[Advaita-l] Things a sadhaka needs

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Jan 30 23:57:33 CST 2012

[was Re: [Advaita-l] Holenarsipur Swamiji's remarks and why even Avidya 
is not necessary for Advaita]

On Sat, 28 Jan 2012, Kalyan K wrote:

> I do not exactly understand what you are suggesting above, but I think it
> would be incorrect to say that saguNopAsana does not lead to moksha.

Then amend that to sagunopasana does not lead directly to moksha.  If one 
is willing to wait for the mahapralaya for moksha that is all well and 
good but the one who pursues moksha in this lifetime must understand the 
difference between the real and the unreal and _then_ transcend such 

anyedevAhurvidyayA.anyadAhuravidyayA |
iti shushruma dhIrANAM ye nastadvichachakShire || 10 ||

"One result is is predicted of vidya and another of avidya.  Thus we have 
heard from the wise who taught us both [vidya and avidya.]"  [Isha Upa. 10]

vidyAM chAvidyAM cha yastadvedobhayaM saha |
avidyayA mR^ityuM tIrtvA vidyayA.amR^itamashnutaM || 11 ||

"He who simultaneously knows both vidya and avidya crosses over death by 
avidya and attains immortality by vidya" [Isha Upa. 11]

karma is avidya because it is based on the ignorant sentiment "I am".  The 
end goal of karma is Heaven after death until the karmaphala is exhausted 
and the jiva must return to saMsAra.

upasana is vidya because it is based on the superior knowledge that "All 
this is covered by the Lord" [iShAvAsyamidaM sarvaM - Isha Upa. 1] so 
should be renounced.  This results in immortality for the length of the 

But even upasana isn't enough...

andhaM tamaH pravishanti ye.asaMbhUtimupAsate |
tato bhUya iva te tamo ya u saMbhUtyAMratAH || 12 ||

"Those who worship[1] the unborn[2] fall into blinding darkness but into a 
greater darkness fall those who worship the born[3]."

[1] Note the word is upAsate.

[2] The unborn is prakR^ti or nature which simply exists without the aid 
of a creator.  If one thinks the material universe with its causes and 
effects is all there is, then one falls into the darkness of ignorance.

[3] But paradoxically those who think the universe with its causes and 
effects is "born" at the hands of a creator suffer a worse fate.  Why? 
Because although such people believe in God, their God is still limited 
as a manifestation of that created universe.  While they can lecture the 
karmis on their ignorance, they do not realize that they too are ignorant 
which is even worse.

> I also feel that while the concepts of mAya etc. are definitely necessary to
> explain advaita (from a logical point of view), the necessity of these
> concepts for a sAdhaka is debatable.

For the sadhaka whose faith in Ishwara, Guru, and Shastra is steadfast 
there is no return to samsara.  In that sense what you say is true.  But 
in the higher worlds like brahmaloka he will be taught "the concepts of 
maya etc."  That is how he will get mukti.  So having to learn is 
inevitable.  You might as well start now.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list