliability
of these 'other' darshanas, other than the Vedanta darshana also called
Aupanishadam darshanam is examined.  In this process, the questions about
what these darshanas say about the jiva, its true nature, what constitutes
bondage, what are the means for liberation and what constitutes liberation,
etc. are thoroughly examined.

The Upanishads have stated in terms clear sometimes and sometimes not very
apparent, the final word, the definitions, etc. on all the above questions.
The task of the Brahma Sutras and the Bhashyakara is now to see how and
whether these 'tattva-s' if we may call  them so, spoken of in the other
darshanas fit into the Upanishadic template on these 'tattva-s'.

In this process, it is quite possible that there are several occasions where
some or many similarities with the Upanishadic darshanam are encountered in
the other darshanas.  These are taken into account and a final audited view
is established:  There are these similarities, we have no objection with
them.  However, there are these glaring dissimilarities, deviations, in
respect of some key issues.  Consequently these systems as they are
available to us, the examiner, cannot be accepted as Aupanishadic.

Thus, the criterion for deciding is 'how these schools fit into the
Upanishadic template?'  According to the Upanishads the jiva is none other
than Brahman.  Bondage is aavidyaka, aupaadhika, unreal.  If the other
darshanas tally with the Aupanishadam darshanam on these key issues there
will be no problem.  But, the fact, upon undertaking the above methodology,
it is found that no school comes to be accepted by the Aupanishada-s.  There
may be non-controversial issues.  Yet they do not help us ultimately in the
face of the really controversial ones.  In fact Shankaracharya has said even
the method of practices of Yoga are originally available in the Upanishads
themselves.  Bhakti is also available in this school itself.  He does not
see the need to address the question/opinion that you have stated: A step by
step development is seen in the various darshanas.  He simply feels that the
scope of the Brahma Sutras is not that.  The BS comes to give an
all-comprehensive compact sadhana system to the mumukshu.  It leaves nothing
unsaid or unhinted.  It is a total system.  The other systems do not satisfy
this criterion even though they might claim to do so.  And that is the
reason why schools like the Sankhya, Yoga, Bhagavata and the like are
'rejected'.  The rejection is subjective, issue-based.

Of course, this is just one aspect of the Brahmasutras: avirodha.

I may not have stated things very clearly.  I have just put my thoughts in
an unformulated manner.  Other members could say how they look at the

Om Tat Sat

On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 6:25 PM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Bhskarji,
> Namaste,
> In schools it is taught that Atom is the smallest particle of matter but at
> higher level one is taught about the subatomic particles and at still higher
> level a student knows about the equivalence of matter and energyu. So also
> in Indian philosophy the six darshanas are in stepwise progress and all the
> darshanas are correct at the level they are  meant to be taught. Sankhya
> Sutra says Ishwara is asiddha ie. the existence of Ishwara cannot be proved
> (and that is why Sankhya would not take it into consideration in its
> treatment). But nowhere Sankhya said that Ishwara is not there. Then it is
> left to Yoga to bring in Ishwara. Yoga leaves it to Veda to tell us about
> the beings higher than us (ie. the 33 devas) and ultimately the Vedanta
> tells us that all beings (sub-human. human and the super-human beings) are
> no different from Brahman.) Adi Sankaracharya very well knew all these but
> we the lwesser people have our doubts.  BTW do you agree with Tilak that
>  one verse of Sankhya-karika is missing, which he reconstructed.
> Regards,
> Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

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