[Advaita-l] The Enlightened Eminently Engage in Empirical Endeavors - Part 2

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 3 11:50:07 CST 2010

Dear Sri V Subrahmanian mahodaya

While I don't contest your conclusion about jñAnis have a body, mind and intellect (BMI), I do want to question the Sruti examples quoted by you. 

There is a convention, carried over from pUrvamImAmsA that the persons mentioned in the Sruti are not historical persons and this convention is often invoked in discussions on whether women are eligible to study vedas. One possible answer to this is that Sri Sankara himself refers to some of these jñAnis; to that the reply would be that while the Bhagavadpada indeed refers to historical persons from Kapila (in the comment "we intend no disrespect to the great sage but Truth needs to be established") to Janaka (as a jñAni and in one rare case to himself as a brahmajñAni), the brahmajñAna of jnãnis among them is established through smriti granthas and the collective memory of the AchAryaparamparA not from a literal reading of Sruti. One example would be that of Trisanku who declares 'aham vrikshasya reriva ... vaajinIva svamritamasmi' but is not usually quoted as an example of a jñAni (at least to my knowledge); at the same time that he identified
 himself with Brahman is agreed to by the AcharyapAda himself in earnestness without ridicule. So while referring to jñAnis based on the word of reverred predecessors in the paramparA is quite alright, a direct quote from Sruti as if it were a book of history is not correct, or at least not in line with the traditional thinking.



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