[Advaita-l] GYAnimAtra and the sthitapraGYa (was Re: FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views)
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 19 06:23:17 CDT 2010
If according to you Shuka had had the aparoksha sAkShAtkAra of the tattva
without the three obstacles: apratipatti, vipratipatti and samshaya, and
THEN only doubt arose to him, the following consequences are unavoidable:
1. After the first REAL jnana, he would automatically be a
'jnAnasamakAleena videha mukta' as per Vidyaranya.
2. This position, in the case of Yajnavalkya, has been decided, beyond
any doubt, by Vidyaranya, as the one without any hindrance to the videha
mukti even after the fall of the physical body. And that too, after
specifically knowing that Yajnavalkya had no chitta vishrAnti and that he
renounced family life in quest of this. And also considering his raga, the
specific cursing of Shakalya to death and the resultatnt brahmahatya sin.
The various authorities were quoted to show that Yajnavalkya was liberated
both the moment he attained Atma Jnana unaccompanied by doubt, viparyaya and
ajnana AND the yet-to-come liberation after death.
3. Now, Shuka, who also had the SAME Atma SAkShAtkAra, according to you,
as Yajnavalkya, becomes a videha mukta as shown by me above, and suddenly,
by the fault of his doubt that arose AFTER the above valid liberating Jnana,
is unqualified for the final liberation!! See how hopelessly Vidyaranya has
4. The problems of raga persisting, the demonstrated tendency to curse
someone to death and the resultant sin that are all consequences of not
having chitta vishranti are all nothing (being incapable to prevent moksha
from ensuing) in the face of doubt that arose in Shuka, also due to lack of
If this awkward situation is to be avoided, the only way is to conclude that
the Atma Jnana Shuka had in the first instance is NOT the liberating
unobstructed one. The wording of the JMV is like this:
शुकस्तु स्वयमेव आदौ तत्त्वं विदित्वा ’तत्र’ संशयानः पितरं .....तत्रापि
Shuka, after having known the Truth by himself, doubted it and approached
his father who taught the truth the same way he (Shuka) had known earlier,
and doubted even that and then went to Janaka.
>From this reading it is clear that the Truth that Shuka knew initially
ITSELF WAS NOT FREE OF THE OBSTACLE OF DOUBT. This case is definitely
different from the AkRtopAsti of the VAsanAkshya prakaraNam. This is my
conclusion. The term 'tattva vedanam' can also mean the one that is NOT
free of the three standard obstacles. And only a realization, free of
these three, is admitted to be the liberating one. Only this way we can
avoid the defect of contradiction on the part of Vidyaranya that I stated
above. This is at variance with your conclusion:
//In other words, it is not that saMshaya remains undestroyed, rather
saMshaya ARISES from the lack of chitta-vishrAnti after GYAna!//
A non-controversial assement of the Shuka case:
When the shastra teaching has been analyzed and the truth arrived at, it is
possible that some doubts are there. It could be of this nature too: Have
I really known myself to be the Brahman taught in the scripture? If such a
doubt persists, the conclusion about Brahman and the thinking that one is
Brahman, that is, in other words, the realization, is not free of the
obstacle/defect of doubt. Definitely, this doubt has arisen only 'After the
Truth has been known'. There is no non-perception, for Brahman is correctly
ascertained. There is no wrong-perception too, for one has NOT concluded
oneself to be something other than Brahman. Yet, the doubt can be there:
Am I really endowed with the knowledge of the Truth? This is the obsacle
to complete, correct, sAkShAtkAra that leads one to immediate mukti. This
is what lacked in Shuka even at the first instance of his own analysis of
the Tattva. Doubting his knowledge, he had no conviction born of true
realization. This left him with the feeling that he is not liberated. That
is why he approached his father, feeling the need for further instruction.
It is only when Janaka spoke those words the magic happened -
मुने त्वया स्फुटं ज्ञातं ज्ञेयं स्वस्य महात्मनः
[O Sage, that which is to be known about the ParamAtman has been clearly
known by you]
....muktastvaM bhrAntimutsRja [ You are liberated, give up this wrong
Note that Janaka says that Shuka 'has known clearly what has to be known; he
is mukta, yet in the delusion that he is not liberated.' This is 'doubt'
that persists despite having known that which has to be known.. Surely this
doubt could not have been there 'even as the knowledge was being
assimiliated. If that were the case, the knowledge itself would not have
been assimilated.' So, this doubt has 'arisen' only after the knowledge
process is over.
I corroborate the above from an account of this episode, told as a parable,
by HH Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha MahaswaminaH, from the chapter 'Lessons from
Shuka's life' in the book 'Edifying Parables' -
// Janaka added: 'I see that all this knowledge that I am communicating to
you is already there in you. You are fully coinversant with all that needs
to be known about liberation. Your knowledge, attainment and power are far
superior to what you imagine them to be. *In spite of directly realizing
the Truth, a person does not attain the highest if he doubts his experience
or entertains a fear that he will not become emancipated. * When such
misconceptions are dispelled, he promptly attains the Supreme. You have
already apprehended the Truth. Your mind is steady and tranquil. You are
free from disires and are truly same-sighted. I and others like me behold
you to be established in indestructible freedom.', On hearing Janaka's
words Shuka's doubts and vacillations ceased; he became a jivanmukta. //
1. Shuka knew the Truth, yet he did not believe he knew it.
2. If he had known so, he would have been a jnAnasamakAleena mukta and a
jivanmukta simultaneously, given his extraordinary pure mind.
3. Since the conviction 'I am liberated' was not in him, he is said to
4. This doubt could not have been 'even as he assimilated the Truth; it
surfaced only after.
5. This makes him a 'sapratibaddha aparokshajnani' with the doubt as the
6. This is NOT a case that you understand this chapter as talking about:
where a person has become a fully realized one And the doubt has arisen
after this realization.
7. To reiterate, that would have been the case if Shuka had at any time
held the conviction that he had become realized.
8. It is impossible for one not to know for sure that one has been
liberated, if such a liberating unobstructed knowledge had indeed been
The book narrates the Shuka episode:
// By the grace of the Lord, *right from his birth Shuka was endowed with
wisdom *and was conversant with the Vedas. However, the Vedas must
necessarily be learnt from a preceptor. Hence, after his Upanayanam, Shuka
approached Brihaspati as a student. Having quickly learnt the Vedas and the
Shastras at the feet of the Guru of the Devas, he returned to his father.
Shuka's Brahmacharyam and control of the mind and senses were impeccable and
he was dispassionate to the core. *He had direct knolwedge of the non-dual
Truth but mistakenly imagined that there was still much to be learnt and
done by him to attain the Highest. *He requested his father to teach him
about how he could attain liberation.
Vyasa instructed his son in depth. *Nonetheless, he found that his
enlightened son, who had become an adept at Yoga, continued to feel that he
was ignorant. *Hence Vyasa told him, 'Go to Janaka. He shall make known
everything about MOksha to you. ' As Shuka readied himself to leave for
Mithila, Vyasa said, 'Do not use your Yogic powers and transport yourself
there by air. Walk and approach Janaka with humility.'.//
[End of the narrative from that Book]
Having entertained a question on this, I posed it to the authority who had
compiled the book: Regarding the highlighted portions, I asked: It is said
that Shuka already had aparoksha jnanam. Yet what did he get anew from
Janaka? Did he get aparoksha jnanam again?
I was told that Shuka, despite having the right knowledge, did not know that
he had it. It is this that obstructed his realizing that he was already
liberated. He needed this element to be dispelled and that came about
through Janaka's words.
It is exceedingly crucial that the aspirant is endowed with the conviction
that he is liberated. This was not there in Shuka *until *he met Janaka.
Thus, his case is not the one where he had had the truly liberating
knowledge and only later the doubt arose. His knowledge remained
unconsummated, as it were, till the obstruction was gone.
Maybe I have repeated certain things over and over again. Having said this,
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:00 PM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- On Mon, 5/17/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> > So, what has been
> > stated in the
> > 'svarUpasiddhiprayojanaprakaraNam.h" is a different
> > case where doubt, a
> > manifestation of avidya/ajnana has NOT been destroyed as
> > yet.
> Not so! Let us read the JMV verse again (pages 279-280):
> tasmAdvidite.api tattve vishrAntirahitasya shukarAghavayoriva
> saMshaya utpadyate . sa chAGYAnamiva mokShasya pratibandhakaH .
> "Therefore, doubt arises in him who is without tranquility
> even though he has known the truth like rAghava and shuka.
> And doubt (saMshaya) is an obstacle to Liberation (mokSha)
> like ignorance (aGYAna)."
> The word used by VidyAraNya to qualify saMshaya (doubt) and viparayaya
> (error) is "utpadyate" (from "utpatti"), meaning "created". VidyAraNya is
> saying here that saMshaya and viparyaya ARISE OR ARE CREATED due to lack of
> chitta-vishrAnti (peace of mind), and then functions as an obstacle to
> Liberation! In other words, it is not that saMshaya remains undestroyed,
> rather saMshaya ARISES from chitta-vishrAnti after GYAna!
> There can also be no doubt (no pun intended!) that the "GYAna" meant here
> is Atma-GYAna and nothing else. Is there any sense in saying that
> shAstra-GYAna is to be "protected" by jIvanmukti, especially as it is the
> conclusive teaching of all advaitins that jIvanmukti completely sublates ALL
> GYAna other than Atma-GYAna?! The claim that "jIvanmukti is for
> shAstra-GYAna-rakSha" is utterly meaningless, and Sankara would agree in the
> BSB 4.1.4 (quoting BU 4.3.22). Besides, there are innumerable occasions
> where the term "tattvaGYAna" (used in the JMV verse above) is used in the
> sense of "Atma-GYAna" by VidyAraNya (I don't want to quote the verses here
> again, as I have done so several times in the past already).
> Clearly, only one reading is possible - even after achieving AtmaGYAna, if
> one lacks peace of mind, doubts may ARISE, causing a hindrance to mokSha in
> a like manner as ignorance (aGYAna).
> I will take up the case of the akR^itopAsti mentioned in the JMV in a
> separate post.
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