Fw: [Advaita-l] More on Paurusha

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 2 06:04:24 CST 2006

Namaste Ramesh garu.
Wherever I did not intend to mean something very precise or definite, I used qualifiers such as "Vasishtha seems to", "it largely means to Sri Sankara" etc.
I have not read the prakaraNa granthas but I have to some extent the prasthAna trayI. Off hand, I remember the TaittirIya bhAshya, where the reverred achArya treats karma at length and almost in every sentence, you could put yaj~na in stead of karma there. The reason is also very clear: here, a siddhAnta, distinct and different from pUrvamImAmsA is being established. To that extent I would stick by my statement that "karma largely relates to yaj~nas etc for Sri Sankara". And how can something like "karma does not lead to mukti" (which I am certain the Acharya says in so many words, again in TaittirIya bhAshya) be read as "doing karma is the only obstacle to mukti"? KARMA DOES NOT LEAD TO MUKTI. This is established unambiguously in Advaita. However, that does not mean one should not do karma. One should do vihita karma till one attains brahmatvam. All the dharma SAstras and most of the pUrva mImAmsA positions are valid and binding till that stage. And even later, they are
 followed not because they are binding but with a view to show the right path to the world.

Illusion is a widely used translation of MithyA, and I am not even sure it is a lazy translation. Still, the difference from the seeming nature of world in Vasishtha's viewpoint to the Advaita position remains.
Yes, I am aware that Sri VidyaraNya quotes approvingly from YV, but if the Sringeri math recommends YV for samyagj~nAnam (of Advaita vedanta, I guess), I am not exposed enough and should learn more. In my current state, it seems that while YV does not contradict Advaita, it has quite a different treatment of the basic issues of life. Till now, I have only been told to read the standard prakaraNa granthas for a good understanding of Advaita.
This is the first time I am hearing that YV leads to vairAgyam. It is a huge book, 27,000 or 33,000 slokas, depending on the source; I have definitely not read the whole thing, only lengthy excerpts. From what little I read, I did not even think along those lines. Still, if elders have said that, it must be true. Where I live, Garuda Puranam is held to lead to such thoughts, and it is stipulated that one read it only in temples, and that even a copy should not be kept at home.
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.
>> Just for the sake of proper application of logic: then everything other than viSvam is non-consciousness; that non-consciousness is mithyA is a different proposition which should not be taken as given. 

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.

>> If push comes to shove, yes. But YV does not make the point as tightly as BG does.

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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