[Advaita-l] Isavasya Upanisad 9th Mantra

Nithin Sridhar via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Thu May 22 11:11:10 CDT 2014

Avidya Upasana is Karma Anushtana and Vidya Upasana is Devata Upasana. By
Karma alone, one will be continuously bound in Gross Samsara. By Karma
Anushtana i.e. performing one's svadharma (based on varna, ashrama etc)
alone, one will attain Pitr Loka after death and return to Bhu-loka. On the
other hand, by Devata Upasana alone, one will after death attain the
Deva-loka upto Hiranyagarba. But, even such a person must return to
Bhu-Loka when the Karma-Phala that took him there gets emptied.

The point is, in both cases a person will be stuck in Samsara, in the
Karmic cycle of birth and death. But, in case of Avidya, a person is
ignorant, he is in error by compulsion, he is driven due to desires and
karmic results. But, in the latter case, a person takes his attainment of a
deity or a loka as the end of the journey. By attaining any one aspect of
God, he mistakes it as ultimate. So, the error here is in a sense through
choice. And hence, he falls into a greater darkness. It is easier to
rectify a mistake committed in Ignorance as such a mistake is recognized as
a mistake when someone points it out but, a mistake committed through false
understanding, cannot be rectified easily as the person is under the false
impression that he is right and hence denies that any mistake is done.

The point is, the Upanishad is broadly explaining the different paths that
various Karmas and Upasanas will lead a person too. A person who practice
one of them alone will be stuck after attaining a certain level. For
further progress, he must invariably have to practice the other as well.

Hope this helps.

Nithin S

(P.S- I have just started a Isha Upanishad class through email (only 2
mantras have been taken till now). If you or anybody else is interested,
please do email me outside the group. I am not a scholar, nor do I strictly
follow Shankara Bhashya. It is more of an explanations based on my own
understanding which is largely based on Shankara Bhashya).

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.
> 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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