[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 21 15:29:12 CDT 2012

Dear Sri Sadanandaji,
> In
> Slokas 57 and 58 of Ch. I of Panchadasi – Shree Vidyaranya talks about adaptation
> of yogic method of nidhidhyasana and then refers to Ch6 of Gita sloka – yathaa deepo
> nivaatashthaH – saying that this is what Krishna taught to Arjuna – yogic method
> of nidhidhyasana differs from Vedantic method as exemplified in the sloka -brahmaarpaNam
> .. brahma karma samadhinaa –where  nidhidhyaasana involves, while transacting in the
> world, recognizing kartaa-karma-kriya-kaaraka-phala – all are Brahman. Implication
> is the adaptation of the yogic method of nidhidhyaasanam is different from that
> of Vedantic method – granted that the end result is to remove the pratibhandas
> due to inadequate chitta suddhi so that jnaanam gained by shravana and manana
> becomes internalized. 

In my opinion, it is not quite easy to separate out a "yogic" method of nididhyAsana
from a "vedAntic" method of nididhySana in the above fashion. What is outlined in
the brahma arpaNaM brahma haviH verse is a continuation of the idea conveyed two
verses earlier - kRtvApi na nibadhyate. As such, while the sarvaM khalv idaM brahma
realization that is internalized and expressed thereby is a description of how a jnAnI
may continue to act for lokasaMgraha and remain untouched and unbound by such
action. It is not directly a description of the nididhyAsana upon vedAnta vAkya-s, nor
is it the only description of how a jnAnI behaves.
We also have to take into account the entire set of verses that follow the question,
"sthitaprajnasya kA bhAshA" in gItA chapter 2, which bhagavatpAda explicitly describes
as the saMyag-darSana-lakshaNa and as jnAna-nishThA. As part of manana and
nididhyAsana, one has to really take to heart the teaching of "yadA saMharate ...
indriyANi indriyArthebhyaH" (gItA 2.58) etc. The reasons for why this is extremely
important are also given in those same set of verses. In similar vein, kaThopanishad
tells us, "parAnci khAni vyatRNat ... AvRtta-cakShuH" etc. Given the highly ingrained
tendency of the senses to dwell on the objects of the senses, unless and until a 
sAdhaka takes the trouble to master a degree of saMyama, there is no real personal
progress towards jnAna. As one can see easily from these gItA verses themselves,
as well as from the bhAshya thereon, this is already a "yogic" method adapted to
vedAntic nididhyAsana, as taught bhagavatA nArayaNena svayaM. Not seeing the
value in this and talking a lot only about intellectually grasping jnAna is one of the
biggest banes of most of contemporary interest in vedAnta.
Best regards,

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