[Advaita-l] Fwd: Difference Between Sankya and Advaita!

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 4 12:50:00 CDT 2011

Dear Sriharsha,

Pl. find answers in the following.

On Sun, May 1, 2011 at 5:02 PM, shriharsha chatra <hschatra at gmail.com>wrote:

> Pranamas to All,
> I am simple seeker to know more about Advaita.
> I want to know what makes Advaita different from Sankya Yoga.

'Sankhya yoga' is the name given to 'jnana yoga' which is that part of
Advaita sadhana which comes AFTER one has gone through the part called
'karma yoga'. Thus Advaita is not 'different' from Sankhya yoga.  This is
the set up as per the Bhagavadgita and Acharya Shankara's commentary.

> And second question is, why Sankhya Yoga along with Advaita referred as
> Jnana Yoga invariably.

This is because the 'core' Advaita consists of non-difference between the
individual soul, jiva, and the cosmic soul, Ishwara; both are only upAdhis
of One Consciousness called Brahman. The term 'advaita' becomes more
relevant only in the 'sankhya yoga' stage of sadhana, which, as shown
before, is only after the karma yoga stage of sadhana.  Advaita sadhana or
sankhya yoga culminates in moksha.

> I am asking in regard with Bhagavad Gita interpretation of Jnana Yoga with
> Sankya and sometimes of indirect interpretation of Advaita philosophy( many
> times during third to 6th chapters).
> Hope some learned memebers throw a light on it and help me clear my
> understanding of the same of which I have less knowledge of.

There is this typical verse which could be studied for answering all your
questions above:

सांख्ययोगौ पृथग्बालाः प्रवदन्ति न पण्डिताः।
एकमप्यास्थितः सम्यगुभयोर्विन्दते फलम्।।5.4।।

//5.4 The fools, not the learned ones, speak of Sankhya (the path of
Knowledge) and (Karma-) yoga as different. Any one who properly resorts to
even one (of them) gets the result of both. //

and this verse:
यत्सांख्यैः प्राप्यते स्थानं तद्योगैरपि गम्यते।
एकं सांख्यं च योगं च यः पश्यति स पश्यति।।5.5।।
//5.5 The word 'Sthaana' (state) is used in the derivative sense of 'the
place in which one remains established, and from which one does not become
relegated'.  The state that is reached by the Sankhyas (jnana yogis)  is
reached by the yogis (karma yogis) as well. He sees who sees Sankhya and
yoga as one. //

Here one can see that the words 'sankhya' and 'yoga' are used to denote two
different sadhanas.  The first one is jnana yoga sadhana and the second
named just 'yoga' here refers to 'karma yoga' sadhana.   The word 'sankhyas'
found in the above verse should not be taken to mean the other philosophers
called 'sankhya' founded by Kapila Muni.  In the above that word refers only
to jnana yoga sadhakas.

Best regards,


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