[Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?

sriram srirudra at vsnl.com
Mon Dec 19 01:32:57 CST 2011

I find that sandalwood tree does emit fragrance even as a standing 
tree -need not necesaary to cut it to get its sweet smell as per information 
about sandal tree.Its roots are full of oil and therefore it is uprooted to 
get maximum commercial benefit further says the information.Thank you for 
the query which led me to find out the saprtasloki and also about sandalwood 
tree`s qualities.R.Krishnamoorthy.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shrisha Rao" <shrao at nyx.net>
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" 
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2011 3:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Incorrect comparisons?

El dic 17, 2011, a las 6:50 p.m., Rajaram Venkataramani escribió:

> In satasloki, Sankara compares the guru with the sandalwood tree saying
> that like the sandal wood tree which makes the nearby trees also fragrant
> with its own good fragrance, the guru also makes those around him free 
> from
> sorrow. As you know, sandal wood tree does not emit any fragrance in its
> natural state but only when it is cut and made in to a paste.  So, how is
> this correct?

I don't know if it is, but then I don't know much about the properties of 

I have heard it said by people trained as medical doctors that the 
description of the human body given in the Vivekachudamani is not only 
inaccurate per modern medical science, but also does not approach the level 
of understanding seen in classical sources like the Charaka Samhita, etc. 
However, an obvious defense on this is that the Vivekachudamani is not 
intended to be a substitute for Gray's Anatomy; the incorrectness if any (in 
describing the properties of sandalwood, or the structure of the human body) 
is germane only when the illustration pertains to a contested point (rather 
than the glory of a guru, or the difference of body and soul, which are 
accepted by all seekers).  For instance, the chArvAka-s claim that life 
spontaneously arises in the universe (without the agency of a Creator) just 
as spiders spontaneously arise in animal dung, and that consciousness 
spontaneously arises in the living body (without the agency of a soul) just 
as fermentation spontaneously happens in a sweet liquid like fruit juice. 
The Astika response to this (a precursor to Pasteur) is of course that the 
illustrations themselves are off the mark and show something other than what 
they are claimed to.

> In Swami Vidyaranaya's Sankara Digvijayam introduction, he says "those who
> are proud due to the wealth that is attained by the dancer of unsteady
> mindlakshmi, who appeared in the milk ocean". Lakshmi devi cannot be said
> to be of unsteady mind because when the milk ocean was churned and the

It would be best to look at the actual words used in the original before 
attempting to reason in this regard.  The translation (or recollection of 
it) may not be correct, and a different parsing of words/phrases ("those who 
are of unsteady mind are proud due to the wealth of Lakshmi," etc.) would 
easily resolve the issue.


Shrisha Rao

Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/

To unsubscribe or change your options:

For assistance, contact:
listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list