[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 24 18:16:24 CDT 2012

> It just differs from Vedantic nidhidhyaasanam where one sees onself in all and all in oneself - while seeing all!- sarva bhuutastam aatmaanam sarva bhuutani ca aatmani. 
> I do not see any problem here as long as one understood that the patanjali yoga samaadhi is different from the nidhidhyaasana with knowledge gained from shravana and manana.
> Hari Om!
> Sadananda

nididhyAsana is not merely an intensifying of manana of upanishad vAkya-s. There is a deep meditative process
involved in it. Please see the highly pertinent excerpt from Swami Swahananda's note that Sri Vinayaka posted
earlier. I find that it is easier to talk and write about nididhyAsana than to actually sit and do it. The mind easily
wavers, with thoughts jumping from the physical need for a cup of tea to laughing at the memory of what my
child did yesterday to an email that I need to send my manager and another email to post to Advaita-L!
More seriously speaking, pAtanjala yoga describes various stages and grades of samAdhi, some or all of which
may be gainfully adopted by a vedAntic sAdhaka. As Sankara bhagavatpAda says in the sUtrabhAshya 2.1.3 -
upakurvantu nAma - let them help in attaining the insight of aupanishada AtmajnAna, no problem.
In this context, I would like to draw the attention of readers to another powerful citation from naishkarmyasidhi.
anAtmA-adarSanenaiva parAtmAnam upAsmahe - we worship the supreme Atma only through not seeing anAtmA.
Now, there are two ways in which one can understand this. One is as a reference to a "yogic" samAdhi state
when I see no objects whatsoever and therefore there is adarSana of anAtmA. Another is as a reference to the
sarvAtma state - sarva bhUtastham AtmAnaM sarva bhUtAni cAtmani. Now, a nebulous feeling of sarvAtma-tva
is quite easily possible and available to anybody who can say, "we are all one / part of the same." A kind of New
Age sensibility is all that is required for this. True realization of sarvAtmatva talked about in advaita vedAnta
comes only with the paramArtha jnAna that transcends all upAsana. Inasmuch as sureSvarAcArya uses a verb
form connected with upAsana, we should compare it what he is saying here with his own recommendation of
yoga-AbhyAsa elsewhere in the same text.

See also upadeSasAhasrI verses 12.6-7:
dRSeS chAyA yadArUDhA mukhac-chAyeva darSane | paSyaMs taM pratyayaM yogI dRshTa Atmeti manyate ||
taM ca mUDhaM ca yady anyaM pratyayaM vetti no dRSeH | sa eva yoginAM SreshTho netaro na saMSayaH ||
The first verse may be compared with yogasUtras 1.2 and 1.4 "yogaS citta vRtti nirodhaH" and "vRtti sArUpyam
itaratra". The second verse may be compared with what yogasUtra 4.29 says about what happens in the full 
ripeness of viveka - "prasaMkhyAne 'py akusIdasya sarvathA viveka-khyAter dharmamegha samAdhiH". Note that
upadeSasAhasrI has a prose chapter titled parisaMkhyAna that has details of the meditative process involved in
nididhyAsana and that Sankara bhagavatpAda mentions yoga-dharmAnusevana and parisaMkhyAna together in
one place in the bRhadAraNyakopanishad bhAshya (4.4.2, if I remember right, without a text at hand to refer
to immediately).
Best regards,

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