[Advaita-l] Vedanta,Sankhya and the Yoga.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 12 13:25:33 CST 2010

> In the above bhashya,Shankara says that kartrva is imposed on the jivatman.
> The 'Samadhi' mentioned above is the samadhi obtained from the jnana of
> the Upanishads,and not 'yogic"samadhi,as you understand.Otherwise he would
> not have quoted the Upanishad sruthis from BU,and the MU.

Dear Sri Srikanta,
I am extremely happy that you brought this up. Please note the very first
upanishat vAkya that bhagavatpAda quotes under sUtra 2.1.3 (etena
yogaH pratyuktaH), immediately after saying  "samyag-darSanAbhyupAyo
hi yogo vede vihitaH"? It is the same BU sentence, "Srotavyo mantavya
nididhyAsitavya" iti.
If the word samAdhi in sUtra 2.3.39 refers not to "yogic" samAdhi, because
of the quotation of this BU vAkya, then by the same token, the word "yoga"
in sUtra 2.1.3 should not refer to the yoga darSana at all! Please follow my
argument carefully. I am only controverting your position that is based on
the mere fact of quotation of the BU vAkya. I am not saying anything about
yoga and vedAnta as darSana-s per se.

Let me also take your position to its logical conclusion. According to you, in
sUtra 2.3.39, the word samAdhi refers NOT to yogic samAdhi, but points to
upanishadic jnAna. astu. asmin pakshe, vinA jIvasya kartRtvAbhyupagame
yadi samAdher abhAvas syAt, tadA vinA jIvasya kartRtvAbhyupagame
jnAnasyAbhAva eva syAt. kartRtvam idaM svAbhAvikam vA upAdhi-nimittam
vA bhavatu. ubhayathApi vinA kartRtve jnAnam eva na saMbhavati. 

In English, as per your interpretation the word samAdhi in this sUtra and the
bhAshya, jnAna cannot exist (abhAva) without first admitting the kartRtva of
the jIva. It does not matter that sUtra 2.3.40 then comes and tells you that
this assumption of kartRtva is superimposed, not intrinsic to the jIva. No
matter whether this agency is natural or superimposed, in either case, you
have just made upanishadic jnAna quite subordinate to and impossible
without kartRtva of the jIva. If the kartRtva were natural, jnAna consisting
of the realization, "aham akartA" can never logically arise and upanishadic
teaching, or at least its advaita vedAntic interpretation, would be false. If
the kartRtva were only due to some adjunct, then the jnAna is also only
due to an adjunct. It cannot be the true nature of the Atman and you have
to again hold that the upanishadic teaching, or at least its advaita vedAntic
interpretation, is false. Such are the consequences of equating samAdhi in
sUtra 2.3.39 to the jnAna taught in the upanishads.
Please think through whether this is correct and reasonable in vedAnta and
if this is what bAdarAyaNa and Sankara bhagavatpAda are really saying. As
per your argument, upanishadic jnAna REQUIRES kartRtva and can therefore
never truly deny this kartRtva. If you think that kartRtva being only a super-
imposition is a sufficient defense against this criticism, please note that your
position, carried to its logical conclusion, means that if the adhyAsa does not
really exist, then the jnAna cannot really exist either. You are then left with
a logical impossibility because such a jnAna can never remove avidyA.

In my position, which I believe is how the revered bhagavatpAda takes it, the
attainment of samAdhi as a means towards AtmadarSana requires kartRtva
of the jIva, but I don't equate the means with the end, because I don't equate
this samAdhi with the jnAna of the upanishads. Yes, the notion of kartRtva of
the jIva is due to an adjunct, namely the antaHkaraNa, the apparatus of the
mind and the ahaMkAra. Given this adjunct, the state of samAdhi, i.e. a state
of total absorption of the antaHkaraNa, is also possible. This is only a means
to AtmajnAna as taught in the upanishads, not the upanishadic jnAna itself.
Now, such samAdhi is clearly "yogic" - I rely on bhagavatpAda's statements
under sUtra 2.1.3, "yena tv aMSena na virudhyete, teneshTam eva sAMkhya-
yoga-smRtyoH sAvakASatvam" and under sUtra 4.1.10, "ata eva ... upadeSo
yogaSAstre". You could of course dismiss all this as my faulty interpretation,
and hold that samAdhi in sUtrabhAshya 2.3.39 is indeed something other than
"yogic", but you will have to accept that it definitely cannot be jnAna. In which
case, you will have to find some candidate other than "yogic" samAdhi and
upanishadic jnAna to provide the meaning of the word samAdhi here. 
Turning to another point, I am in complete agreement with you that sAMkhya
and yoga as separate darSana-s are not prerequisites for vedAnta. However,
unless you clearly understand what is said in sAMkhya and yoga, you will never
clearly see where they differ from vedAnta and where they agree with vedAnta.
This is the aMSena avirodha and aMSena virodha as described under sUtra
bhAshya 2.1.3. Far from your description of these systems of thought (in an
 earlier email) as being "crude", please pay attention to the word pratyAsatti
 used by our pUjya bhagavatpAda in sUtrabhAshya 2.1.3. Please also pay close
attention to the fact that SrI vidyAraNya discusses yoga right before going to
advaita vedAnta in sarvadarSana saMgraha and quotes profusely from the
yogasUtra-s in the jIvanmuktiviveka. The lessons to be drawn from these are,
to me at least, far more important than the name of an author provided in
these texts.

Please also note that my point about quiet yogins vs. vociferous disputants is
about sAdhana, not about the darSana-s. In the vedAnta worldview, the one
with true AtmAnAtmA viveka is the paramahaMsa parivrAjaka saMnyAsin (gIta
bhAshya 3.3). We can all be armchair vivekin-s and write pages after pages
about viveka, and how the viveka in vedAnta is not yoga or sAMkhya, but all
our viveka vanishes when it comes to our own lives. The quiet yogin is in a
better position to actually develop and cultivate the viveka that is necessary
for Atma-darSana. This yogin has a better entry point into vedAnta-vijnAna
than people who cannot let go of arguments, like you and Sri Bhattacharya
and me. That is the point I was trying to make.
So, having said that, I will now keep quiet.
Best regards,

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