Vivekananda Centre vivekananda at BTINTERNET.COM
Tue Mar 2 02:36:12 CST 1999

Namaste and pranams

Further to Sri Vyasji's contribution - about analogy.With the idea of analogy comes the idea of how good is the fit. He can use Algebra or any devise to show how good is this analogy. Can there be a better analogy than rope in the snake? We await to hear from Sri Rama. He may find the answer in the book he recommended. We also asked Sri Vidyaji who wanted to take the discussion to its logical conclusion if he can kindly respond to "Son of Barren woman" is statement which contains contradiction 'apriori'  How does that example help explain maya?

On the question of samkhya and advaita we still have to take this further. The last response from Sri Giridharji was excellent but we need to take this further. This is not done in a spirit of disrespect but with true humility as the undersigned has very high regard for his scholarly abilities.

Taking on from earlier thread:

Subject: SAmkhya and VedAnta

Sri Giridharji replied to the points raised by jay:
jay wrote:
(1) The thread we have is called samkhya and vedanta not samkhya vs vedanta.
Being so why is it that you have made a list of just the differences between
the two darshanas? The fact that they belong to two separate darshana means
that there are differences.

Sri Giridharji replied:
Well, advaita vedanta and dvaita vedanta have lot of differences, but they
are not two separate darshanas !

Further response by jay :-
Yes very true but I am simply asking why were the similarities not pointed
If we were discussing Dvaita and Advaita we would also show the

jay had further asked: -
(2) As you are so well versed in this subject may I request you to also make
a list of any possible similarities between the two darshanas.

Sri Giridharji wrote: -
Don't be under the wrong impression that I am well versed (in any subject).
I know very little, though it does not stop me from posting. There are some
similarities, of course. First, both of them recognise a Self. Samkhya
claims multiple purusha-s, but still they do recognise something which is
apart from the body and mind. They atleast recognise three common pramanas.

jay now asking: -
You have just said that both of them recognise the 'Self'. Would you not
agree that the idea of the 'self' is the central most teaching of Advaita?
If you agree then would you not also agree that if this idea of 'self' is
also present (despite it being in multiple role) in Samkhya this shows an
important similarity between the two darshanas.  I am deliberately not
asking you to qualify how important? Can you comment that there is
similarity and that the similarity is in the concept right at the centre in
the teaching of Advaita?

jay had asked:
(3) Do you think that these two darshanas are so far apart and have not had
any influence on each other ever? Do you confirm that there is not any
evidence that Samkhya which can be dated to pre-Vedanta period did not make
the slightest (even one percent!) contribution towards the evolution of
Vedantic philosophy? Did Vedanta philosophy begin on a Tabula rasa basis?

Sri Giridharji wrote:-
I don't think we should be satirical about all this. There is a contribution
for everything but we don't revere that also. Shankara would not have been
born but for His grandfather, but we don't say Shankara's grandfather
contributed to advaita vedanta. (BTW, a similar example is provided by
Sringeri Swamigal with regard to previous contributions and influence). Many
historians do recognise that Samkhya is one of the oldest schools. But one
should also remember Vedas have been timeless and Vedanta could have existed
from a long time.

jay now responds: -
We are examining the similarities between two systems of philosophy. As you
have just said many historians would say Samkhya is one of the oldest
schools. Would it not be a fair comment to say that this school of
philosophy 'could' have contributed towards the Vedantic thinking?  The
second point raised earlier has still not been answered. Did Vedanta
philosophy begin on a 'Tabula rasa' basis. (I.e. from a clean slate in
absolute isolation without having to acknowledge any contribution from any
one else).
With our example we cannot have historic proof if the theories evolved from
each other but we have a 'could have' -- and that should be enough to stop
us from saying we have ''no'' reverence to pay towards Samkhya.  You 'may'
be doing injustice and showing ingratitude to a major sage. Would you take
that risk? If so then for what?
By accepting a 'possible' contribution of Samkhya you cover that
eventuality. You avoid showing 'possible' irreverence. Why can you not do

You further pointed out about Shankara's grandfather you have said I quote:    "Shankara would not have been born but for His grandfather, but we don't say Shankara's grandfather contributed to advaita

Jay replies
If Shankara's grandfather was also the author of Samkhya then this would be a relevant point in the discussion.

Vivekananda Centre London  

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