[Advaita-l] A matter for Adjudication

savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 12 18:41:11 CDT 2010

> >It seems pointless to me to argue indefinitely whether
> a jnani has avidya-lesha.
> >Then there really is no meaning for jnana. I don't see
> what the jnani has to do
> >with the body or mind
> This is a side-stepping of the argument, with a declaration
> in favor of the
> other side, is it not? It is hardly a resolution of the
> problem. The point is
> that more than one post-Sankaran teacher of advaita has
> talked of avidyA-
> leSa in the context of the continued embodiment of a jnAnI.
> The jnAnI may
> have nothing to do with it, but it is unacceptable to
> simply cast all the onus
> for the continued appearance of an embodied jnAnI on the
> ignorant ones
> around him. For this raises another false duality of
> ignorant vs. enlightened,
> when the only consistent stance should be that there is no
> one ignorant and
> no one in need of liberation in reality. 

Here we go again. A member is allowed to have and state an opinion, and take sides.

This is not side-stepping the argument. Let me try to be as clear as I can in my stand. The problem is that your definition of jnAni is different than mine. A jnAni has been cut asunder from the Body-Mind-Intellect, she has no trace of avidya left, pure secondless spirit. Whatever is left (if there is any merit/demerit left) belongs to the field, not the knower. 

Is the expectation that the agency that housed the embodied spirit should annhilate when the jnAni realized his/her true nature? Either there is jivanmukti or there is no such concept. You can't have it both ways as you say - there is avidya in the jnAni, but he may have nothing to do with it. You still see him in his previous form - there can be no embodiment of the jnAni. Who has avidya before jnAna - the embodied spirit as a result of mis-apprehension, and when this embodied spirit assumes pramatrutva and strives to remove avidya by all the known means, the final transaction removes the mis-apprehension and the pramatrutva. This is the adhyaropa-apavada that Shankara talks of in chapter 13 of BG also. When pramtrutva/agentship is gone, what is left is jada, a burnt seed. 
I cannot understand this concept of false duality of enligtened vs ignorant, and no one needs liberation in reality. There is no branding of enlightened as such - he doesn't even know he is realized, or behave any differently. He is absorbed as brahman. If this were duality, did you expect that one person attaining realization should confer brahmanhood on all beings so there is no duality of realized and unrealized?

If there is no ignorance where is the question of avidya-nasha, jnAna and avidya-lesha? Lets just say we are all realized and there is nothing to be done. Why are we discussing the hair-splitting details?

The recent threads
> on the topic have
> brought out quotes from a galaxy of authorities, including
> sarvajnAtman,
> citsukha, vidyAraNya and madhusUdana sarasvatI, all of whom
> are extremely
> incisive writers and justly famous for their contributions
> to advaita vedAnta
> as a darSana. What is meant by these and other traditional
> authors when
> they use the term avidyA-leSa has also been discussed in
> ample detail in
> the recent threads.

It may be so. I don't think there is a need to read 20 different commentators/authorities to understand a concept. 

I am not an academician, and neither should all become academicians. My problem is to figure a way out of samsaara, so I am a jignaasu. Those interested in history and the academics of advaita can pursue the lines above.

> The fact also remains that there exists an argument against
> avidyA-leSa
> (which in recent times has been done vociferously) and
> almost the entire
> post-Sankaran tradition has been damned in the process. So
> to categorize
> the argument as pointless would not be acceptable to either
> side, I would
> think. Rather, it would be useful if someone can take up
> the specific quotes
> from the post-Sankaran authors over the centuries and
> demonstrate how
> they are mistaken (either on a purely logical basis or on
> grounds of having
> misunderstood Sankara). Failing which, there needs to be a
> re-evaluation
> and a possible redrawing of the parameters of this debate.

I do believe we differ here, we should agree to disagree and leave it at that. There are canons of literature which stand testimony to both sides, we as a list don't need to be bogged down by this again and again, unless you want to redefine the charter of the list. As has been mentioned by quite a few, there are no objective arbiters on this list. We have seen the consequence of these debates over the past 15 years - totally polarized with no conclusions. It is best to accept that others can state their understanding just as you do yours and co-exist. It may be better to embrace our common denominators and progress on our paths. 

> It is not a question of consensus-building or even
> vote-taking about the
> topics being discussed. It is a matter for every reader's
> judgment, to ask
> and answer for themselves, whether the post-Sankaran
> tradition has really
> misunderstood Sankara bhagavatpAda (as contended by one
> side) or
> whether the opposite is the case (as maintained
> traditionally). It is, as
> Ravisankar pointed out, a very abstruse and advanced level
> of discourse
> here, but I think a great level of explanation has already
> been done and
> anyone interested in the details of the debate can follow
> the threads of
> argument if they have sufficient patience.

A sincere reader/jignasu doesn't need to be coaxed by the electronic list to do this. I hope they are doing this already.

Thanks, this will be my last post on this thread.



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