[Advaita-l] Jnana and ajnana (Bhakti vs. Jnana)
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 02:20:47 CDT 2011
Even this clarification/elucidation fails to make much appeal. Why can't
there be jnana and ajnana with respect to the same object? I know 'a study
of vyAkaraNa is useful for Vedanta and that I must engage myself in its
study'. This is the 'knowledge/jnana' I have of the 'object' called
vyakarana. Yet the very need for my putting in effort for its study
presupposes my ajnana with respect to the same object: vyakarana.
So the above analogy fits all these conditions:
1. There is jnana of an object about which I have ajnana
2. That object is 'vyAkarana shAstra'
3. I know of the existence of such a shastra and its use for vedanta
4. I know that I have no knowledge of the shastra as such
5. This is my jnana about my 'ajnana'.
6. The ignorance is a condition of my mind and my awareness of it is due
to the sakshi, just like I am aware of a sukha/dukha vRtti owing to the
sakshi's revealing them
7. The knowledge that 'vyakarana is a shastra useful for vedanta' is also
sakshi vedya, being a condition of my mind.
8. Thus both the jnanam about the existence of an (unknown) shastra AND
about its ajnanam are both conditions of my mind and are revealed to me by
9. Every voluntary learning activity takes place on the above module.
10. The mere presence of jnana about the status of the vyakarana shastra
viz-a-viz vedanta does not obviate the need for acquiring the specific jnana
of that shastra.
11. It operates like this: jAnAti, icchati, karoti. First I know that
vyakarana is to be studied for vedanta - jAnAti. I appreciate this fact and
generate a desire to take up the study: icchati. I go about seeking the
right teacher, etc. and engage in the study and succeed in acquiring a fair
degree of proficiency: yatate/karoti.
12. Your statement: //In the face of this jnana of the object, there
cannot be ajnana of the same object. // is clearly falsified as shown above.
13. This statement of yours: //If there cannot be ajnana, then there can
be no rising of jnana of the object.// also stands nullified owing to the
earlier step: For, ajnana of vyakarana is well recognized by me and efforts
to acquire jnana is also put in place. So, why should there be 'no rising
of jnana of the object (vyakarana)'?
14. The situation you are talking about is first of all an
impossibility: No one can have total jnana of an object before acquiring
that jnana. Someone having a thorough knowledge of a subject will not
embark upon knowing that subject. He does not even feel the need for
'knowing' it. Everyone proceeds to acquire knowledge of anything only after
'knowing' that he is 'ignorant' of that very thing.
15. Hence, Shankaracharya's presentation of the topic in the sutra
bhashya that I quoted is the only correct one that is most intelligible. It
does not have the confusing statements and situations that are there in your
presentation. Shankara, without confusing anyone, puts the entire situation
in the most simple terms.
16. In the Chandogya upanishad 8th chapter, Narada, versed in several
faculties, *feels* that there is no fulfillment and becomes aware that he
lacks Atma jnanam and securing it alone will satisfy him. Thus he
approaches Sanatkumara and expresses: 'Master, I feel miserable. I am not
an Atmavit. Pl. make me enlightened.' He gets instructed and becomes
17. Here Narada has the jnanam of the object about which he has ajnanam.
So, jnanam and ajnanam co-exist. He succeeds in eradicating the ajnanam
pertaining to that very object: the atman. There is no situation here where
'in the face of jnana of the object about which there is ajnana there cannot
arise jnana of that object.' Narada's is a fine case study to prove the
objection you have presented does not stand scrutiny.
18. The ShAnkaran presentation: presence of sAmAnya jnana and the absence
of visheSha jnAna (ajnana) with respect to the same object and the
subsequent removal of this ajnana - cannot be bettered by anyone.
On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 6:54 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> Now the question should make more sense. As ajnana is always with respect
> an object, jnana of the object of ajnana is a pre-requisite for ajnana. In
> the face of this jnana of the object, there cannot be ajnana of the same
> object. If there cannot be ajnana, then there can be no rising of jnana of
> the object. If I know the cost of the travel to Tiruvannamalai is 100Rs.,
> then how can there arise knowledge of the cost, which is pre-existent?
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