[Advaita-l] SAstra vAsana

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jun 19 22:15:07 CDT 2003

In all the excitement of recent days this question got overlooked.

On Mon, 9 Jun 2003, Prasad Balasubramanian wrote:

> namasthe,
>   I've a question on Sastra vAsana - the attachment to studying
> scriptures.
> In jIvan mukthi vivEka, Acharya

Just in case anyone doesn't know, Jivanamuktiviveka is a composition of
Swami Vidyaranya not Shankaracharya.

> says that
> it is not possible to study all the Sastras
> and the more we learn, it becomes only a burden.
> He gives examples of Rishi durvAsA and others who want to
> gain knowledge in more and more
> fields but are made to know that this gaining
> of knowledge in various domains only becomes a burden
> and will not help in realizing the brahman.
> Acharya says that one who aims at realizing brahman
> should remove this SAstra vAsanA completely.

If one thinks that by accumulating facts, one will know more about Brahman
then it is futile because Brahman is not something that can be measured
with a ruler or viewed through a microscope or something.  But shastras do
have a useful negative effect. By understanding maya, one can neutralize
and defeat it.  Then the eternally existent knowledge of Brahman is

> But simulataneously, many Acharyas preach
> that learning should be continuous and
> should go on until the last moment as
> any kind of knowledge gained will not go
> unused. They as well preach that if the
> knowledge gained in this janma goes unused,
> it will certainly be useful in the forth
> coming janmas.

But if one gets mukti there are no future janmas! So this advice must be
for a different class of people than the mumukshu.

>  Both these seem to be contradictory. When
> and how does one come to the conclusion that
> one is done with his studying the SAstras.
> Though one is in the path of realizing brahman,
> how long should he be studying SAstras and when
> does he put an end to it ?

How did you know to stop crawling and start walking?  Probably one day you
just did it. And now it is perfectly possible to get on your hands and
knees but if I hadn't brought it up, it would never have occurred to you.
As long has one has doubts one has to do whatever it takes to remove them.
But for a jnani there are no more doubts.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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