[Advaita-l] jnAna-nishtha and jnAni (Was Re:A matter for Adjudication)

savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 14 22:10:11 CDT 2010

> You admit only the avasAna, while everybody else, beginning
> with the sUtrakAra
> and the bhAshyakAra, down to us so-called sampradAyavAdIs
> on the internet,
> admit also the process leading to that avasAna. For us,
> that process includes
> a stage of jnAnotpatti, where there is a rise of
> samyag-jnAna, followed by a
> stage of jnAna-paripAka, aided by the strength of
> tyAga-vairAgyAdi sAdhana
> (as per bRhad bhAshya 1.4.7) prior to the "phala" of
> anubhavAvasAna of jnAna
> (as per brahmasUtra bhAshya). If you would like to say that
> those on these
> intermediate stages are called jnAnI-s only as an upacAra,
> and are not really
> jnAnI-s by your definition, and that they cannot ever be
> called jIvanmukta-s,
> so be it. However, do note that you clearly part company
> with Sankara
> bhagavatpAda there and have the courage of your convictions
> to accept that.
> If you do not really wish to part company thus, do revisit
> your definition of a
> jnAnI and do rethink the logic behind it. Or else, show me
> a single quote from
> the bhagavatpAda where he says that the rise of
> samyag-jnAna is an either/or
> event and that there are no stages whatsoever after its
> rise OR that anybody
> at an intermediate stages after the rise of samyag-jnAna is
> called a jnAnI only
> as an upacAra and I will revisit my thinking. If I am
> convinced, I will also go one
> further and exhort all other so-called sampradAyavAdins on
> this list to revisit
> their thinking too.

One more attempt before I rest my case.

There is no process for jnAnotpatti, there is process for sAdhana cAthusthaya sampatti, and seeking eligibility for jnAna - this is purusha-tantra as you know. The rest is vastu-tantra. There are no stages of jnAna, or stages beyond the rise of samyag-jnAna (quotes below as requested). 
"Process" is a misnomer for realization - we are already knowledge/bliss all the time; process implies a sequence which implies time, and time is an offspring of avidya, it cannot be required for jnAna. So, it is a rather silly question to ask "when does realization happen?" This is why sruti says moksha is here and now, not after the fall of the body, or someother event. If you believe in a "process", how can you say vedanta vAkya is the absolute pramANa for jnAna, you still need kAla to rescue you. Also, how would you reconcile "moksha here and now"?
If you say that the body should drop away with jnAna, that would seem ghastly, as though jnAna were a terrible disease. The physical body continues to its destiny following the causal and physical laws thru' which it came, while the jnAni is completely free from its sting. BTW, this prarabdha is not anything to do with avidya of any sort - avidya of what and to who?
All your intermediate stages are really no stages at all - all that period of striving is only jnAna-nishthe, effort to take our stand in the absolute by meditation, nidhidhyAsana, rejecting the extroverted mind,etc., etc, again purusha-tantra to prepare for jnAna.

Here are a couple of quotes from Shankara to support these claims (translations are mine based on Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji's Kannada writings) -

yathA loke drashTushckshusha alokena saMyogo yatkAlastatkAla eva rUpAbhivyaktiH | evamAtmavishayaM vijnAnaM yatkAlaM, tatkAla eva tadvishayAjnAnatirobhAvaH syAt.h Br Bh 1-4-10

Just as when light touches the eyes of a man the form is discerned right away, similarly when knowledge of brahman/atman is attained, the ignorance/avidya of atman/brahman is lost right away. 
Attainment of jnAna is simulteneous with the release from ignorance. 

na cAjnAnavyatirekeNa mokshasya vyavadhAnAntaraM kalpayituM shakyam. nityatvAnmokshasya, sAdhakasvarUpAvyarirekAshca Br Bh 3-3-1

Other than ignorance there is no other possible obstruction to moksha, because moksha is our eternal state not different from the sAdhaka's being. 
This clearly says that once ignorance is destroyed by jnAna, there is no other obstruction (kAla, deSa, lesha) to moksha.

anubhavAvasAnam ca brahmavijnAnamavidyAyA nivartakam mokshasAdhanaM ca dR^ishtaphalatayeshyate Su.Bh 2.1.4

brahmavidya destroys avidya by terminating in brahman-experience; resulting in moksha and its results can be experienced right away. 
This tells us that the destruction of avidya by the veda pramANa results in moksha by experience right away, not in due course or in someother place.

By these quotes (and many others), I say you clearly part company with Shankara.  

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that what you
> really want this list
> to do is to disallow all discussion of these topics. Is it
> for mere fear of getting
> into a polarized and inconclusive discussion? It was never
> the intention of this
> list to have anyone as an arbiter on such discussions,
> objective or otherwise,
> and the charter of this list is simply to discuss the
> tradition of advaita vedAnta.
> Like it or not, topics like this will keep reappearing, if
> for no other reason than
> that we keep adding new members to the list all the time.
> Most current members
> on the list have not been here from the beginning of the
> list and I'm sure you are
> well aware of that. The most that we moderators do is to
> simply close a thread
> when it gets to be too polarized; we don't actively decide
> what gets posted to
> the list and we don't decide in favor of one or the other
> paksha, *as moderators*.
> We may take sides with one or the other paksha, *as
> members* of the list. On a
> purely statistical basis, I seem to express myself more
> frequently as a member of
> the list than the other two moderators. However, as I said
> right at the outset of
> this post, all of us have made it very clear where our
> member role ends and where
> the moderator role begins. I believe we have managed quite
> decently for the last
> 15 years.

No, not to ban these discussions, but time and experience indicates there is no use. The only use is that I get clearer as I write my thoughts down, and I have to thank you for that. Each party takes the same quotes and interprets it to their advantage. I find that using quotes on this list has done more harm than help to those new to advaita, they are quoted out of context, with subtle twists to make them work for the situation, etc. The latest misadventure was equating Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji's baaditha anuvritti to avidya-lesha in a jnAni. As has been explained above, Shankara and Swamiji clearly affirm there can be no avidya after samyag-jnAna for a jnAni.



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