namasté & hello
Most-to-many people I have met over the years that say they are practicing hinduism (sanātana dharma some call ārṣa dharma¹) are in fact taking most of their precepts, practices, and clues from two main schools: yoga darśana and vedānta darśana (from the 6 ~ classical~ schools¹) that are known. They are co-mingled in such a way to form a practice or idea of what hinduism is to them. There is no harm to this, but one should know that this co-mingling is occurring. It also suggests ( to me) that not knowing the depth and breadth of both schools , one really does not know what they are picking and what they’re leaving behind. As I have mentioned many times here on HDF, if you do not know where you are going, then any road will take you there. So, within these two schools what are some sailent points that may have been dropped or not viewed in the proper light? Let me offer a few from my point of view... others may vary.
Many to most have heard of the upaniṣads, and bhagavadgītā , yet are not all are familiar with the vedānta sūtras ( also called the brahma sūtras). These 3 are considered prasthānatrayī¹ or pertaining to the 3 systems some say ‘institutes’ of vedāntic teaching. I cannot tell you just how robust & fulfilling (to me) this knowledge is overall. Yet for many, they do not get around to it, tried it and found it difficult to read, found the amount of reading as insurmountable, or for some just do not find reading/study as something that fits their style. So be it.
Yet, there was a luminary, ādi śaṅkara-ji¹ also known as śaṅkara bhagavatpāda, that not only commented on prasthānatrayī but was kind enough to take the essence of his commentaries and offer it into the work called vivekacūḍāmaṇi ( this term = the crown jewel of discrimination). Not many read this, but I mention it as a compendium¹ of vedāntic thought i.e. the essence of his commentaries on vedāntic scriptures in one place, in succinct format. His offer of 571 verses (śloka-s) on those key points that one has to grasp for the eradication of ignorance , and from my point of view is the principle intent of sanātana dharma.
Many know of ādi śaṅkara-ji and think, oh yes, he has informed us of māyā; that the world is an illusion. Many who enter ~hinduism~ come to know this as a major concept (along with karma). Yet this is only ½ of the knowledge that was heard by those listening. Ādi śaṅkara-ji offers:
· brahman is real
· the universe is māyā , an illusion
· brahman is the universe
Ādi śaṅkara-ji did not stop at the second point, but many did not continue to listen. The point is, many think the universe is apart from brahman and that would be an incorrect view ( within the non dual, advaitin school of reality). To understand what one practices a more complete view is suggested and ādi śaṅkara-ji’s vivekacūḍāmaṇi is a great source. Here is just one śloka from ādi śaṅkara-ji’s vivekacūḍāmaṇi :
Not by missiles nor weapons nor wind nor fire nor even millions of prescribed actions (ca karma-koṭibhiḥ) can this bondage be destroyed; by nothing except the great, sharp, beautiful sword of wisdom (vijñāna) which comes from discrimination (viveka) given by the grace (prasāda) of the Supreme .
Yogadarśana ( school of yoga)
... lets consider in the next post.
- ārṣa dharma = the dharma of the seers or ṛṣi-s ( rishi’s)
The 6 darśana-s (schools)
- prasthānatrayī - more can be found here : http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...ome-foundation
- Ādi Śaṅkara we know as Śaṅkara Bhagavatpāda
· ādi = first, beginning
· Śaṅkara = śaṃkara = causing prosperity , auspicious , beneficent. This is another name for śiva or rudra.
· Bhagavatpāda = Bhagavat+pāda bhagavat is glorious , illustrious , divine + pāda or pādāḥ is added to proper names or titles in token of respect.
With this case pāda it is then a ray or beam of light (considered as the foot of a heavenly body). Yet what is this 1st or beginning? He was the first Śaṅkarācārya, as he set up the maţha-s (some write as mutt's, math's) across India. Why so ? To preserve and perpetuate knowledge of the Supreme. There are 4 +1 maţha-s. Some think more, some stick to 4 ( north, South, East and West). The +1 that I recognize is kanchipuram - Tamil Nadu.
- Śaṅkarācārya is roughly = to ~ pontiff~ .
- compendium - a collection of concise but detailed information about a particular subject