[Advaita-l] Sankhya and Yoga can give Moksha?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 04:47:17 CDT 2012

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste,
> Sankhya or Samkhya comes from Samyak Khyati or Samyak Jnana or Right
> knowledge. All who reads Sankhya may not necessarily get the right
> knowledge. Ashvaghosha told us in his Buddha charita that even Lord Buddha
> had doubt as to what happens to the multiple purusha after escaping from
> the wiles of the Prakriti. He (Lord Buddha) thought that if the identity of
> the liberated purushas remain even after they get out of the wiles of the
> Prakrit then it would not be real Nirvana as there would be no guarantee
> that they would not come back again to the cycle of birth and death. Lord
> Buddha  practised Yoga too. In the Yogasutra (which Patanjali compiled) the
> Sankhya (Samyak-khyati) has been referred to as Viveka- khyati. Here one
> has to concentrate and contemplate on Ishvara, who  is a special purusha,
> who is free from the wiles of the Prakriti. and Ishvara's vachaka is OM.
> That means Patanjali tells us to contemplate on "OM". Even in the Yogasutra
> there is no
>  mention as to what happens to the liberated purushas. But one who really
> understands the Sankhya would know that once liberated from the Prakriti
> the purushas cannot have separate identity and they would become one. That
> has been the final conclusion of Lord Buddha as he understood the Sankhya
> well after his long meditation. This is what Lord Krishna also says that
> some people would get Liberated by Sankhya knowledge itself. This is also
> referred to by Adi Sankaracharya that for liberation it has to be the
> Vedantic knowledge as in Vedanta the liberated purushas realize the oneness
> with Brahman. Adi Sankaracharya too being the intellectual of the highest
> order like Lord Buddha, he understood what Lord Krishna said or the
> Svetasvatara Upanishad said in the right perspective. People of shallower
> depth like us only may have problem in understanding how Adi Sankaracharya
> referred to  Vedantic kbnowledge while discussing about the Sankhya.
> Regards,
> Sunil KB

Maybe you are referring to this verse of the BG: १३.२७

*ध्यानेनात्मनि* पश्यन्ति केचिदात्मानमात्मना ।
 *अन्ये सांख्येन योगेन *कर्मयोगेन चापरे ॥१३- २५॥

13.25 Through meditation some realize the Self in (their) intellect with
the help of the internal organ; others through Sankhya-yoga, and others
through Karma-yoga.

Shankara's commentary:

//13.25 Dhyanena, through meditation: Meditation means contemplation (on
the Self) after withdrawing into the mind with concentration the organs of
hearing etc. from the objects like sound etc., and then withdrawing the
mind into the indwelling conscious Self. Thus, from the citation of such
illustrations as, 'the crane meditates, as it were, 'the earth meditates,
as it were; the mountains meditate, as it were' (Ch. 7.6.1), it follows
that meditation is a constant and uninterrupted current of thought like a
line of pouring oil. Through that meditation, kecit, some yogis; pasyanti,
realize; the indwelling conscious atmanam, Self; atmani, in (their)
intellect; atmana, with the help of the internal organ that has been
purified by meditation.

Anye, others; sankhyena yogena, through Sankhya-yoga: Sankhya means
thinking, 'These qualities, viz sattva, rajas and tamas, are objects of my
perception; I am the Self, distinct from them, a witness of their
functions, eternal and different from the qualities.' This Sankhya is Yoga.
By Sankhya is meant that knowledge which arises from the foregoing
reflection. This knowledge is itself called Yoga (concentration of mind)
inasmuch as it is similar to Yoga in leading to the realization of the
Self. Through that they realize the Self with the help of the internal
organ. This is how it is to be construed.And anye, others; karma-yogena,
through Karma-yoga-action itself being the Yoga: Action performed with the
idea of dedication to God is figuratively called Yoga since it leads to
Yoga. (others realize) with the help of that (action), through purification
of the mind and rise of Knowledge. The best among the yogis are competent
for meditation (dhyana); the modiocre for reflection (Sankhya); and the
lowest for Karma-yoga. //

Commentators post-Shankara including Madhusudana Saraswati have said that
'through Sankhya' is to be understood as: these people ALSO realize the
Self through dhyAna.

There is no proof in Shankara Bhashya that the term 'sAnkhya' in this verse
refers to a system that is different from Vedanta.  This term has been
defined by Shankara in the BGB itself:

2.39: sAnkhye = paramArthavastu viveka viShaye. yoge: tatprAptyupAye.  So,
sAnkhya is the theory part that teaches the Ultimate Truth as distinguished
from the relative, and yoga is the sAdhana involved applying the
theoretical knowledge.

5.5: sAnkyaiH jnAnaniShThaiH sannyAsibhiH

18.13: sAnkhye = VedAnte.  //which have been spoken of; sankhye, in Vedanta
- sankhya is that scripture where the subject-matters In the sentence,
'Thou art That', the word Thou means the individual Self, and That means
Brahman. The comprehension of their unity, and also 'hearing, reflection
and meditation' are referred to as the subject-matters. to be known are
fully (samyak) stated (khyayante)-; krtante, in which actions terminate.
KrtAnte qualifies that very word (Vedanta).//

This shows that according to Shankara the term 'sAnkhya' is completely


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list