[Advaita-l] Physical death of the Jnani and related issues

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 4 11:44:12 CST 2010


I would suggest that this entire debate can be resolved by carefully reading
the wording in the bhAshya.


Bhaskar quotes - 

> > By the way, even after realizing one moon, seeing double moon does not mean
> > it is due to remnants of avidya...shankara clearly says vidyA & avidyA
> > cannot have co-existence in a same person. ekasmin purushe ete ekadaiva
> > na saha saMbadhyEyAtAmityarthaH, yathA shuktikAyAM rajata shukti jnAne
> > ekasya purushasya.....tasmAnna vidyAyAm satyAm avidyAsaMbhavOsti...this
> > clear cut clarification from shankara is more than enough to blow away
> > your avidyA lesha theory...

I want to draw attention to the phrase "ekasmin purushe" and the sentence
"tasmAn na vidyAyAM satyAm avidya-saMbhavo'sti", in particular the word
saMbhava. This means that there is no *fresh* arising of avidyA *in one
purusha* after the rise of vidyA. The locus being talked about here is *one
purusha*, i.e. the jnAnI. Please note that this does not say anything about
the remaining effects of the past state of avidyA for that *one purusha*.


The only objection to this would be that saMbhava should be translated not
as "arising" but as "possibility", i.e. there is no possibility of any more avidyA

after the rise of vidyA. This can be easily decided as below.


Subrahmanian quotes:


> This is quite understandable. But what Shankara says in the following Sutra
> bhashya 4.1.15 is:
> उच्यते - न तावदनाश्रित्य आरब्धकार्यं कर्माशयं ज्ञानोत्पत्तिरुपपद्यते ।
> आश्रिते च तस्मिन् कुलालचक्रवत्प्रवृत्तवेगस्यान्तराले प्रतिबन्धासम्भवात् भवति
> *वेगक्षयप्रतिपालनम् *। अकर्त्रात्मबोधोऽपि हि मिथ्याज्ञानबाधनेन
> कर्माण्युच्छिनत्ति । *बाधितमपि तु मिथ्याज्ञानं* द्विचन्द्रज्ञानवत्
> *संस्कारवशात्
> कंचित्कालमनुवर्तते एव* । अपि च नैवात्र विवदितव्यं ब्रह्मविदा कंचित्कालं
> शरीरं ध्रियते न वा ध्रियत इति ।
> कथं ह्येकस्य स्वहृदयप्रत्ययं *ब्रह्मवेदनं देहधारणं *च अपरेण प्रतिक्षेप्तुं
> शक्त्यते । श्रुतिस्मृतिषु स्थितप्रज्ञलक्षणनिर्देशेनैतदेव निरुच्यते ।

For those who can't see/read/understand the Sanskrit fonts above, I reproduce
one key sentence below in a transliterated form -

bAdhitam api tu mithyAjnAnaM dvicandra-jnAna-vat saMskAra-vaSAt kaMcitkAlam
anuvartata eva. 


Again the context of discussion is *one purusha*, the one in whom jnAnotpatti,
an arising of jnAna, has occurred. Note that it is Sankara bhagavatpAda himself
who says that the previous state of mithyAjnAna, although it has already been
sublated (bAdhitam api), it still leaves an impression (samskAra), which continues
to control (vaSa) the continued appearance (anuvartanaM) of that mithyAjnAna
for some time (kaMcit kAla).


For the purposes of this discussion, I would like to  keep away from translating
mithyAjnAna in the above sentence and debating whether or not it is avidyA. I
have no wish to get into bhAmati vs. vivaraNa or bhAmati vs. bhAshya or vivaraNa
vs. bhAshya at this juncture. I will leave that to those who find that debate to be

However, granting that Sankara bhagavatpAda's brahmasUtra bhAshya is entirely
self-consistent, we can clearly see that his statement on the continued effect of
saMskAra rules out the translation of avidya-saMbhava as "possibility of avidyA"
in the other quotation from the same text.

We also have to ask ourselves - where does this saMskAra abide and what does
it control? Obviously, this residual saMskAra does not abide in the Atman. Nor can
it abide merely in the physical body devoid of a mind. There HAS to be a mind for
the jnAnI in which this residual impression of prior mithyAjnAna stays for some time. 


In other words, in my view, the bhagavatpAda has clearly indicated to us the

correct state of things in this issue.




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