Gita Rahasya -Tilak 14

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


The first, that is the most ancient of these cults is that of Sri Samkaracarya, and from the point of view of philosophy, that cult has become the one most accepted in India. The first Samkaracarya was born in the year 710 of the Salivahana era [1] and in the 32nd year of his age, he entered the caves [2] i. e. 788-820 A.D.[3] The Acarya was a superman and a great sage and he had by his brilliant intellec- tual power refuted the Jain and the Buddhistic doctrines which had then gained ground on all sides and established his own Non-Dualistic (advaita) doctrine; and, as is well-known, he established four monasteries (matha) in the four directions of India for the protection of the Vedic religion contained in the Srutis and Smrtis and for the second time in the Kali-Yuga gave currency to the Vedic renunciatory doctrine or cult of Asceticism (samnyasa ). Whatever religious doctrine is taken, it naturally falls into two divisions ; one is the philosophical aspect of it and the other, the actual mode of life prescribed by it. In the first part, the meaning of Release (moksa) is usually explained in a scientific and logical way after explaining what conclusions must be drawn as to the nature of the Paramesvara after a proper consideration of the material body pinda) in its relation of the Cosmos (brahmanda) ; in the other part, there is an explanation of how a man has to lead his life in this world, so that such mode of life should become a means for obtaining that Release (moksa).

According to the first of these, that is to say, according to the philosophical aspects of the doctrine, Samkaracarya says that (1) the multiplicity of the various objects in the world, such as, " I ", " You ", or all the other things which are visible to the eye, is not a true multiplicity, hut that there is in all of them a single, pure, and eternal Highest Self ( Parabrahman ), and various human organs experience a sense of multiplicity as a result of the Illusion (maya) of that Parabrahman ; (2) the Self (Atman) of a man is also fundamentally of the same nature as the Parabrahman- and (3) that it is not possible for any one to obtain Release (moksa) except after the complete Realisation (jnana) or personal experience of this identity of the Atman and the Parabrahman.

This is known as Non-Dualism ( advaita-vada ), because, the sum and substance of this doctrine is, that there is no other independent and real substance except one pure self-enlightened, eternal, and Released Parabrahman ; that the multiplicity which is visible to the eyes is an optical illusion or an imaginary experience resulting from the effect of Illusion (maya) ; and that Maya is not some distinct, real, or indepen- dent substance, but is unreal (mithya) ; and, when one has to consider only the philosophical aspect of the doctrine, it is not necessary to go deeper into this opinion of Sri Samkaracarya. But that does not end there.


References And Context

  1. (788 A. D.)
  2. (Saka. 710 to 742.)
  3. In my opinion, the date of the first Samkaracarya' mnst be pushed back by at least 100 years, and I have given my reasons for doing so in the Appendix.