[Advaita-l] GYAnimAtra and the sthitapraGYa (was Re: FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri May 7 13:50:15 CDT 2010

On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 8:18 PM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- On Fri, 5/7/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Dear Karthik,
> >
> > This is the portion of the JMV that categorically,
> > unambiguously states that
> > the akRtopAsti has his ignorance destroyed by the practice
> > of vedanta
> > shravaNa, etc.:
> >
> > *They even
> > > reach the stage of obliteration of vasana and the
> > > dissolution of the mind
> > > for the time being*, and in consequence, study,
> > > contemplation and
> > > assimilation (of the VEdanta) are also fully
> > accomplished
> > > by repeated
> > > application to these three;* ignorance, doubt and
> > false
> > > perception are
> > > demolished; *and real Jnana is achieved**.
> >
> > This is the portion that says that the ignorance destroyed
> > does not return:
> >
> >  In the
> > > absence of a more powerful
> > > means to counteract it and of any cause which can
> > > resuscitate the ignorance
> > > dispelled by it, *the resultatnt Jnana does not
> > > fade.*
> >
> > [pl. read the concluding verses of the Panchadashi 2nd
> > chapter with the
> > above]
> >
> > The above is the JMV proof for the akRtopAsti being a
> > mukta. The word may
> > not be there, but that is what is meant there. Freedom from
> > ignorance with
> > the gaining of JNanam is what mukti is.
> Here are the facts:
> 1. The JMV explicitly says that such an akR^ItopAsti who has attained to
> saMyak-GYAna, i.e. a GYAnimAtra, is NOT a jIvanmukta.

I have not disputed this.  This is recognized by me very clearly.  It should
not be understood that the jivanmukta ALONE is a mukta.  Take for instance
someone who attains samyagjnAna that destroys his avidya at the instant just
before death and he breaths his last immediately.  He has not become a
'jivan mukta' by practice of vasana kshaya and manonasha as detailed by the
JmV.  Does he return to samsara by taking another birth?  He will not.  A
gYanimAtra is no less a mukta than a jivan mukta.

> 2. NOWHERE does the JMV affirm the status of this person as a mukta of any
> kind.

This perception is not correct.  The very quote I have provided very clearly
states this, as I have been repeatedly asserting.  The word mukta is not
there.  That does not take away the meaning.  What else would you think is
meant by these words ?: //* ignorance, doubt and  false  perception are
demolished; *and real Jnana is achieved**.// and // In the absence of a more
powerful  means to counteract it and of any cause which can  resuscitate the
ignorance  dispelled by it, *the resultatnt Jnana does not

In Vedanta 'avidya nivRtti' is the criterion for moksha and not the length
of practice of manonasha and vasanakshaya.  These give the Jnani a greater
quantum of mukti sukha while the body lasts.  After the body perishes, none
can make any distinction whatsoever between an akRtopAsti jnani and a
jivanmukta.  This point was stated, though in different words, in the
excerpt I provided from the Sringeri Acharya's dialogues.

> 3. The JMV notes that such a person still has to make effort towards
> vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha.

So what?  The need for making effort towards vk and mn does not take away
the mukta status from a Jnani. It is optional.  None can enjoin upon a Jnani
to engage in whatever practices that directed at high order peace

> Given the above, I am reticent to say that the status of such a person a
> "mukta".
> If you have a clear-cut authoritative quote that such a person is a "mukta
> in spite of his NOT being a jIvanmukta", I would be very interested indeed!

You have quoted the case of Yajnavalkya in detail from the JmV.  Do you hold
Yajnavalkya to be a samsari who will return to samsara after this birth of
his?  Just because he has not yet taken to samnyasa for greater delving in
the Atman and perhaps for the practice of vk and mn, freeing himself from
loukika roles, would you treat his case as a non-mukta?  My understanding is
far from it.  That is not what the JmV is teaching either.  It only goes to
show that here is a Jnani who expresses anger and the like to the extent of
cursing someone to death, etc and therefore not in the Atmic bliss.  JmV
argues that such a person, when applies himself to serious vk and mn will be
able to experience great peace.  That does not mean that he is not a mukta
and will be reborn.

I have already stated a case, hypothetical though, where a person gains
aparoksha sAkShAtkAra and dies the next moment.  Vedanta would hold him a
mukta undoubtedly despite his not having been a jivanmukta.  I get the
implication from your argument that a jivanmukta alone can be a liberated
one.  In fact, in the tight definition of the JMV of a jivanmukta (who has
practiced vk and mn) it might appear that only a jivanmukta is a liberated
one.  But outside this definition, it is commonly held that 'a liberated
while alive' is an aparoksha jnani, with no explicit qualification that he
is someone with a very high degree of vk and mn.

> > And  If you
> > ask: If anything, note
> > the last line about how they are affected by prArabdha
> > karma - can this be
> > called mukti?!
> >
> > The answer is: yes.  This is mukti.  Pl. note
> > that all over the Shankara
> > bhashya (we have recently seen)  there are innumerable
> > references to the
> > mukta, jivanmukta, having prArabdha.
> I NEVER said that the jIvanmukta does not have prArabdha, but it is a fact
> that the jIvanmukta is NOT AFFECTED by prArabdha karma!

This was not disputed either.  Everyone, jnani or ajnani has prarabdha.

> Here is the difference between the jIvanmukta and the GYAnimAtra:
> JIvanmukta - NOT AFFECTED by prArabdha.
> GYAnimAtra - IS AFFECTED by prArabdha.
> Now, what does the above mean? It means that the jIvanmukta has practised
> Yoga to achieve vAsanAkShya-manonAsha to the extent that he is completely
> unperturbed by prArabdha. On the other hand, note that VidyAraNya underlines
> the fact that the GYAnimAtra is still affected by prArabdha. This is an
> important difference between the two, and a chief reason why the GYAnimAtra
> still has to make further effort towards mukti.
> An example may help explain this better. There are two people, and they
> both happen to miss their lunch one day. Perhaps this was due to a past
> Karma of theirs, and they were denied a meal. One person keeps complaining
> of his hunger, and gets angry that he has missed a meal. The second person
> remains calm, and does not get angry even though he has lost a meal. The
> reason is that the second person is a yogI, and has conquered his hunger
> In the same manner, the jIvanmukta has conquered his mind by means of
> yogAbhyAsa, but the GYAnimAtra has yet to do so. For this reason, the
> GYAnimAtra has to make effort in vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha to attain
> jIvanmukti, as per the JMV.

Let me end this post  by quoting from the JMV,  VAsanAkshaya prakaraNa,  as
quoted in the 'Yoga Enlightenment and Perfection':

// Objection: If attachment and aversion are admitted in a knower of the
Truth ('Jnani' as per the original), then, on account of the resulting merit
and demerit, there would arise the contingency of his being reborn after
death.  Reply: Such is not the case.  Likes and dislikes that are akin to
uncooked seeds (capable of sprouting) and foreshadowed by avidya (and, so,
by the erroneous identification of the Atman with the mind) are the ones
that, by virtue of their constituting the primary variety of attachment and
aversion, cause rebirth.  The attachment and the like of the Knowers of the
Truth are, however, like burnt seeds (which are incapable of sprouting) and
merely have the appearance of the primary ones. //

Now, here is a case where there is a clear admission of the possibility of
raga, dvesha, etc. appearing in a Jnani.  Is it not a case of being affected
by prArabdha?  After all, prArabdha is of the nature that comes from natural
forces, the bodily ailments, other people, animals and the like.  They touch
the body-mind of the person.  When thus touched, they arouse reactions in
the form of raga, dvesha. In the above excerpt the JMV is talking of a Jnani
in whom this reaction comes about.

What follows is another excerpt from the JMV itself, subsequent to the one
that is stated above:

// (Though they be mere appearances of the primary likes and dislikes of the
ignorant and incapable of contributing to rebirth) t*he likes and dislikes
of the Jnani would, while they last, cause trouble like the primary likes
and dislikes.* A false snake seen in the place of a rope causes, for the
time being, fear just like a real snake.  The case of the apparent likes and
dislikes (of a Jnani) is like this.

Objection: There would be no trouble at all (even temporarily) if the
falsity of the apparent likes and dislikes were kept in mind.

Answer:  May you live long! This (keeping in mind the falsity) is what we
regard as marking jivanmukti.//

Reverting to our discussion, it is not that hunger is not felt by the
(jivan)mukta.  He need not be a Yogi to not to complain and remain calm.
Even an akRtopAsti, an aprokSha jnani, if he is able to see it as an
affliction of the body and discriminates 'I am the Pure Conscousness, the
Witness, the Atman.  This hunger due to not getting food today is for the
body and not for me' he sees no reason to complain and can remain calm.  If
he complains, without bringing to the fore the discrimination, he might not
be included in the class of a jivanmukta.  For this reason he does not cease
to be a mukta and attains rebirth.  His hunger and the complaining, if
viewed by himself as 'only appearances', where is the harm?  If this person
were to put greater efforts in vk and mn and attains to a position of not
complaining and remaining calm in similar or more severe instances, he
becomes a very accomplished jivanmukta.  That does not make any difference
to his being a mukta and being free from the possibility of rebirth.   In
other words, vk and mn are the bonus points that a Jnani gets over and above
his freedom from rebirth that basic aparoksha jnanam destroying his avidya
has already granted him.  That is why the JMV makes vk and mn primary for an
aparoksha jnani who is an akRtopAsti sannyasi.  He is also a vidvatsannyasi
in the words of the JMV.  He has accomplished what is required for moksha -
aparoksha jnanam.  What he has to acquire,  not for moksha, but for
jivanmukti sukha in the form of non-afflictions from praarabdha onslaughts,
is mn and vk.  In Tamil there is one modern popular saying: 'nimmadi ungaL
choice'.  This sannyasi, if he chooses very great peace, will do well to put
in great efforts for vk and mn.  This practice and the result it gives him
is purely in the scenario of his being alive.  For, only then there is the
question of praarabdha bringing him afflictions.  Once this body ceases to
be, there is no special benefit of vk and mn for there will be no mind at
all for the Jnani, even if he is an akRtopAsti.  He is not even a jnani
then, he is Brahman.  There will be no prarabdha whatsoever.

Best regards,


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