[Advaita-l] Reply to Sri Vidyamanya Tirtha's observations

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 13 15:07:03 CST 2013

> Kindly see the Sankara Bhashya for Br Up 4-4-22 - Tametam
> Vedanuvacanena Brahmana Vividishanti Yajnena Danena Tapasa Anashakena. Adi
> Sankara is saying Dravya Yajnaa Jnaana Yajnaasca Samskrutaarthaaha,
> Samskrutasya Vishuddha Sattvasya Jnaanotpattir Apratibandhena Bhavishyati.
> The Jnana will come automatically when the Mind is purified by Yajnas. He
> does not have to do anything more.

Please read the above again, carefully and see if the bhAshya supports your
stance that yajnAdi karmA is neeeded for realization of brahman AFTER the
rise of jnAna. Here the sequence is, yajnAdi -> saMskaraNam (i.e. citta Suddhi)
-> jnAnotpatti. The word apratibandena means "without obstacles". It does
not mean "automatically." The verb bhavishyati is future tense. yajna, dAna,
etc are actions that precede the rise of jnAna and have the effect of purifying
the mental make-up of the sAdhaka. The bhAshya does not say that these are
necessary or enjoined after the rise of jnAna in order to result in moksha. It is
like saying that by learning to add and subtract, a student gains the needed
skills that can lead to algebra and then to calculus. For an ace mathematician,
the ability to add and subtract need not be learned anew and practiced on
a daily basis. 

> After some more sentences he is saying again Evam Kaamyavarjitam Nityam
> Karmajaatam Sarvam Atma Jnaanotpattidvaarena Moksha Saadhanatvam
> Pratipadyate. All the Nitya Karma is a Moksha Saadhana by giving Atma
> Jnaana. He is not saying you have to first do Nitya Karma then take
> Sannyasa. Then you get Atma Jnaana. Then Moksha. No. The Karma will
> directly give Atma Jnaana. How? Because it will remove the Obstacle for
> Jnana. The Removing of Obstacles is done by Action only. Upanishad Vakyas
> only will give Paroksha Jnana if the Obstacle is still there. But Karma
> will give the Aparoksha Jnana by removing the obstacle.
> For thousands of years people have not understood this Adi Sankara's
> importance to Karma and they are arguing he was against rituals.

Great. Isn't it curious how everybody seems to think they have understood
Adi Sankara perfectly, but for thousands of years before them, nobody really
understood him?!!


> I think Adi Sankara has agreed with Mandana Mishra here. Both are saying
> same thing.

No, they are not saying the same thing. Yes, performance of yajnAdi karmA 
can remove many of the obstacles, but ultimately, the last obstacle to jnAna
shining forth is the kartRtva notion that gets superimposed on the Atman.
It is not possible to remove this final obstacle by yet more karmA, because
the performance of karmA presumes this very same kartRtva. In Sankara's
position, the realization of aupanishada jnAna is concomitant with full karma

> It is common sense removing a coloured object from the colourless crystal
> is Action only. It cannot be some other thing. The coloured object has to
> be physically moved. Then only we can see the colourless crystal.
Obviously, the use of this metaphor for AtmadarSana is lost on you. When the
crystal is a separate object and what colors it is also another separate object,
and both are being seen by a separate drashTA, yes, action may be effective.
By what means, pray, is the person to see his own Self?




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