[Advaita-l] vedAntins at the time of shankara
Praveen R. Bhat
bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Mon Sep 18 09:45:43 EDT 2017
On Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 3:21 PM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> But, of course, to understand what he said you will have to know what
> Shankara has said in the bhashya on the topics Praveen ji has touched upon.
Thanks to Subbuji for bringing this up. I was not willing to elaborately
detail this out (1) due to lack of time and (2) since my assumption was
that people who are bringing up other chapters of Brahma sutra bhAShyas, as
if they know them in and out, surely know tattu samanvayAt very well!
Although I don't like to write essays or repeat the same things over and
over till it is perhaps distasteful for all readers, I will elaborate this
a bit here since I have also been accused of writing in sutras!
First off, Bhashyakara does not refute things unopposed to advaita
siddhAnta even if they belong to other sampradAyas, including Sankhya whose
models are closely accepted on the orthodox side and even Buddhism where
not opposed as even erroneously accused by Dvaitins. Why then would he
refute those that are clearly ending in Advaita?! He refutes those parts
which are important as the means taught by Bhartrprapancha/ Vrttikara to
such an non-dualistic end. University Profs don't neither teach nor claim
to teach paths to mokSha and need not be refuted; they can be just stated
to be outside the tradition and I don't think any Uni. Prof. would feel
insulted, since its just a fact and I'd be shocked if some Prof claims that
he or she is teaching traditionally in the University! OTOH, such means as
taught by Vrttikara are incorrect and can never lead to mokSha in spite of
agreement on advaitAtmA and hence need to be refuted. The refutation of
Vrttikara's view follows under tattu samanvayAt so:
First Bhashyakara rejects ब्रह्मविद्या as an उपासना by dismissing the four
types thereof: सम्पत्, प्रतीक, क्रियायोगनिमित्तः/ संवर्गः,
कर्माङ्गसंस्काररूपम् generally. Then he goes into the details of the impact
of this attainability of ब्रह्म through upAsanA, by stating that upAsanA is
also a kriyA, and kriyA can only result in one of the four results:
utpatti, vikAra, Apti and saMskAra.
यस्य तूत्पाद्यो मोक्षः, तस्य मानसं वाचिकं कायिकं वा कार्यमपेक्षत इति
युक्तम् । तथा विकार्यत्वे च । However, for which opponent, मोक्ष is that to
be produced, then it is tenable that मोक्ष expects mental, verbal or
physical activity in this view. So too when मोक्ष is a modification.
तयोः पक्षयोर्मोक्षस्य ध्रुवमनित्यत्वम् । न हि दध्यादि विकार्यम् उत्पाद्यं
वा घटादि नित्यं दृष्टं लोके । In those two views there is definite
impermanence of मोक्ष; since curd, etc, which is a modification [of milk,
etc] or produced such as pot, etc, is not seen to be permanent in the world.
न च आप्यत्वेनापि कार्यापेक्षा, *स्वात्मस्वरूपत्वे* सत्यनाप्यत्वात् ; And
there is no expectancy of action even as something reachable, due to one's
own nature not being reachable.
*स्वरूपव्यतिरिक्तत्वेऽपि* ब्रह्मणो नाप्यत्वम् , सर्वगतत्वेन
नित्याप्तस्वरूपत्वात्सर्वेण ब्रह्मण आकाशस्येव । Even if ब्रह्म were to be
different than जीव’s own nature, even then ब्रह्म would not be reachable,
due to being present everywhere, [thereby,] due to the status of ब्रह्म
having the nature of being ever-attained by everyone, like that of space.
नापि संस्कार्यो मोक्षः, येन व्यापारमपेक्षेत । मोक्ष is not even attainable
by purification, due to which it would expect any activity.
संस्कारो हि नाम संस्कार्यस्य गुणाधानेन वा स्यात् , दोषापनयनेन वा । It is
indeed well-known that purification would be possible of something
purifiable by addition of quality or by removal of some impurity.
स्वात्मधर्म एव सन् तिरोभूतो मोक्षः क्रिययात्मनि संस्क्रियमाणेऽभिव्यज्यते —
यथा आदर्शे निघर्षणक्रियया संस्क्रियमाणे भास्वरत्वं धर्म इति चेत् ,
(Bhedabheda opponent) If it be said that even मोक्ष is one's own nature,
being obscured, when the self is purified by activity, मोक्ष is
manifested, just as when the mirror is cleaned by rubbing, the attribute
“shining” is manifested?
न ; क्रियाश्रयत्वानुपपत्तेरात्मनः । (Vedantin) Not so, due to untenability
of the self being the locus of any activity.
यदाश्रया हि क्रिया, तमविकुर्वती नैवात्मानं लभते । Since an activity, which
has whatever as its locus, does not become an activity without modifying
यद्यात्मा क्रियया विक्रियेत, अनित्यत्वमात्मनः प्रसज्येत । If the self were
to get modified by an activity, then the self would attain impermanence.
The debate continues further, but this is the main crux of the discussion,
meaning the illogical phalabheda: *impermanence of the self*. No
sub-commentator talks such illogical things like Vrttikara did.
The people who are used to see faults in sub-commentators may continue to
see those without really understanding or caring to see the difference
between Vrttikara's views and sub-commentators views; neither does it
really help their pursuit nor does it affect the pursuit of followers of
either prakriyA; or even mixed. It will always remain prakriyAbheda no
matter which *mere scholar* says what since its a well-concluded matter in
the sampradAya. All those who came later "bearing torches" do not quite
matter to a sAdhaka, let alone to the giant living sampradAya, since it is
a settled argument if it ever was an argument in the first place.
Finally, take home points:
- Bhashyakara refutes those schools of Vedantic thought that have an
agreed end in advaitabrahma but are attainable through meditation, NOT
knowledge. Here, aparokShajnAna does not lead to mokSha, but meditation
does which follows even after aparokShajnAna. So they are not prakriyAbheda
but siddhAntabheda, since siddhAnta includes not only the end, but the
means to that end.
- No one can refute the sub-commentators schools of Vedantic thought
since all agree that the end goal is advaitabrahma known as oneself
directly. The aparokShajnAna is shravaNajanya in Vivarana, with manana and
nididhAsana removing obstacles to jnAnaniShThA, while Bhamati says
aparokShajnAna itself is born only of nididhyAsana after shravaNa and
manana. Neither school rejects the need for all three. In Mandukya 4th
chapter, Bhashyakara has approved both paths. The pratibimbavAda/AbhAsavAda
as well as avacchedavAda both have been penned down by Bhashyakara by his
use of such examples. As for Ashrayatvam of avidyA, it is a *mere*
technicality for a curious mind to write research papers and teach
scholars, and it has no bearing on sAdhana, else one objecting to those
have to necessarily present as to how this understanding of jIvAshrayatvam
of brahmAshrayatvam will block advaitajnAnotpatti, especially when
Bhashyakara has yelled out jivo brahmaiva nAparAH. Therefore, both are most
certainly only prakriyAbheda, as both agree that aparokShajnAnena mokShaH.
sampradAyakartRbhyo namo namaH
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति, तं केन विजानीयात्। Through what should one know
That owing to which all this is known! [Br.Up. 4.5.15] */
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