[Advaita-l] Madhusudhana Saraswathi and Advaita.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 22 17:01:02 CST 2012

> Also the first verse of this chapter as quoted by you is not exactly the
> same as it appears in the printed versions:
> उपासनाश्रितो धर्मो जाते ब्रह्मणि वर्तते ।
> प्रागुत्पत्तेरजं सर्वं तेनासौ कृपणः स्मृतः ॥ 1 ॥
> It is no doubt beneficial to study the Shankara bhashyam on this verse
> too. In a nutshell it says:
> The upAsaka thinks that he will attain liberation by contemplating upon the
> saguNa/born Brahman, after the fall of the body. Since he has the
> knowledge of only the lower, kShudra, brahman, he (the upAsaka) is
> considered 'kRupaNaH', pitiable, by the knowers, Jnanis, of the Ever Unborn
> Brahman (nirguNa Brahman).

I would just like to add one comment to the above. We should remember that
gauDapAda and Sankara are most often addressing the uttamottama adhikArins.
It is easy to delude ourselves, in this day and age, into thinking that we are uttama
in adhikAra and that all that is said for manda and madhyama adhikArins is not
applicable to us. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of us, even if we have the
intellectual wherewithal to talk of advaita, do not have the emotional prerequisites
to really talk with authority about nirguNa brahman and disparage saguNopAsana.

I would even venture to say that most people are not just manda adhikArins, we
are probably adhama in adhikAra! 
yas tu saguNopAsakaH kRpaNas smRto gauDapAdaiH, tasya manIshayA vayam 
adyatanAH kRpaNatamAH.
So, our focus should be to first gain the adhikAra by cultivating the qualities of the
sAdhana-catushTaya. All else has to come much later, after we have at least a
modicum of those qualities and exhibit them in our daily behavior. Needless to
say, some part of these qualities also pertains to how one conducts oneself in
discussions on this list! 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list