gaudapaada and buddha (was Re: brahman by ...)

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Mon Dec 2 17:47:54 CST 1996

Kim Poulsen wrote:
> Egodust:
> > can't agree with your intimation about the "greatest man who walked the
> > planet," however. (presumably referring to Sakyamuni Buddha)  Jnani's
> > have no degrees.
> That "jnani's have no degrees" is no doubt a very wise policy in the light of
> the recent discussions here. Philosophically however it makes
> little sense. Surely there are degrees of knowledge and with it degrees of
> knowers.

This may shed light on much that is misconstrued about the mukthi state:  What
kind of knowledge is being referred to here?  What is there to know?  Or is
reference being made to [relative] knowledge accumulated in terms of teaching
the method toward discovering one's true nature?  Otherwise, if jnana were
something that could be "accumulated," it would be relative and therefore not
jnana.  Jnana isn't linear knowledge.

> A finite amount of knowledge means an end to evolution, and with it
> an infinite state of nihil, with rememberance the only possible thought
> activity. Horrible!

Evolution applies to relativity.  Jnana transcends such, although relativity
remains within It--as a feature superimposed on It [as a rope is required for
the appearance of the snake; not vice-versa].  Also, the "state of nihil" is
a fiction because there has to be something experiencing it, which is the
indestructible plenum of Self.

>   The real idea is that insight may permit a period of rest with respect to
> a certain cycle (a liberation with respect to this cycle), and dependant on
> the degree of realisation. In buddhist terms (they are clearer on these
> states) nishpanna is "no-other than" (corresponding to) samsaara,
> pari-nishpanna corresponds to svabhaava, etc.
>    In short, there are degrees of moksha as well as degrees as jnani's
> (that is, in ancient philosophy, - modern ideas are not really my field.)

Accounting for the literal definition of the concept of nirvana--presumably
defining the sahajanishta of a jnani, can there thus be degrees of 'the flame
[having been] blown out'?

One can envision differences in *capacities to teach* among jnanis;--yet even
this is a subjective assessment on the part of different individuals, who have
certain temperaments that may favor one over the others' methods of teaching.
How can this have anything to do with their confirmed state of a blown ego?
If we want to make semantic distinctions, such as setting up gradations in
the jiva having 'glimpses' into jnana--thereof as degrees that in fact lead
up to something called vijnana, that's fine.  But in the context of comparing
Buddha to Sankara or Krishna, etc.--it seems that these are jnanis [by this
implication] who are in the absolute and final atmanishtha, having collapsed
the samsaric string of vasanas shaped by the ahamvrittis of the mythological
jeeva.  This narrows it down.  Among these, differences can only lie on the
surface.  Intrinsically, they are not "themselves" as people would think, but
Parabrahmam.  As Sankara alludes, "the ego of knowledge is maintained for the
purpose of teaching."  Yet that ego is not.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list