[Advaita-l] RE:time of yogins for salvation

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 13 16:43:23 CDT 2004

>In Gita 8/23 Lord Krishna mentions different times, at which leaving of
>physical body, a yogi does or does not return to the world. In 8/24, the
>various names, like agni, jyothi, day etc denote the deities associated 
>them in order to guide the departing soul on archiradhi marg. In this 
>the time denoting terms are uttarayanam and dakshinayanam, if I am correct.
>However, these names are also designated as the names of deities that help
>the departing soul on this path. It means that all names of 8/24 denote the
>names of various deities.

That is correct. Sankaracharya says in his commentary on this verse, "devatA 
eva mArgabhUtA iti sthito 'nyatra" - that these are deities on the path is 
established elsewhere. The "elsewhere" obviously refers to the brahmasUtra 
discussion of the same topic.

In that case, where is the question of time
>refered for yogis? When there is no time reference mentioned in this sloka,
>how come the Brahma Sutra IV.2.21 says that the time or other details are
>concerned only for yogis who follow yoga and sankhya systems.

The reference here is not to the Gita per se, but to those who interpret the 
Gita literally, without reference to the Vedantic tradition. One general 
principle of Vedanta is that Smriti is to be taken as an authority but in 
non-contradiction with Sruti. As is clear from the Acharya's commentary, 
there were some followers of Yoga and Samkhya systems who interpreted the 
references to the day and northern movement of the sun literally and not as 
deities leading the path to brahmaloka. They held that those who pass during 
the night or during the southern movement of the sun do not reach brahmaloka 
in the same way. The sUtra in question refers to this tradition of literal 
interpretation, which does not have the support of Sruti, and sets it aside 
as a purely Smriti tradition, which is not accepted in Vedanta. On the other 
hand, the Smriti in question (Gita 8.22-24) is interpreted in tune with 


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