[Advaita-l] Modern science and Vedanta.

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 12:10:03 CDT 2011

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> When two different authors interpret the same verse in two different ways,
> that
> is NOT a pATha bheda, unless their corresponding source verses are pATha
> bheda-s themselves, or unless they parse the same pATha of the source in
> two
> different ways. I do not think you can pin down every instance of seeming
> (or
> real) variation between the interpretations offered by Sankara and
> madhusUdana
> to pATha bheda alone.

This morning while reading the Bh.Gita 6th chapter commentary for a few
verses, I came across a comment by Madhusudana Saraswati which I thought is
worth sharing as an example for the above observation:

यत्रोपरमते चित्तं निरुद्धं योगसेवया।
यत्र चैवात्मनाऽऽत्मानं पश्यन्नात्मनि तुष्यति।।6.20।।

//6.20 At the time when the mind restrained through the practice of Yoga
gets withdrawn, and just when by seeing the Self by the self one remains
contented in the Self alone.//

Here for the opening word यत्र Shankara writes: यत्र यस्मिन्काले  [at the
time when the mind attains quietude owing to the cessation of mental

and for the second 'yatra' in the verse He gives the same meaning as above.

Madhusudana Saraswati for this very same verse / words says:

यत्र यस्मिन्परिणामविशेषे योगसेवया योगाभ्यासपाटवेन जाते सति ....यत्र
यस्मिंश्च परिणामे सति..[when (upon) owing to application to the practice of
yoga there comes about a salutary modification in the mind...

And closes his commentary with this observation:

यत्र काल इति तु व्याख्यानमसाधु तच्छब्दानन्वयात् ।
This is evidently a critical commentary on Shankara's explanation of the
word yatra.  The objection is: since Shankara takes the yatra to mean a time
specification, there is a requirement, AkAnkShA, for a 'tatra' तस्मिन्
काले.  This is the meaning I get from the objecting comment.

It looks like while Shankara is emphasizing the 'time', a particular session
of meditation of this yogi, MS is looking at the very proficiency the mind
has attained owing to constant practice of Yoga.  This is my understanding.

Would anyone explain the above and say if Shankara's commentary truly
deserves this criticism of MS? Am I right in saying that MS has addressed
his criticism against Shankara's commentary only?

subrahmanian. v

> Now, one can argue that the said two authors, although saying different
> things,
> are overall consistent with each other, or one could argue that they are
> quite
> different from one another. It stands to reason that madhusUdana's views
> would
> be overall consistent with what Sankara said, but that does not take away
> from
> the fact that coming centuries after Sankara, madhusUdana may have felt the
> need to say certain things differently. Nothing wrong with that.

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