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

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed May 25 01:21:20 CDT 2011

Yes, Lokmanya Tilak had reconstructed the verse from the commentary. Fortunately, whoever had dropped the verse (probably it was Vacaspati Mishra), did not drop the commentary, wilfully or otherwise by neglect. The commentary of the dropped verse got attached to the commentary of the previous verse. Gaudapadacharya saw that missing verse, as it was very much there at his time.verse but we do not find it today. Dr. Radhakrishnan says that the reconstruction of the misssing verse  is the biggest contribution of Tilak to Indian Philosophy.

As regards the other points enough has already been discussed.


Sunil KB

--- On Tue, 5/24/11, Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Fwd: Difference Between Sankya and Advaita!
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 10:21 PM

> On Mon, 16 May 2011, Siddhartha Krishna wrote:
> > Sankhya does not believe in an Ishvara (God), yet Vedanta does........
> On Sun, 15 May 2011, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:
> > Sankhya does not disbelieve in an Ishvara (God) either. Sankhya says that 
>Ishvara is asiddha, ie. the existence of Ishvara cannot be proved.
> > 
>On Mon, 23 May 2011, Jaladhar H. Vyas wrote:
> which is as good as not believing in Ishvaras existence.  There is no place for 
>a God-figure in the samkhya system.  Classical Yoga on the other hand is Samkhya 
>+ Ishvara.  But even the Ishvara of the Yoga Sutras is just a passive spectator 
>of prakrti, a pale imitation of the Vedantic God.
I recently came across a paper by Lokamanya Balagangadhar Tilak [1], where he 
proposes that a kaarika is missing from Isvara Krishna's Saankhya Kaarikas. The 
paper is scholarly in that it shows reason for each proposition and is not in 
the tone of "it is so, because I say so." This kaarika is about rejecting Isvara 
as the cause of the world. Crucially, though this Aryaa is misising from the 
current editions, more than one commentary explains the phrases in the missing 
kaarika - so it is not a Vedantin (Tilak) rubbishing Saankhya. I don't know if 
this would persuade anybody to change his or her view that Saankhya is 
indifferent to ISvara, but I hope others who have not yet formed a view would 
find this useful.

Next when we say that Yoga is saankhya + ISvara, it needs to be emphasised that 
it does not amount to anything significant. The ISvara of Yoga is a special 
person, 'purusha-viSeshah' [2] (? like the arhat of Jains, whose 
samyakchaaritram is exactly the same as the yamas of Yogasutras), whose main 
drawback is that he is not the creator and that he cannot 'grant' moksha [3]. To 
that extent, this acceptance of Isvara does not have any conflict with Saankhya, 
especially given the context that Isvara is mainly proposed as an aalambana for 
yogaabhyaasana. From a meditation point of view, Isvara is as good as anything 
that one likes [4], like a statue, a book, a teacher or whatever. Thus the 
atheism of Saankhya and the theism of Yoga are not really different. I think 
this is the reason why not too much stress is placed on this difference between 
Saankhya and Yoga on this aspect.

N. Siva Senani

[1] published in his book on Vedic Chronology and Vedanga Jyotisha, available at 
http://www.archive.org/details/vedicchronologya033083mbp, about 7 MB. For those 
who are not interested in Jyotisha, I have a smaller 1 MB file with the 17 pages 
of the article. Let me know in private if you want that.

[2] Yoga Sutras, 1.24: kleSakarmavipAkASayairaparAmrishTah purushaviSeshah. 
Vivekananda's translation: Isvara (the Supreme Ruler) is a special purusha, 
untouched by misery, the results of actions, or desires. Ganganath Jha's 
translation: God is a distinct spirit, untouched by afflictions, actions, 
deserts and impressions. James Haughton Woods's translation: Untouched by 
hindrances or karmas or furition or by latent-deposits, the ISvara is a special 
kind of Self.

[3] Translation from the Telugu prastaavana of MM, Padma Sri Pullela 
Sriramachandrudu to his translation of the Yoga Sutras with extracts from 
different bhaashyas into Telugu (p. xix, Second print, 2001): "However, the 
Isvara accepted by Yogins is not the srishti-sthiti-laya karta, he is only a 
special person. He does not control or bless other persons. Since Prakriti and 
other purushas are also eternal, Isvara is somewhat limited. He does not grant 
liberation; he only removes obstacles to liberation. Isvara is not in way 
connected to the bondage (bandha) and liberation (moksha) of purushas. Bondage 
is due to ignorance. Purusha is liberated once he gets the discriminatory 
knowledge that he is different from Prakriti. The main object of purusha is not 
to merge with Isvara; it is merely to stay distinct from Prakriti. In fact 
acceptance or rejection of such an Isvara is one and the same thing. That is why 
other philosophers (daarSankikas) have not accepted this aspect." Vivekananda's 
comments on his translation of 1.24: "... The yogis, however, avoid many ideas 
about God, such as creating. God as the Creator of the Universe is not meant by 
the Isvara of the Yogis, although, according to the Vedas, Isvara is the Creator 
of the universe.... The Yogis and Sankhyas both avoid the question of creation 

[4] YS, 1.39: yathaabhimatadhyaanaadvaa; Vivekananda's tranlsation: Or by 
meditation on anything that appeals to one as good. Other means/objects of 
meditation listed are a) friendship, mercy, gladness and indifference in regard 
to subjects, happy, unhappy, good and evil respectively (YS, 1.33); b) prANAyAma 
(1.34); c) jyotishmatI (dwelling in the lotus of one's heart) (1.36); d) chittam 
devoid of attachment to objects (1.37); or e) knowledge that comes in sleep 
Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list