[Advaita-l] Shortest Sentence in English is a Mahaa Vaakya?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Mar 26 01:33:01 CDT 2015

On Mon, 23 Mar 2015, H S Chandramouli wrote:

> For reaching this stage two sadhana margas are permissible, one is through
> Karma Yoga and the other through Sanyasa Yoga. This is what is discussed
> extensively in BG Ch 5 with Sri Krishna concluding that Karma Yoga should
> normally be the preferred Sadhana Marga.

Yes this is a good point.  For those who for whatever reason are not able 
to take up sannyasa (and I think most of us on this list are in that 
situation.  I know I am.) hearing the upadesha should atleast give up 
karmaphala.  This is karmayoga.

> Having reached this stage, either through Karma Yoga or Sanyasa Yoga , 
> according to my understanding of the Bhashya Sanyasa Ashrama is 
> compulsory for achieving Jnana. There is no choice for the Sadhaka. 
> Sri Bhagavatpada himself has clarified inMundaka Upanishad as well as in 
> BS Bhashyas that exceptions to this rule which are often cited by many 
> do not in any way invalidate this general requirement. I do understand 
> that many post Bhagavatpada advaitins do not agree on this point , but 
> at least as far as Sri Bhagavatpada himself is concerned there is no 
> ambiguity on this issue. This is my understanding of the Bhashya. I am 
> specifically bringingup this issue here because there is quite a good 
> deal of animated arguments in this regard especially when interpreting 
> Sri Krishna's views expressed in BG Ch 5. I would like your specific 
> response on this point.

It should be noted that despite there being many more qualified and 
eminent candidates to receive the teachings of the Gita in those days, 
Krishna Bhagavan chose to reveal it to Arjuna who Shankaracharya calls a 
madhyama (i.e. middle grade) adhikari.  This is a sign of Bhagavans 
infinite krpa.

In the 5th adhyaya Arjuna asks which is better karmayoga or sannyasayoga? 
The answer surprisingly is karmayoga.  Shankaracharya explains why in the 
introduction to his bhashya on this adhyaya.  (A. Mahadeva Shastris' 

"It is not possible to imagine even in a dream that the man who knows the 
Self can have anything to do with Karma-Yoga, so opposed to right 
knowledge and entirely based upon illusory knowledge. Wherefore it is the 
Samnyasa and the Karma-Yoga of the man who has not realised the Self that 
are spoken of (in this connection) as leading alike to moksha. This 
Samnyasa, which consists in renouncing a few actions only while yet there 
is an idea of agency, is different from the.one already spoken of, from 
the renunciation of all actions, which is resorted to by the man who has 
realised the Self. The former becomes very difficult of performance as it 
is further associated with 'yama' and 'ni-yama' and the like (which 
are the various forms of self-control). Karma-Yoga is comparatively 
easier of perforn1ance and is therefore spoken of as the better of the 

Arjuna is a royal warrior about to engage in war.  For such a person 
sannyasa is the wrong answer.  Therefore Bhagavan teaches him to practice 
karmayoga but this is a concession to his weakness and circumstances not a 
lack of regard for sannyasa.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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