Powers of a Jnani

Jagannath Chatterjee jagchat01 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Aug 16 02:59:10 CDT 2002

Dear Kiran,


You have already got a very good answer from
Aniruddhanji. The siddhis (powers of the jnani) are
acquired in the process of (and not after) acquiring
brahmavidya. These are a severe test put to him to
know his sincere intent. If the aspirant uses the
siddhis he falls from grace and his condition becomes
worse than an ordinary human (though he does not
realise it). One has to totally disregard these powers
(from the core of ones heart) and remain detached
despite them to progress in the path.

I think now you can ascertain the real status of the
many so called gurus that haunt this world. Beware of
a guru who displays his powers to attract devotees.

It is not that the brahmavid cannot/should not use his
powers but the intent is only best known to him
because as a brahmavid he is beyond the thought
process of an ordinary jiva.


--- Aniruddhan <ani at EE.WASHINGTON.EDU> wrote:
> Namaste Kiran,
> I am still a novice at advaita vedanta, but let me
> try to answer your
> questions. This and other subsequent posts will also
> clear my own
> understanding. I am sure the knowledgable members of
> the list will correct
> me if I am wrong. I have changed the subject line to
> a more descriptive
> heading.
> First of all, advaita makes a distinction between
> nirguna brahman, which is
> the Atman and the Ultimate and the Turya state, and
> saguna brahman, Who is
> Ishvara (Ishvara is nothing but nirguna brahman
> viewed as possessing
> qualities). It is Ishvara who controls maya, creates
> this world etc at the
> vyavaharika level. On the level of nirguna brahman,
> the paramarthika level,
> nothing but nirguna brahman (=atman) exists; no
> maya, no world, no people
> etc. On the level of saguna brahman, Ishvara, this
> world and everybody
> exists individually. Seen from the point of view of
> a jnani, the world is
> seen as if it were a dream. I think the following
> analogy would be quite
> similar to this relation:
> (turya:waking state) :: (waking state:dream state)
> >According to Advaita, the braHmavid is braHman.
> That
> >is,
> >
> >braHmavid = braHman.
> true. brahmavid = nirguna brahman
> >It is clear to me that through the destruction of
> >avidyA it is possible for a braHmavid to attain the
> >braHman to whom satya, jnana and anatatva are
> >attributed. However, it is not clear to me if the
> >braHmavid can do anything wonderful in this
> material
> >world at all. I mean, do his powers in the material
> >world remain as limited as they were before the
> >removal of the veil of avidyA? If the braHmavid was
> an
> >athlete and he could complete 100m in 10s in a
> state
> >of avidyA, can he do it in, let's say 2s when the
> >avidyA is removed?
> Once the nirguna brahman, the Ultimate, is reached,
> why would a jnani, who
> has cast off all attachments to this world and in
> fact sees it as unreal,
> want to use his powers? The jnani definitely would
> have attained all powers
> to be attained (except creation of the universe).
> >If the entire universe is the maayaa of the
> braHman,
> >it is clear that the braHmavid has the entire
> maayaa
> >in his command.
> No, he doesn't. Maya is always controlled by
> Ishvara. The jnani doesn't
> become Ishvara, he "becomes" nirguna brahman.
> >The entire universe is a game he
> >plays, and he is free to choose the laws that
> govern
> >this game. If he chooses, he can see to it that
> when
> >we wake up tomorrow, water when heated actually
> turns
> >into ice - and this, for everybody in the world we
> >know.
> The jnani might have the siddhis to turn heated
> water into ice, but why
> would he want to use them?
> >Question 1: Am I right in the above analysis? Does
> the
> >braHmavid have this sort of control over the
> material
> >world which is all his maayaa? Can he change (for
> >example) the rules of Physics (which are well
> within
> >maayaa) as we know?
> He has some control over maya through siddhis, but
> he will not use it,
> unless there's a good reason, like for the good of
> the world.
> >Question 2: If yes, where and in which scriptures
> is
> >there mention of such powers being gained by the
> >braHmavid?
> If I am not mistaken, the Brahmasutra has a section
> where the powers of a
> liberated person are described. The liberated person
> obtains all the powers
> of brahman except that of Creation (of the
> universe). (Actually, I'm not
> sure whether this applies only to a person who has
> attained brahmaloka or to
> a jivanmukta also).
> >Question 3: If not, does it mean that the
> braHmavid,
> >with his braHmavidyaa, has still to bow to maayaa?
> And
> >hence that we cannot equate the braHmavid to
> braHma?
> >And does that mean a flaw in Advaita?
> Certainly, a brahmavid feels pain etc. The only
> difference is, (s)he knows
> that all these feelings are transitory and unreal.
> When you have a dream,
> till you know it is a dream, you experience
> everything as if it were real.
> Once you realise that it is only a dream, you can
> control some parts of the
> dream etc, and you realise that all experiences in
> the dream are unreal.
> When a brahmavid bows to maya, he will do so as a
> surrender to the power of
> Ishvara at the vyavaharika level.
> Sruti smRti purANAnAm Alayam karuNAlayam
> namAmi bhagavatpAda Sam.karam lokaSam.karam
> Aniruddhan

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