[Advaita-l] FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri May 14 14:02:20 CDT 2010

> Since you have reiterated twice that it is NOT jnAna daurbalya but ONLY 
> jnAna pravrutti daurbalya in a jnAni, I'd like to get clarification & more 
> details about this jnAna pravrutti daurbalya!! what exactly is this jnAna 
> pravrutti daurbalya?? without jnAna being affected, can pravrutti of that 
> jnAna on its own become durbala?? how can it be possible prabhuji I am not 
> able to understand!! For example, I have an intact jnAna of the rope & 
> I've realized that there is no snake there!! and my attitude and 
> activities (pravrutti) would be according to this jnAna 'correct jnAna' of 
> the rope only...I cannot runway from the scene or bringing the stick to 

That is so for bahir-vishaya-jnAna. For AtmajnAna, there is no external
vishaya really, so the analogy goes only so far.


> hit the snake without my 'jnAna' about the rope being affected is it not 
> prabhuji?? If the jnAni has the absolute non-dual samyak jnAna his 
> pravrutti also must be according to this jnAna only..if he starts doing 
> abnormal things then it means jnAna what he had earlier is deteriorating 
> and due to this jnAna effacement he is getting some vipareeta pratyaya-s 
> in his mind and due to which his pravrutti also getting affected...But 
> shankara categorically denies any vipareeta pratyaya in a jnAni in the 
> same upanishad's subsequent maNtra...So, with my limited knowledge, it is 
> hard for me to understand ONLY jnAna pravrutti daurbalya when jnAni's 
> jnAna if perfect & intact. 

So what DO you make of the bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1.4.7 then? With 
the categorical denial of viparIta pratyaya for the samyag-jnAnI, how 
can there be any daurbalya of jnAna? And if according to you, without
daurbalya of jnAna, how can there be daurbalya of jnAna-pravRtti?


Again, it seems to me that you think Sankara is contradicting himself
or at least being very ambiguous/unclear about it all. The same author
is talking of jnAna-pravRtti-daurbalya as compared to prArabdha karma,
and then recommending tyAga-vairAgyAdi sAdhana after the rise of
samyag-jnAna, while also denying the viparIta pratyaya-s for the jnAnI.


jnAna-pravRtti happens in the same locus where Atma-vijnAna-smRti-
saMtati takes place. The bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya 1.4.7 makes it all
very clear, so long as you are prepared to let go of your preconceived
notions of what it is that Sankara is actually saying about this. If you
think about where is it that the jnAna-pravRtti takes place and the 
Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtati takes place, or for that matter, any kind
of pratyaya appears, viparIta or otherwise, then everything is clear.


After that, all unnecessary interpretations of the muNDaka reference
to brahmavid-varishTha will also vanish of their own accord. 


> after samyag-jnAna-prApti, which may be compromised by the avaSyaM
> bhAvinI-pravRtti of vAk, manas and kAya. The brahmavid-varishTha
> is he in whom this jnAna-pravRtti is balishTha.
> bhaskar :
> but have you noticed the difference between your interpretation of 
> brahmavidvarishTa and the interpretation that says varishTa is the ONE who 
> never ever come from nirvikalpa samAdhi!! As per the later definition, 
> you cannot just have the living or active brahmavid varishTa...Do you 

I am afraid you have not understood what I am saying about brahmavid-
varishTha at all. I am not doing any major interpretation of my own, but
merely quoting the interpretation that Sankara bhagavatpAda has already
given. In any case, what makes you think that long abidance in nirvikalpa
samAdhi is the same as physical death? There is no difference between
what some texts describe as never arising from samAdhi and the link that
I have drawn between muNDaka and bRhadAraNyaka bhAshya-s in this
regard. The brahmavid-varishTha who is Atma-rata and Atma-krIDa is one
for whom "asya sarvam AtmaivAbhUt. tat kena kaM paSyet? ..." Where
does any kind of vikalpa of the manas enter into the picture in this state?
In my opinion, it is perfectly good to describe it as nirvikalpa samAdhi.

Please pay attention to sUtra bhAshya passages "samAdhir upadishTo
vedAnteshu ... AtmA vA are dRashTavyaS, Srotavya ... aum ity evaM
dhyAyatha ..." (2.3.39) and "pramANa-viparyaya-vikalpa-nidrA-smRtaya
iti yoga-SAstra-prasiddhA manasaH panca-vRttayaH parigRhyante" (2.4.12).
gauDapAda describes this state as akalpakam and nigRhIta manaso nir-
vikalpasya (kArikAs 3.33-34). What indeed is your objection to post-Sankaran
authors calling the state of abidance in Atma-darSana as samAdhi, in line with
sUtra and bhAshya 2.3.39 and to further describe this samAdhi as nirvikalpa,
in line with what Sankara bhagavatpAda's paramaguru has said?

> agree with the linking of grades of jnAna nishta-s with the experience of 
> nirvikalpa samAdhi & means of return from that state prabhuji?? Kindly 
> note I am not prioritizing sUtra bhAshya over other bhAshya to come to 
> this conclusion & asking you this question!! it is what has been said in 
> the same thread...

No, you are not explicitly prioritizing sUtrabhAshya over any other bhAshya,
but you are prioritizing what you understand or have been taught of the
sUtrabhAshya over what is explicitly said in the other bhAshya-s. I am at
pains to point out that there is no need to understand Sankara bhagavatpAda
this way, because all the bhAshya-s reinforce the same vedAnta in multiple
ways and in various contexts.




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