[Advaita-l] Sankhya and Yoga can give Moksha?

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu May 3 02:40:14 CDT 2012

On Thu, May 3, 2012 at 3:39 AM, Sunil Bhattacharjya <
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Adi Sankara has not belittled Sankhya in any way. The Sankhya left at the
> stage when the purusha sees
> the prakriti and the latter withdraws like a shy maiden and the purusha is
> free. That the freed Purusha
> is none other than Brahman is left to Vedanta to say.

Here is a verse that traces the penultimate position of the Sankhya
(pariNAmavAda) as against the final position that is the Vedantic

विवर्तवादस्य पूर्वभूमिः वेदान्तवादे परिणामवादः ।
व्यवस्थितेऽस्मिन् परिणामवादे स्वयं समायाति विवर्तवादः ॥

I think it is from the SankshepashAreeraka.

[The doctrine of transformation (Sankhya) is the one that just precedes the
doctrine of transfiguration (vivarta) of the Vedanta.  Once the former is
well grasped, the latter falls in place by itself.]

In any case, in the BSB the Sankhya is rejected mainly on the grounds that
they hold the insentient pradhAna as the jagat-kAraNam while for Vedanta it
is the Conscious Brahman, in association with Maya.


> Adi Sankara wrote the commentary for the
> people who found the Bhagavad Gita difficult to understand and who found
> the Sankhya scholars (not
> Kapila) boast the Sankhya that there is nothing beyond Sankhya. Obviously
> Kapila (the avatara of Lord
> Vishnu) left it to be told by Vedanta.
> Sunil KB

The upadesha given out by Lord Kapila (avatAra) in the Bhagavatam to Mother
DevahUti is Vedanta alone. Sri Jayatirtha (Dvaita) while commenting in the
Bh.gita mistook Advaita to be talking the sankhya doctrine of Kapila muni:

//'अन्ये साङ्ख्येन योगेन' इत्यत्र कापिलतन्त्रोक्तप्रकृतिपुरुषविवेकज्ञानं
साङ्ख्यमिति व्याख्यानमसत्, कापिलतन्त्रस्यावैदिकस्यात्र ग्रहणायोगात्, तस्य
भगवद्दर्शने प्रधानसाधनत्वायोगाच्चेति भावेनान्यथा व्याचष्टे -- साङ्ख्येनेति।

Evidently Jayatirtha is referring to Shankara's commentary for the above

//Anye, others; sankhyena yogena, through Sankhya-yoga: Sankhya means
thinking, 'These qualities, viz sattva, rajas and tamas, are objects of my
perception; I am the Self, distinct from them, a witness of their
functions, eternal and different from the qualities.' This Sankhya is

However, Jayatirtha's other part of the comment: that 'sAnkhya' is
inappropriate to be the 'pradhAna sAdhana' for God-realization...' is not
in conflict with Advaita/Shankara.

But Jayatirtha has not considered, while criticizing Shankara, that the
Teaching of the 14th Chapter of the Bhgavadgita is what Shankara is stating
in His commentary, in essence.  Pl. look at these verses of the 14th

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसंभवाः।
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम्।।14.5।।

14.5 O mighty-armed one, the qualities, viz sattva, rajas and tamas, born
of Nature, being the immutable embodies being to the body.

नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारं यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति।
गुणेभ्यश्च परं वेत्ति मद्भावं सोऽधिगच्छति।।14.19।।

14.19 When the witness sees none other than the qualities as the agent, and
knows that which is superior i.e. different from. to the qualities, he
attains My nature.

गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान्।

14.20 Having transcended these three qualities which are the origin of the
body, the embodied one, becoming free from birth, death, old age and
sorrows, experiences Immortality.

There is no way in the sAnkhya of Kapila muni for the portion: ' he attains
My nature' of the second quoted verse.



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list