[Advaita-l] waking, dreaming, sleeping, as mutually supportive

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 01:08:34 CDT 2009

Namaste Sri Kathirasan,

We aren't talking about fusing any practice into Vedanta, neither are
we talking about "modern Vedanta" (whatever that might mean). We are
talking about the classical tradition only.

I am not sure what is your expectation from Shankara and the classical
parampara. Do you expect him to explain why or how each and every
aspect of traditional shaastra-s such as vyakarana, siksha, tarka,
yoga, etc fit into the soteriological scheme of Advaita-Vedanta?
Traditional shaastraic education and lifestyle included all these
elements as an integrated whole. This is evident in much of
traditional lifestyle and practices including basic elements such as
the sandhyavandana.

To the extent that a given shaastra provides a soteriological
framework that falls short of the non-dual reality, the advaitin does
not accept that soteriology. But every other aspect is not merely
accepted but fully lived. All traditional advaitacharya-s were also
trained in vyakarana, tarkashaastra, mimamsa, yoga, etc, and this
includes Shankara. This is the historical reality. The Shankaran
parampara did not develop in a vacuum, nor is there a strict boundary
between "this school" and "that school". It is instructive that the
title of sarvatantrasvatantra was so highly valued.

Vidyasankar quoted the Taittiriya Up. There can be many similar quotes
from the Katha, Svetasvatara, Chandogya, etc which teach some or the
other kind of yoga-shaastra. The BG uses the triguna framework which
was extensively elaborated by the Samkhyan-s. Are all these some kind
of modern Vedanta?

I believe most traditional pundits would find your questions rather
absurd. Such questions don't fit in with their understanding and
experience of Indian traditions. They view all the shaastra-s as an
integrated whole, and not as a bunch of piecemeal competing schools.

2009/10/15 Kathirasan K <brahmasatyam at gmail.com>:
> Namaste Vidyashankarji,
> My earlier comment was made having studied, practiced and taught some the
> teachings of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and also other Hatha Yoga shastras
> (gheranda samhita, shiva samhita, hatharatnavali etc). From the standpoint
> that you come from, obviously any practice can be fused into Advaita
> Vedanta, even if it may be islamic or christian. To me this is the plight of
> modern vedanta where you don't find an uncompromising Shankara anymore.
> But I am in complete agreement that Shankara had no issues with Yoga Sadhana
> but it is obvious that he had issues with Yoga Darshana as a soteriological
> system compiled/taught by Patanjali.
> I would be very interested to know if Jalandhara, Uddiyana & mula bandhas
> were taught by shankara in his Bhasyas as a valid means to advaita atma
> darshana or citta shuddhi. Or was it that the acarya realised that the
> prasthana traya lacked teachings/practices to bring about mental
> tranquility?

na nirodho na ca utpattiḥ na baddho na ca sādhakaḥ I
na mumukṣur na vai muktaḥ ity eṣā paramārthatā II
-- Māṇḍūkya 2.30

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