[Advaita-l] Isavasya Upanisad 9th Mantra

V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Thu May 22 01:35:21 CDT 2014

2014-05-22 11:34 GMT+05:30 Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>:

> Namaste
> There was a discussion on Satya Darshana on this. I went to the new
> Sringeri Sankara Bhashya site and searched.
> Below is the Sankara Bhashya
> अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति ये अविद्यामुपासते ।
> ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्यायां रताः ॥ ९ ॥
> भाष्यम्
> अन्धं तमः अदर्शनात्मकं तमः प्रविशन्ति । के ? ये अविद्याम्, विद्याया अन्या
> अविद्या कर्मेत्यर्थः, कर्मणो विद्याविरोधित्वात्,
> तामविद्यामग्निहोत्रादिलक्षणामेव केवलाम् उपासते तत्पराः
> सन्तोऽनुतिष्ठन्तीत्यभिप्रायः । ततः तस्मादन्धात्मकात्तमसः भूय इव बहुतरमेव ते
> तमः प्रविशन्ति । के ? कर्म हित्वा ये उ ये तु विद्यायामेव देवताज्ञाने एव
> रताः अभिरताः ॥
> The question I have is why Adi Sankara has not explained why people
> absorbed in meditation on gods go to Greater Darkness than people doing
> Karma? Adi Sankara does not explain why.

If you read the bhāṣya portion just preceding the above quoted one, it will
be seen:

This mantra is to criticize the karma and upasana done without conjoining
(smucchaya) them.  For karma and contemplation together alone is conducive
to Self-knowledge and not otherwise.  So, with a view to enjoing samucchaya
the Upanishad is taking the course of criticizing the karma and upasana
done without samucchaya.

This samucchaya is not the one Shankara has criticized elsewhere.  That
samucchaya is the conjoining of atma jnana with karma which some vAdins
think is enjoined by the Veda for moksha.  Shankara has shown that such
samucchaya is impossible for the self knowledge is characterized by
akartRtva jnana and karma is characterized by kriyā, kāraka, phala, kartā
etc. duality/bheda jnana.  This bheda jnana cannot co-exist with
abheda/akartṛtva jnana, says Shankara.

I just added the above paragraph only to avoid readers bringing up the
samucchaya that Shankara has criticized.  In the particular Isha mantra,
the special type of samucchaya is required and to emphasize this, the
mantra is criticizing the practice of vihita karma to the exclusion of
upasana.  The  idea is; karma is for chitta shuddhi and upasana is for
chittaigrAtA.  Both these are essential for self-knowledge to take roots in
the sādhaka.


> On TV discussion the explanation was different. Avidya is Loukika Vidya
> like Science, Engineering and others. Vidya is Bookish knowledge of Brahma.
> If you have only bookish knowledge of Brahma and no realization it is worse
> than having knowledge of Loukika Sastras like Science. With bookish
> knowledge of Brahma you are making a big mistake thinking you know Brahma.
> But you do not know.
> --
> Regards
> -Venkatesh
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