Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Parabrahma Sutras


217. Shankara's theoretical twists never affected the true path

साधनक्रियासदेकत्वे शङ्करबोधभेद उभयोः।२१७।
sādhanakriyāsadekatve śaṅkarabodhabheda ubhayoḥ|217|

If there is no difference in the practical effort, there can be difference in the mode of preaching and this was followed by Shankara.


A soul can become God and such a chance is open to every soul. But claiming that the soul is already God is not correct. It is against logic, scripture and also experience. Even Shankara told that a lot of spiritual effort must be made to become God. In order to convince the atheists Shankara told that the soul is already God. If you say to an atheist that he will become God in future, he will not agree at the outset because if he agrees, it means that in the present moment, God is existing separately from himself.

Saying that he is already God, is a talented trap for the foolish atheist. Even though Shankara said that the soul is already God, He recommended a lot of spiritual effort to realize this truth. If it is a reality, no time or no effort is needed to realize what you are already. If I say that you are a man, does it require any time or any effort to realize that you are a man? Therefore, it is not a reality but a talented twist of the preacher to uplift the rigid and egoistic foolish disciple. Actually a lot of effort and time is needed to become God. If I say that you are already the district collector and if it is a reality, you should become aware of your designation right from that moment. Since such practical realization is not happening, because it is not the reality, the other way is that you should put a lot of effort for a long time to remove your ignorance about your designation of collector. Now the reality of this statement is that you should put a lot of effort in studying for the IAS examination for a certain period and then become the collector. The reality is that you are not really the collector right now and that you have to put a lot of effort for sometime to become the collector. This reality is presented in a twisted form without affecting the basic reality to convince a foolish fellow in the above manner. Such a twist is to say that he is already the collector and the study for the IAS examination is only an effort to remove his ignorance about his designation as collector. Both versions are the same as far as the basic practicality is concerned. When basic practicality is not affected, the theoretical twist is not wrong. This theoretical twist is given by Shankara to bring an atheist to the path. Shankara told that an atheist is already God and he has to do certain spiritual effort to remove his ignorance about his already present Godliness. For a theist, Shankara tells that he is not God already and he has to do the same spiritual effort to become God. Practically, both are one and the same, though theoretically both the cases differ.

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