[Advaita-l] Shankara says 'Vaikuṇṭha, etc. are anitya'
narayana145 at yahoo.co.in
Fri Nov 17 08:22:46 EST 2017
Dear Sri Subramanian,
Mantra 3-7-23 of BruhadaraNyaka Upanishad states: nAnyO^tO^sti draShTA nAnyO^tO^sti SrOtA nAnyO^tO^sti mantA nAnyO^tO^stivijnAtaiSha ta antaryAmyamRutO^tO^nyadAratm || The final say is anyad atO anyadArtam. Therefore Other than Atman which is one's true svarUpa all the other things includings dEvatAs are Artam . All names and forms are Artam.Sri Shankara writes in his commentary to matra 3-6-1 of BruhadAranyaka Upanishad : satyaM ca BUtapaMcakam |satyasya satyaM ca para AtmA ||
IT is these teachings a student of Vedanta who is a mumumkshu should cognize by himself within himself. This is the goal.
But what is happening ? Discussions after discussions, e-mails after e-mails falling under the category of Artam are flooding. Why? Please draw your own conclusions.
With respectful namaskars,Sreenivasa Muthy
On Friday 17 November 2017, 3:48:18 PM IST, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
Shankara says 'Vaikuṇṭha, etc. are anitya'
Shankara says in the work ‘sarva-vedānta-siddhānta-sāra-sangraha’, a text
of over 1000 verses:
सर्वस्यानित्यत्वे सावयवत्वेन सर्वतः सिद्धे ।
वैकुण्ठादिषु नित्यत्वमतिर्भ्रम एव मूढबुद्धीनाम् ॥ २०॥
[When it is established that everything made of parts is ephemeral, those
of lowly intellect are deluded thinking that vaikuṇṭha, etc. are eternal.]
Here Shankara denies eternality to Vaikuntha, etc. loka-s. He has held a
similar view in the Mundakopanishad bhashyam too about mukta-s required to
go to a loka for being liberated. Madhusudana Saraswati, and Brahmānanda,
the commentator to the Advaitasiddhi, too have endorsed this view that the
bhagavat loka-s are anitya. The latter has said that there is no pramāṇa
for the existence of an abhoutika (non-material) vaikuṇṭha.
A few sample verses from the SSSS:
जन्मानेकशतैः सदादरयुजा भक्त्या समाराधितो
भक्तैर्वैदिकलक्षणेन विधिना सन्तुष्ट ईश स्वयम् ।
साक्षाच्छ्रीगुरुरूपमेत्य कृपया दृग्गोचरः सन्प्रभुः
तत्त्वं साधु विबोध्य तारयति तान्संसारदुःखार्णवात् ॥ २५४॥
Ishwara, pleased by the aspirant’s karma-bhakti yoga sādhana, Himself
appears as the Guru and enlightens the disciple and liberates him.
शिव एव गुरुः साक्षात् गुरुरेव शिवः स्वयम् ।
उभयोरन्तरं किञ्चिन्न द्रष्टव्यं मुमुक्षुभिः ॥ २५६॥
The Guru-Shiva identity is emphasized here. So, Ishwara is non-different
from Shiva who is the Guru.
In all the following verses Shiva is stated as the Supreme:
धन्यः कृतार्थस्त्वमहो विवेकः
शिवप्रसादस्तव विद्यते महान् ।
विसृज्य तु प्राकृतलोकमार्गं
ब्रह्मावगन्तुं यतसे यतस्त्वम् ॥ २७८॥
The Kathopanishat says that ātmaprasāda is required for liberating
knowledge. Shankara has said in the BSB: by the grace of Ishvara one gains
the knowledge that results in mokṣasiddhi.
शिवप्रसादेन विना न सिद्धिः
शिवप्रसादेन विना न बुद्धिः ।
शिवप्रसादेन विना न युक्तिः
शिवप्रसादेन विना न मुक्तिः ॥ २७९॥
यस्य प्रसादेन विमुक्तसङ्गाः
शुकादयः संसृतिबन्धमुक्ताः ।
तस्य प्रसादो बहुजन्मलभ्यो
भक्त्येकगम्यो भवमुक्तिहेतुः ॥ २८०॥
Quite contrary to the thinking of non-advaitins, Shankara holds Shiva to be
the cause of mokṣa for even Śuka, etc. In truth there is no 'giving' of
mokṣa as per the Vedanta. The principal Upanishads have not endorsed this
idea. Knowledge results in instantaneous moksha.
विवेको जन्तूनां प्रभवति जनिष्वेव बहुषु
यतस्तस्मादेव त्वमपि परमार्थावगमने
कृतारम्भः पुंसामिदमिह विवेकस्य तु फलम् ॥ २८१॥
The word ‘Īśa’ also means Shiva in this text:
मूढा अश्रुतवेदान्ताः स्वयं पण्डितमानिनः ।
ईशप्रसादरहिताः सद्गुरोश्च बहिर्मुखाः ॥ ५२१॥
See also the second cited verse above. There too Isha, though can mean
‘Ishvara’, by the Shiva-Guru identity, means Shiva only.
श्रुत्या सत्त्वपुराणानां सेवया सत्त्ववस्तुनः ।
अनुवृत्त्या च साधूनां सत्त्ववृत्तिः प्रजायते ॥ ३७०॥
By hearing the 'sattva' purāṇa-s, imbibing sāttvic food, by resorting to
service of the holy, one becomes a sāttvik person.
It would appear that Shankara is endorsing the purānic division into
sattva, rajas, etc. However, when we see other verses cited here this idea
does not fit. For, Shankara shows Shiva to be the Supreme, the one who
blesses knowledge and moksha. Also, the condemning the nityatva of
vaikuntha, etc. is also not conducive to the sāttvika purana idea.
So, the sattvapurāṇa word in the verse cited is not to be taken as
reference to sāttvika-division of purāṇa-s but simply means: sat kathā
śravaṇam. HH Sri Narasimha Bharati Swamin, 33rd pontiff of the Sringeri
Peeṭham, has used this word ‘sat kathā’ in his hymnal work:
सत्सङ्गं *सत्कथायाः श्रवणमपि* सदा देवि दत्वा कृपाब्धे
विद्यां शुद्धां च बुद्धिं कमलजदयिते सत्वरं देहि मह्यम् ॥ ५ ॥
Also at the beginning of the work Shankara pays obeisance to Ganapati:
यदालम्बो दरं हन्ति सतां प्रत्यूहसम्भवम् ।
तदालम्बे दयालम्बं लम्बोदरपदाम्बुजम् ॥ ३॥
This is also not conducive to sāttvika purana idea. This is because
Ganapati belongs to Shiva parivara, who is tāmasika. It is another matter
that Rukmini, in the Bhagavatam, visited Shiva temple and offered worship
and prayed to the Shiva parivara. 'Only tāmasic people worship Shiva' is
the siddhānta of some self-styled vaishnavas.
The work can be accessed here:
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