[Advaita-l] vyavahAre bhaTTanayaH

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 22:28:10 CST 2015


The highest teaching is silence. That is why they say about Guru
Dakshina Murthy, 'Gurostu Maunam Vyakhanam Shishyastu Chinna
Samshayaaha'. In this no words are needed. But Patanjali's commentary
is starting  Atha Shabdaanushaasanam . It is about words. Secondly in
Vedanta itself we have Yato Vaacho Nivartante Apraapya Manasaa Saha.
Words or Mind cannot reach Brahman. In Sravana, Manana and
Nididhyasana only Sravana is using words. Manana and Nididhyasana are
done without words. If Grammarians are saying Shabda is Brahman it
cannot be Nirguna Brahma of Vedanta but only Saguna Brahman.

Bhartruhari has said in Brahma Kanda - Brahman is without beginning or
end is the indestructible essence of speech. Which is developed in the
form of things and whence springs the creation of the world.
Reference in Sarva Darshana Samgraha.

This Brahman is the Sphota of the Grammarians. But in Advaita Vedanta
the Brahman is not even Creator of the World. The Whole Creation is an
illusion only. There is no Creation. How can the Shabda Brahman the
Cause of Creation be the  Brahman of Vedanta? It can be taken as
Saguna Brahma only.

In the Sarva Darshana Samgraha the Yoga Darshana is placed last before
Vedanta. It is the closest neighbor of Vedanta in this text.

Another point is Adi Sankara wrote one detailed Vrtti on Yoga Sutras
but he did not write anything on Vyakarana or Sphota.
You can find it on Amazon.


On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 8:35 PM, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l
<advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> From: Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I heard some people say Yoga System is close to Advaita but not Vyakarana. Adi Sankara has said "Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane" in Bhaja Govindam seeing a old man memorizing Panini Sutras like a fool. Adi Sankara has also rejected Sphota Vada of Sanskrit Grammarians. Nirvikalpa Samadhi of Yoga is close to Advaita Brahma Jnana.
> ------------------------
> Namaste
> First about डुकृञ् करणे। The intention there is to promote Bhakti (amongst those Adhikaaris, for whom Bhakti is the best path), but we would be mistaken if we think that Bhagavatpada is against Vyakarana or Jnana in general. The meaning of the injunction स्वाध्यायो अध्येतव्यः is that Veda, along with all its angas including Vyakarana, should be studied. Bhagavatpada himself reserves the highest praise for Panini. In the Bhashya under 1.1.3 शास्त्रयोनित्वात् in order to portray Brahman as the source of Sastra, he gives the example of Panini: Just like Panini is known to know much more than Vyakarana, the author of a Sastra would know much more and only Brahman can know much more than all the Sastra that emanated from It. Here, if we ponder as to what is that Panini knew more than Ashtadhyayi, we realize that it refers to Philosophy.
> This brings to the question: is sphotavada not refuted by Acaryapada in 1.3.28 (Devatadhikaranam)? At least one scholar, Prof. M. Srimannarayana Murthy, believes that Sankaracarya is agreeable with both doctrines (Sphotavada and Varnavada), but it is the later commentators like Vacaspati Misra, who introduced a refutation of Sphota. Much as I would like that to be true, from a careful study of the Devatadhikaranam, that view has to be rejected. So, unless the text we currently have is corrupted, refutal of Sphotavada by Adisankara cannot be denied. Those in the sampradaya say that, in reality there is no element of the refutation which is essential to uphold the tenets of Advaita, and that the refutation is done with a desire to avoid confusion. If VaiyaakaraNas propose Sabdabrahman as the ultimate, Alaankaarikas would propose Rasabrahman, and somebody else, Gandhabrahman, Sparsabrahman etc. and the saadhaka might be confused. (Is the Naadabrahman of Tyaagaraaya Swami different from Parabrahman, for instance?) If we examine their argument that the refutation is not essential, we find that it is indeed so. The only reason offered in the entire Devatadhikaranam, is that there is gaurava in conceptualizing Sphota, whereas varNaanupuurvI is sufficient to explain (how meaning is expressed). If Sphota is admitted, a Vedantin has no baadhaa to any of his positions. There is no other refutation anywhere else by Bhagavatpada. Among later Advaitins, Vimuktatman does criticize Sphota in his Ishtasiddhi [1], but apart from that I could not find refutation of Sphotavada at other places. (I request learned members to let me know if they came across Sphotakhandana by Advaita scholars before twentieth century anywhere else).For instance, in Sarvadarsanasangraha, every preceding Darsana is criticized and refuted by the next Darsana presented, but this is done very curiously with respect to Sphota - Vyakarana's Vivartavaada stands refuted by the Parinamavada of Sankhya. Now, ultimately Parinamavada does not stand and once it stands refuted by Advaita (the last Darsana), it obtains that Sphotavada is not effectively refuted in Sarvadarsanasangraha.
> In comparison, there is disagreement with respect to the ultimate between Yoga and Advaita. The ISvara of Yoga is an emasculated one, who does not create, sustain or dissolve the world unto himself, who is a कश्चन पुरुषविशेषः. In fact, Pradhaana remains the highest principle of Yoga as well, that is why in Sarvadarsanasangraha refutation of Paata~njaladarSana consists of refutation of pariNAmavAda and refutation of PradhAna. This of course, follows the Brahmasutras and Saankarabhaashya. Under 2.1.3 (एतेन योगः प्रत्युक्तः), PradhAna as the highest principle, and the fact that they (Sankhya and Yoga) are dualist systems is cited as the reason for their rejection.
> In summary, those who say that "Yoga System is close to Advaita but not Vyakarana", are not evaluating the available textual evidence appropriately. Yoga is a dualist school, avaidika (not my words, but that of Vidyaranya muni in his Vaiyaasikanyaayamaalaa), refuted clearly by the Sutrakara himself, and differs from Advaita in most important aspects. On the other hand, VyaakaraNa is an Advaitic school, is an anga of the Veda, not refuted by the Sutrakara, and does not differ from Advaita in any manner. Even the bhashyakara refutes Sphota not in the section (2nd Adhyaya) devoted to Khandana, but elsewhere.
> The only reason for the perceived closeness of Yoga is that Yoga is definitely most useful in Saadhanaa. Its practical utility must not be confused as doctrinal similarity. On the other hand, Sphotavada is so close to Advaita, that it could plausibly be said that it differs no more from the teachings of Sankaracarya than Bhamatiprasthana or Vivaranaprasthana do. If we treat Sphotasiddhi+Brahmasiddhi-minus-jnanakarmasamuccaya (as jnanakarmasamuccaya weakens Advaita and is incorporated by Mandana Misra to accommodate Purvamimamsa) as a third prasthana within Advaita tradition, this claim can be examined and found plausible.
> RegardsN. Siva Senani
> [1] Ishtasiddhi is an early prakaranagrantha, from which Ramanujacarya took the summary of Advaita. This summary in Sribhashyam is called Mahapurvapaksha and is sometimes cited as the best summary of Advaita! (by those not familiar with Ishtasiddhi). The refutation of Sphotavada by Vimuktatman follows the path of Jayanta Bhatta (of Nyayamanjari fame), which deliberately understands the word Sabda differently. If the same understanding is applied to 1.3.28, then the sentence of Bhashyakara - अतः प्रभवात् । अत एव हि वैदिकात् शब्दात् देवादिकं जगत् प्रभवति। - would stand negated. Let me demonstrate. One ridicule, opponents of Sphota (including Vimuktatman, but Jayanta Bhatta is the one who has done it first, if not the author of SivadRshTi) throw at VaiyaakaraNas is: since you do not differentiate the Sabda "annam" and the corresponding external entity, i.e. food which is eaten, when you are hungry, simply eat the Sabda "annam". In 1.3.28, Sankaracarya is saying the world emanated from Sabda because Sabda primarily denotes Jati, Jati is nitya, and the origination is of only the individuals (that is cowness is always there, and it is only the individual cows which are born). If origin of Vyaktis from the nitya Jatis is not accepted, the words "अतः प्रभवात्" cannot be explained. It follows that the Sabda and the external entity represented by it are not different and the result is that either Acarya Vimuktatman's refutation is wrong, or he does not agree with Sutrakara and Bhashyakara.
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