[Advaita-l] More on Paurusha

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 04:27:55 CST 2006

Namaste Siva Senani garu,

I have not studied the YV is much detail, but my understanding has
always been that YV is highly recommended by most teachers in the
advaita-vedAnta tradition. Vidyaranya in particular quotes the Laghu
YV very frequently in his jIvanmuktiviveka. Ramakrishnan has in the
past mentioned that the Sringeri acharya-s strongly recommend the YV,
to the extent of saying that samyag-jnAna can be obtained by studying
the YV.

On 01/12/06, Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>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.

** Agree totally with the above.

>>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.

** I have some some issues with the above. what is viSvam? If viSvam
is understood as "everything" then YV 3.7.6 is quite compatible with
advaita. Also, it is well established that mithyA is not "illusion"
but rather refers to that which is unreal in paramArtha but real in
vyavahAra. mithyA is not unreal like the horns of a hare. The world
does not disappear for the mukta, but is understood as being
non-different from brahman.

If the YV says viSvam is consciousness, then everything else is
mithyA, isnt it? There is perfect compatibility with advaita, as far
as I can see.

On action, doesnt kR^iShNa goad arjuna to action in the gItA? At the
same time, it is established that only jnAna is the proximate cause of
mokSha. But karma is needed to prepare the seeker for jnAna.

IMO, the YV adopts the same viewpoint.

Also, I am surprised by your statement that "karma largely relates to
yaj~nas etc for Sri Sankara". If that is the case, there is no point
in talking about karmaphala for any other action. I dont think that is
the case at all. Rather karma refers to all actions, whether performed
on the basis of shaastraic injunctions or otherwise. In fact your
statement above is not internally consistent. If karma means only
yaj~na-s for Sri Sankara, then saying that "karma does not lead to
mukti" only implies that one should stop doing yaj~na-s. Why then the
whole emphasis on renouncing the family & all possessions and taking
up sannyAsa? All one needs to do is to stop doing yaj~na-s. Certainly,
the framework of duties & actions prescribed by tradition & the
shaastra-s extends to much more than just yaj~na-s. And this entire
framework has to be renounced when one is ready for it.

> 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.

**On the contary, I have come across several warnings that
gR^ihastha-s should not read the YV as it produces very strong
vairAgya. The YV is strongly recommended for sannyAsI-s only.


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