[Advaita-l] More on Paurusha

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 1 03:32:35 CST 2006

The message of YV is not supposed to be inimical to Advaita or Vedanta, generally speaking. At various places in YV, it is said that deva is cinmAtra (devah ... cinmAtramiti viSrutah, 3.7.2); rational contemplation is recommended (ko'ham? kathamayam doshah samsArAkhya upAgatah? nyAyeneti parAmarSo vicAreti kathyate, 2.14.50) manas is everything (manomAtramato viSvam, 3.3.25; manah kartr mano bhoktr, 3.115.25; mano hi purushastasmAddaivam nAstiti niScayah, 2.9.18); j~nAnam is the means to mukti (samsArottaraNe jantorupAyo j~nAnameva hi, 2.10.22) - all of which fit reasonably within the Advaita frame-work, using the proper frame of reference.

There are differences too: Vasishtha seems to hold that this world is consciousness (cinmAtram cetanam viSvam, 3.7.6) whereas Advaita teaches that the world is an illusion (jaganmithyA); and where Sri Sankara clearly says that Karma does not lead to mukti, Vasishtha's message seems to be that Action is everything. And while Karma largely relates to yaj~nas etc. for Sri Sankara, paurusham seems to be more of worldly effort to Vasishtha.

My understanding of elders' advice is that while YV gives practical advice, and a guide to proper behaviour in the world, Advaita teaches the ultimate truth.

While other vedantins (dvaitins, viSishTAdvaitins etc.) would definitely find certain portions entire objectionable such as the assertion that deva is not puNDarIkAksha or trilocana, broadly YV represents a fresh interpretation of sanAtana dharma with reference to the melancholy prince, and its advice is properly contrasted with the other famous episode of the melancholy prince discovering enlightenment: siddhArtha becoming the Buddha.


----- Original Message ----
From: jiva das <jivadas3 at yahoo.ca>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Friday, December 1, 2006 1:12:29 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] More on Paurusha

<mahA-rAmAyaNa-yoga-vAsiSTha> dwells most on this <pauruSa> "Paurusha" in the 8th Canto of the Mumukshu-Prakarana. Here the Muni Vasishtha the Supreme replies to the young melancholic prince Rama's compaints about Daiva and Niyati with his antidote of <pauruSa>. He sums up his view in 

   mUDhaiH praklpitaM daivaM tat parAste kSayaM gataH | 
   prAjJAs tu pauruSArthena padam uttamatAM gatAH || 2 | 8 ||

"When fools imagine Daiva Fate, thereupon they're in destruction; 
the wise make use of Paurusha Power to attain the highest state." 

or again he says rather boastfully, 

   asmAbhir aparai rAma puruSair munitAM gataiH | 
   pauruSeNaiva saMprAptA ciraM gagana-gAmitA || 2 | 21 || 

"As for us, Rama, when a Purusha Person takes up the Muni business, by exercising his Paurusha Personality, he gets a long life as a Gagana-gamin Sky-Rover"

I just reiterate my prevous request. 

I would like the views of you wise Vedantis about <pauruSa>.


saMtoSaH paramo lAbhaH sat-saGgaH paramA gatiH | 
vicAraH paramaM jJAnaM zamo hi paramaM sukham [Yoga Vasishtha 2.16.19] 
   = Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course, Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment.

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