[Advaita-l] 'dhyAna, dhAraNa, etc.'
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 17:39:54 CDT 2012
In the Taittiriyopanishad bhashya on the shIkShAvalli 11th anuvAka (the
last one) I came across this sentence:
...विद्योत्पत्तौ साधकतमानि असंकीर्णानि विद्यन्ते *ध्यानधारणादिलक्षणानि *च ।
वक्ष्यति च ’तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व’ इति ।
Here Shankara is saying that agnihotra etc. alone do not constitute 'karma'
but brahmacharya, tapas, satyavachanam, damaH, ahimsA, etc. too which are
'karma-s' that are popular in the 'other Ashrama' (brahmacharya and
sannyAsa), too are eminent means, sAdhana-s, in the engendering of
knowledge (self-realization) along with 'dhyAna, dhAraNa, etc.'.
I think here Shankara has in mind the patanjali yoga shAstra prasiddha
'dhAraNA-dhyAna-samAdhi' since the context is AtmajnAnotpatti sAdhanam. In
the bhashyam for this sentence occurring in a later vallI of this
upanishad: ’तपसा ब्रह्म विजिज्ञासस्व’ Shankara cites a verse to explain the
term 'tapas: मनसश्चेन्द्रियाणां ह्यैकाग्र्यं परमं तपः’ [the foremost form
of 'tapas' is the concentration of the mind and the senses'].
Has Shankara stated this 'dhAraNa' in any other place in the
prasthAnatraya? I have come across 'dhyAna' and 'samAdhi' being mentioned
by Shankara elsewhere. Of course 'dhAraNa' in the sense of retention of
what has been heard is stated by Shankara in the pUrva shAnti mantra
bhashya for this Upanishad (beginning) itself:
vidyAshrvaNa-dhAraNa-viniyogAdayaH...prArthyate - shanno bhavatu iti.
Apart from the above, I would like to draw the attention of aspirants to a
word 'upAsanam' used in the sense of 'sAkShAt-jnAna-sAdhanam' (most
proximate means to knowledge/liberation in this section of the bhashyam:
श्रुतज्ञानव्यतिरेकादुपासनस्य ।...उपासनं च श्रुतज्ञानादर्थान्तरं विधीयते
मोक्षफलम् । अर्थान्तरप्रसिद्धिश्च स्यात्; ’श्रोतव्यः’ इत्युक्त्वा
तद्व्यतिरेकेण ’मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यः’ इति यत्नान्तरविधनात्,
मनननिदिध्यासनयोश्च प्रसिद्धं श्रवणज्ञानादर्थान्तरत्वम् ।
Here Shankara is differentiating the knowledge arising from mere shravaNa
from Knowledge that results from the exercise of 'mananam and
nididhyAsanam'. I think the difference is a comprehensive one: first only
paroksha jnanam from shravanam and only later the aparoksha jnanam arises
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