[Advaita-l] RE: Yoga - aparOkshAnubhUti - Vedanta Sara

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Thu Feb 3 03:47:26 CST 2005

sAShtAnga praNAms to Sri Vidyashankar Sundaresan prabhuji
Hare krishna

It always gives me immense pleasure to read your lucid thoughts
Sri Vidya prabhuji:

There is a little bit of revisionism in this stand. We modern people seem
have imbibed a propensity to "go back to the sources" from 19th and 20th
century European-American academia. In the process, we tend to ignore the
long line of commentary and tradition. Or even worse, we tend to assume
we know better what the original author/text meant while the commentators
did not. To say the least, this is mistaken. To castigate this attitude, it
can only be described as intellectual hubris.

bhaskar :

prabhuji I agree with your observation...But looking at the same scenario
from a different perspective we can say * the special emphasis* to go back
to sources is because of quite conspicuous deviations from the purports of
*main source* from the later interpreters!!  If the new entrant is
objectively analysing both the *main source* & later interpretation stems
from it  & presenting a clear picture of where exactly these later
interpretations deviating from main source..then a neutral reader without
sentimental attachment to any particular saMpradAya/tradition can accept it
whole heartedly by considering it as a genuine endeavor from the new
entrant to bring out the *true teachings* of main source which is anyway
the *ultimate source* of the subject matter..... With this view in mind
many have accepted my parama guruji's teaching of shankara sampradAya
though he was a controversial figure among the socalled traditionalists...
Prabhuji, if you take my parama guruji who I think claims to *know better*
what the original author means did not entirely sideline the sampradAya..He
did mention later vyAkhyAnakAra-s such as surEshwarAchArya etc. religiously
followed the true purports of *main source* & he too meticulously followed
it *without* inducing any *new* stream of thoughts to the already multi
deviated shankara siddhAnta.

Sri Vidya prabhuji:

Anyway, when we think of the classical darzana of Yoga, we mean not only
pAtanjala yogasUtras, but we also think of the bhAshya on it and the
subsidiary texts. Nowhere in the yogasUtras or in its bhAshya is there
anything to establish the oneness and non-duality of brahman. The system
talks of prakRti and purushas, and considers Izvara as a special kind of
purusha (purusha-vizesha), one who is not bound by entanglement with
prakRti. Philosophically, it differs from sAMkhya primarily in that
as sAMkhya does not allow for Izvara as a special kind of purusha. In all
other respects, Yoga thought is very much indebted to traditional sAMkhya
and therefore the classical Yoga system is also a dualism only. The
yogasUtra talks of svarUpa-pratishThA (abiding in one's own nature) as the
final aim and goal, but it does not say that this svarUpa is the nondual

bhaskar :

Thanks a lot for your kind clarification prabhuji...

Sri vidya prabhuji:

That said, is it possible to reconcile and adopt yoga thought and practice
to Advaita Vedanta thought and practice? The answer is yes, and
himself does so, in many places. His criticism of Yoga darzana extends only
to the dualism in the system. There are at least two places in brahmasUtra
bhAshya where he extols the results of Yoga practice and quotes yogasUtra
with approval. Under brahmasUtra 1.3.33 - bhAvaM tu bAdarAyaNo'sti hi -
Sankaracarya says one cannot merely dismiss the powers attained by yoga and
quotes yogasUtra 2. 44 - svAdhyAyAd ishTadevatA saMprayogaH. Under
brahmasUtra 2.4.12 - pancavRttir manovad vyapadizyate - he quotes yogasUtra
1.6 - pramANa-viparyaya-vikalpa-nidrA-smRtayaH, to identify the five vRttis
of the mind. He prefaces this quotation with the statement,"paramatam
apratishiddham anumataM bhavati" - what is not refuted in another system is
effectively accepted. Thus, he makes it clear that the classical Yoga
derived from the yogasUtras is a different system from Vedanta (paramata),
but he also explicitly accepts whatever is not in conflict with Vedanta.
Nowhere does Sankaracarya say that pAtanjala yogasUtras are very much in
line with Advaita Vedanta. To claim otherwise, more than a millenium later,
is to misunderstand both the yogasUtras and Sankaracarya himself.

bhaskar :

Thanks onceagain for the clarification...If you could permit me I'd like to
post it to the advaitin list...

Sri Vidya prabhuji:

Bhaskar-ji, please do not put me in the position of a guru, even if only in
cyberland. With it comes much responsibility, which I don't think I can

bhaskar :

prabhuji, how can I forget your & Sri Jaldhar prabhuji's enormous help to
come out from the bigoted clutches of ISKCONite vEdAnta..I am ever indebted
for this *timely* guidance. .It was really the grace of bhagavadpAda I came
into contact with you & Sri jaldhar prabhuji... I am mentally worshipping
you & Sri Jaldhar as my *praThama guruji-s* in advaita quest..Kindly
consider me as a naive student of shAstra prabhuji.

Best regards,

Your humble servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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