[Advaita-l] Adwaita and God.

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 4 12:17:39 CDT 2010

--- On Thu, 11/4/10, srikanta <srikanta at nie.ac.in> wrote:

From: srikanta <srikanta at nie.ac.in>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Adwaita and God.
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 1:34 AM

From:   "Sunil Bhattacharjya" <sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com>
Date:   Wed, November 3, 2010 9:22 pm
To:   "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta"
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Priority:   Normal
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Dear Shrikantaji,

I think you have not noticed that nobody said that Yoga is not different from
Vedanta. They are definitely at diferent levels. However it is my
understanding that
the OM in Yoga and OM in Vedanta are the same. Can you show any shastriya
where these two OMs are different?
In the  Yoga of Patanjali the Purusha gets freed from the clutches of
Prakrii by
meditating on OM (Ishvara) but it is not said that the
disappears. In
Vedanta it is
 shown that the Purusha and OM (Brahman) are not different and thus the
disappears (only from the Advaitic point of view).
 Sometimes the different
terminologies used in different darshanas  make people confused. For
example what
is  Tanmatra in Sankhya is not called by the same name in Vedanta and you
must be
aware of that. Such differences in terminologies confuse even the great
but not a scholar at the level of Adi Sankaracharya and he knew his
subject well.
Ishvara in Yoga and Brahman in Vedanta are the same and that is
irrespective of
whether Gaudapadacharya sees Ishvara and Brahman in Vedanta as the same or
not. The
Vedanta is the teaching at the ultimate level but one cannot wish away the
importance of Yoga. Lord had asked Arjuna to be a Yogi and had given several
definitions of Yoga and one should be careful in understanding the
contexts the
Lord was referring to.
If you are convinced that Adi Sankaracharya's guru Govindapada was not an
incarnation of Patanjali it would be nice if you
 tell us the proof you
have from
Rambhadra Dixit to show that Gaudapadacharya was the disciple of
Patanjali. Just
assertions do not satisfy people. However  don't you think that people
would not
have linked Govindapada with Patanjali unless there were similarities in
May I request you kindly to read my mail carefully in case you desire to
talk about
the matter in that. Firstly kindly do not forget that the argument on
Shunya from
the etymological viewpoint came  in support of the statement that Lord
teaching at the highest level of Mahayana was not Nihilistic. I made it
very clear
about my understanding and mentioned that Nagarjuna,
 who lived five centuries after Lord Buddha, shouted from the rooftop
that Shunya is not non-existence. I am talking about the Mahayana
Buddhism. I told you what  Shunya etymologically is.. Kindly tell me
to you is the etymology of Shunya if you think of it differently.
Shunya means expansion (and the consequent disappearance
 from a fixed form) and that I understand that this matches the definition of
Vishnu too. If you do not agree then let us agree to disagree.
It is improper to bring in Hinayana into the discussions as I made it
clear earlier
by bringoing in the statements of Nagarjuna that we are discussing at the
level. May be you are not aware of the differences in  teachings at the
Hinayana and
Mahayana levels.
Further did I anywhere say that the creation came from Shunya?
You said about
 reference in Vedanta that Vishnu is not Shunya. Will you kindly cite the

Finally I assure you that  I am not questioning your scholarship and who
am I to do


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya.

 Sunil Bhattacharji,

1)You have certainly not understood and carefully followed my
explanations.Certainly Vedanta and Yoga are different.We have Shankara's
testimony to that.Yoga is at the Dwaita level where as Adwaita talks about
the Vedanta,"the "Turiya" state which is "OM".This is explained in detail
in the Mandukya Upanishad and the Karikas.In his Mandukya Karikas,Acharya
Gaudapada says,"Asparshayogovai nama sarvasatva sukham hitah,Yoginah
bhibhyati asmath abhaye bhayadarshinah".The Yogis are afraid of the
Asparshayoga of Vedanta,but,in reality it is without any fear.No body need
to say that vedanta and yoga are different.Yoga involves "Kriya".No
"Kriya" is involved in Adwaita vedanta.It cannot be achieved by any
karma."OM" is pointed out or designated in Yoga.

2)The Ishwara in Yoga and the Ishwara in Vedanta are the same.But,in Yoga
the term"Ishwara"is used to mean the creator,or "OM'as you
said..But,in Vedanta "Ishwara"occupies the third pada,named "Pajna",which
is the "Ma"kara in the Mandukya Upanishad.It occupies the third matra or
the third pada in the "AUM"kara.You have said "Ishwara"in Yoga and Brahman
in vedanta are the same whether Gaudapadacharya says or not.Have you
studied 'Mandukya Upanishad" and "Gaudapada Karikas"?.You also read
Ramabhadra Deekshitha's "Patanjali Charitha"which was published several
centuries before.It mentioned there that Gaudapada went to kashi to learn
Vyakarana Mahabhashya from Patanjali.It is said that patanjali commanded
that no disciple should leave in the middle,Otherwise,he would be cursed
to become a "Brahmarakshas"..A curtain was put as a partition,and
Patanjali also commanded that no one should peep behind the
curtain.Gaudapada,much against the wishes of his Guru left the place for
some time. Patanjali,answered all the doubts and questions put by
disciples,at the same time!.But,a curious disciple wondered how can one
person answer all the questions at the same time.He lifted the curtain to
peep in.Lo!he saw a thousandhooded serent "AdiShesha",fuming fire from the
mouths.All the disciples were burnt.Patanjali was sad because he could not
teach the Mahabhashya to his disciples,and not even one disciple was left
for the future.At that time,Gaudapada who had left the place
returned.Patanjali became happy that atleast one disciple survived.He gave
all his knowledge to Gaudapada by "Anugraha"saying that he will know all
he knew.But,the curse had to be taken by Gaudapada to become a
"Brahmarakshas".But,the curse would disappear if he imparted this
knowledge to another disciple.Later,Chandrasharma,who later became his
disciple by the name,GovindaBhagawath Pada,removed the curse from his
Guru,Gaudapada.GovindaBhagawathpada wrote the "Mahabhashya"on the
leaves with his blood,as Gaudapada narrated..He,due to exhaustion slept on
the pyol of a house.A goat ate a portion of the leaves,and even to this
day this portion is not available in the "Mahabhashya".This portion is
called,"AjaBhakshitha"bhashya,which means the portion of the bhashya eaten
by a goat..All this is said in Patanjali charitha.
3)You have said terms in different systems confuse people.True.But,the
relevant sections in different systems must be studied carefully and
anslysed to come to a conclusion.
4)I have also studied Nagarjuna's
to name a few.The pratityasamutpada propounded by Nagarjuna has ben called
Nihilism,or shunyavada by some.But,the "Shunya" follows the same argument
of the Vedanta.it says that,"Shunya"is "Chatushkoti vinirmukta",which is
free from the four pronged notions,"It is,it is not,It is both
 is and is
not,and It is not,not".Vedanta also defines Brahman in the same
fashion.But,the Brahman of vedanta says it is the Adhara or substratum for
the appearance of the world.Whereas,in Nagarjuna,s view the world has no
substratum.It is like the appearance of "Sashavishana"or rabbit's
horns,which is nonexistence.Gaudapada in the last or the IV th prakarana
called "Alatashanthi"prakarana,of his Karikas says that;
"Kramate buddhasya jnanam dharmeshu tapinah!
sarve dharmah tatha jnanam "Naitad Buddhena bhashitham"!!
Though Buddha(Gautama)might have denied the existence of the external
world(bahyakaranirakarana matram uktam)),he has not said this(that all
dharmas(selves) are Brahman or Atman in the absolute sense.I have studied
the the differences between Hinayana and Mahayana levels.I had to dwell
upon this,because you had brought Buddhism in the discussions.Then What 
is "shunya"?
3)Vishnu is not
 "Shunya".Please refer to VishnusahasranamaBhashya of Adi
Shankara.There eventhough the word "Shunya"appears,it means "sarvalakshana
shunyah",which is devoid of any lakshana or mark.

Sri.Sunil Bhattacharji,certainly this is not for showing my
scholarship.Who am I to show my scholarship?What i have drunk from that
huge ocean is a mere thimble.That ocean is so vast.As the tamil saying
goes,"katradu kaiyalavu,Kalladadu ulakalavu"(what is learnt is a mere
handful,What is not learnt is of the size of the world)..I have regards
for you,being also a student of Vedanta.These discussions are not for
Regards,Bhava shankara desika me sharanam.            N.Srikanta.

Dear Srikantaji,

1) You said 
<<<  ,Acharya Gaudapada
 says,"Asparshayogovai nama sarvasatva sukham hitah,Yoginah bhibhyati 
asmath abhaye bhayadarshinah".The Yogis are afraid of the Asparshayoga 
of Vedanta,but,in reality it is without any fear.No body need to say 
that vedanta and yoga are different.Yoga involves "Kriya".No "Kriya" is 
involved in Adwaita vedanta.It cannot be achieved by any karma."OM" is 
pointed out or
 designated in Yoga.  >>>

We are talking about Ishvara, 
whose vaacaka is OM. If you think that Dhyana on OM leading to Samadhi 
in Yoga is Kriya? If that is so then Jijnasa in Vedanta will also be  
kriya..  You have probably given a new definition of Yoga.
are absolutely wrong in saying that in Yoga "Ishvara" is the creator. It
 is Prakriti, who is active in
 Sankhya and Ishvara is not active and hence it is accepted to be so by 
Yoga. Yoga remains mum about what happens to the soul liberated from the
 clutch of Prakriti and it is left for the Vedanta to say explicitly 
that soul is not different from the Brahman (in the Advaitic view). As 
Yoga is mum about what happens to the liberated Purusha we  say that 
Yoga is Dvaita and nobody can oppose that. Lord Buddha did not agree 
with his guru about that Dvaita state and that the Purusha will be in 
Limbo after getting out of the clutch of the Prakriti. He meditated and 
 found that when one gets out of the the clutch of Prakriiti one also 
loses the five koshas and so the separateness. This state of 
non-separateness is the state of Shunyata.
In Yoga Ishvara is 
OM and I do not accept your conveniently equating the the third pada 
ie."M" alone  with the OM of Yoga . It is clear that want to prove that 
the AUM (OM) of Vedanta is not the same as OM
 of Yoga. If Gaudapadacharya would have seen such distortion of his 
views he would have been utterly distressed. 
I am aware of the
 story and you accept this as the proof of Gaudapada being a student of 
Patanjali but does that rule out  Patanjali's  taking pity on Gaudapada 
and taking birth as Chandra Sharma to help Gaudapada to get rid of the 
curse? It is not proper for you to accept the story to conveniently rule
 out that Govindapada was the Patanjali reborn. This was believed by Adi
 Sankaracharya himself when he said "You are verily the sage Patanjali, 
the personification of Yoga Shastra. You are born of the great serpent 
king Ananta. Don't you heasitate for a moment to contradict Adi 

When Nagarjuna himself said that Shunyata is not Not-existence, it does 
not matter to me if some others try to interpret Nagarjuna's Shunyata 
(which is the Shunyata" taught by Lord Buddha) as non-existence. You 
have conveniently avoided the etymological aspect based on which I was 
telling you about the meaning of Shunyata,  just because you are not 
familaiar with the etymological aspects. If you want to know the meaning
 of Shunyata as meant by  Lord Buddha then read the Prjnaparamita sutra,
 Diamond sutra or  the Hridaya Sutra. Now please don't tel me that you 
have read all these too.


It also appears that you have not properly read the Sankarabhashya on 
the Vishnusahasranaama,where Lord Vishnu has the name of Shunya. Shunya 
is one of the thousand names of Lord Vishnu. Even Lord Shiva has the 
name "Shunya".


You said about reference in Vedanta that Vishnu is not Shunya.  In the 
last mail I requested you kindly to cite the reference? It appears that 
you have overlooked that request.  May I repeat that request here.


Will you kindly explain as to how does Hinayana views come in into the 
picture in a discussion on the Shunyata of Mahayana Buddhism? Do you 
think Hinayana teaches on Shunyata? You are getting confused Srikantaji.


In one of my earlier mails I wrote that Lord Buddha did not teach the 
Vedas as he was not authorised to do so because of his being a 
kshatriya. He assured that Jnanibuddha will be born in a brahmin family 
to do that. Many  believe that Adi Sankaracharya was the Jnanibuddha. 
A.P.Sinnett also said so in his book on esoteric Buddhism. I do not know
 if you have read that book. Gaudapadacharya was right in telling that 
"naitad Buddhena bhashitam".

You may not be aware that Gaudapadacharya has also been called "Pracchanna Buddha"

Dear Srikantaji, I agree that the subject is so vast that all of us are just picking up a few pebbles on the shore of knowledge and are expresssing what we learnt in the course of doing that. If I may suggest please concentrate on the Bhagavad Gita, which gives answers to everything. I am trying to restore the rare verses,  conforming to the measure of the Bhagavad Gita,  as given by Vaishampayana in the Mahabharata. To mne it appears that Adi sankaracharya came to see these verses after he wrote his bhashya on the version of the Bhagavad Gita handed over to him. That could have led him to write a second bhashya ( a vakyabhashya) on the Kanopanishad.


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

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