[Advaita-l] Fw: Why did Krishna said that he was unable to repeat Gita?

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Dec 12 04:43:07 CST 2016

Namaste Chandramouliji,
You said "Obviously Sri Krishna does not conclude that karmayoga is
superior to विविदिषा (vividishA) sanyAsa which leads the sAdhaka directly
to jnAna."

I beg to differ. I do not think it is obvious that Lord Krishna is
excluding vividiShA sanyAsa in his statement "karmayoga is superior to

In the introduction to Chapter 5, Shankaracharya says that the sanyAsa
being talked about is not vidvat sanyAsa performed by the jnAni, but jnAna
rahita sanyAsa performed by ajnAni. He reasons thus - vidvat sanyAsa is not
open to the ajnAni, nor is karmayoga an option for a jnAni, so the question
of whether sanyAsa is superior or karmayoga is superior, can only be valid
if the person in question is an ajnAni and the sanyAsa in question is not
vidvat. Therefore, Shankaracharya concludes his introduction by saying
Arjuna's question stems from the valid doubt which among the two is
superior, as both options are open for him, Arjuna : "ज्ञानरहितस्य संन्यासः
श्रेयान्, किं वा कर्मयोगः श्रेयान्" इति एतयोः विशेषबुभुत्सया.

In the second sloka, Shankaracharya says Lord Krishna is glorifying
karmayoga when compared to kevala karmasanyAsa: उभौ यद्यपि निःश्रेयसकरौ,
तथापि तयोस्तु निःश्रेयसहेत्वोः कर्मसंन्यासात् केवलात् कर्मयोगो विशिष्यते
इति कर्मयोगं स्तौति. Here, by kevala karmasanyAsa, Shankara is qualifying
sanyAsa to the one performed by the ajnAni purusha, and which is a jnAna
rahita sanyAsa.This description does not exclude vividishA sanyAsa, as the
person who is a vividiSA sanyAsi desires to gain jnAna, meaning he has no
jnAna at the moment.

This is further clarified in the bhAshya for sloka 5: त्वया पृष्टं केवलं
कर्मसंन्यासं कर्मयोगं च अभिप्रेत्य तयोः अन्यतरः कः श्रेयान् इति । तदनुरूपं
प्रतिवचनं मया उक्तं कर्मसंन्यासात् कर्मयोगः विशिष्यते इति ज्ञानम् अनपेक्ष्य
। ज्ञानापेक्षस्तु संन्यासः साङ्‍ख्यमिति मया अभिप्रेतः । Here Shankaracharya
says he considers the sanyAsa with jnAna (vidvat sanyAsa) as sAnkhya, and
this he considers superior to karmayoga, and that karmayoga is superior to
kevala sanyAsa (jnAna rahita sanyAsa) . That by jnAna apeksha sanyAsa he is
referring to vidvat sanyAsa, is clarified in his declaration of jnAna
apeksha sanyAsa as sAnkhya (iti mayA abhipreta:)  and in the same sloka's
bhAshya, he explains the meaning of sAnkhya as jnAna nishthA, and not the
seeking of jnAna (यत् साङ्ख्यैः ज्ञाननिष्ठैः संन्यासिभिः प्राप्यते स्थानं

Why is karmayoga inferior to kevala sanyAsa? Because  संन्यासस्तु
पारमार्थिकः हे महाबाहो दुःखम् आप्तुं प्राप्तुम् अयोगतः योगेन विना - for the
the unqualified individual who takes up sanyAsa by giving up karmayoga,
paramArtha sanyAsa is difficult to obtain. What is paramArtha sanyAsa? That
which has the nature of Atma jnAna nishThA - परमार्थसंन्यासं

Therefore, I believe there is no ground to claim that the sanyAsa that
Shankara and Krishna call as inferior to karmayoga excludes vividiShA
sanyAsa. If an unqualified person takes up vividiShA sanyAsa, he too would
suffer from the same problem as the unqualified person who takes up
kuTichaka/bahUdaka. Further, the descriptions of the sanyAsa that is
considered inferior to karmayoga in the bhAshya (केवल संन्यास / ज्ञानरहित
संन्यास/ अनात्मवित्कर्तृक संन्यास) are equally valid for vividiShA sanyAsa


On 12 Dec 2016 8:01 a.m., "H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

Namaste Sri Praveen Ji,

Reg  << There are only two reasons to take sannyAsa: one due to आत्मानं
वेदितुम् इच्छा विविदिषा desire to know the self, and the other due to
आत्मानं वेत्ति जानाति इति विद्वत् being knower of the self.>>,

Not so. There are four categories of sanyasa namely  कुटीचक, बहूदक , हम्स ,
परमहम्स (kuTIchaka, bahUdaka,  hamsa,  paramahamsa). All the four involve
karmasanyAsa. Of these हम्स and  परमहम्स (hamsa and paramahamsa) fall under
the विविदिषा (vividishA) category. They are recommended only after a
sAdhaka acquires sAdhanachatushtaya.

But the other two कुटीचक and  बहूदक (kuTIchaka and bahUdaka) are for
sAdhakAs who are yet to acquire sAdhanachatushtaya but are still desirous
of taking to sanyasa, being averse to worldly activities. They practice
sAdhanas which lead them to acquire sAdhanachatushtaya. This also involves
karmasanyAsa. It is this sanyasa which Sri Krishna elaborates upon in BG Ch
5 and compares with karmayoga. For reasons explained therein, Sri Krishna
recommends karmayoga as the preferable path though both lead the sAdhaka to
become an adhikAri for Brahmavidya. Obviously Sri Krishna does not conclude
that karmayoga is superior to विविदिषा (vividishA) sanyAsa which leads the
sAdhaka directly to jnAna.

Though not relevant to your post, it may be pertinent to recognize and
recall that BG is commented upon by a very large number of commentators
from various standpoints. It is only to be expected that their
interpretations would vary considerably. What I have mentioned here is from
the standpoint of advaita sidhanta as advanced by Sri Bhagavatpada.


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