The supreme goal

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Tue Oct 28 07:25:08 CST 1997

On Mon, 27 Oct 1997, Allan Curry wrote:

> Namaskar
> Gummuluru writes:
> >I think Shri Nanda Kumar raised a very pertinent question. However, I
> >wonder if anyone knows how to attain jnanihood. As far as I know, there
> >are only the divine grace and purification of the mind (which is also a
> >result of divine grace) are the two prerequisites. Beyond that, there is
> >nothing, absolutely nothing which anyone can do to attain jnanihood. Until
> >then, we have to keep on asking and answering these questions. There is no
> >other way.
> >
> >Also, I think that asking and answering these questions is part of the
> >purification process of the mind.
> >
>     Yes, I too wonder if anyone on this list in particular
>     "knows how to attain jnanihood". There are a handful of
>     people among us who seem to imply they are jnanis and
>     they might then be able to tell us how to attain
>     jnanihood, but I doubt whether anyone on this list is
>     a perfectly realized being.
>     If any list member is a jnani (a perfectly enlightened
>     being) then please take pity on us and simply say so.
>     If you are not a *perfectly* enlightened being then
>     please admit this by by your silence. If there *were*
>     any "pretenders to the throne" out there they might
>     just gracefully pretend to have not even read this  :-)
> regards,
> - Allan Curry
> P.S.
>      Of course asking questions and answering them to the
>     best of our ability is a good thing and part of the
>     "purification process" which I whole heartedly support.
>     Claiming (falsely) to be enlightened is going the other
>     direction for both the claimant and anyone who listens
>     to him, IMO.


The particular "challenge" posed by Allan Curry brings the early
statements of the Br^hadAraNyaka upanishhad to mind. King Janaka
in his court asks the assembled scholars and r^shis "If any of you
think that you have the perfect knowledge of the Self, you can claim
the prize [1000 cows with gold rings attached to each cow]". YAjnavalkya,
the famous r^shhi of the upanishhads asks one of his disciples to drive
the cows home implying that he (YAjnavalkya) has the perfect knowledge
of the Self. The discussions and the challenges that ensued, led by the
famous lady scholar GArgi forms the text of this major upanishhad.

I do not think there are any modern YAjnavalkyas. I would interpret
Allan's question, not as a challenge to the List members, but in this way:
We are all jnanis, except we are covered by different thicknesses of
layers of avidya. As each layer of avidya gets removed (by sAdhana through
divine grace), our Self shines through. I would take Allan's question as
who thinks that his/her layer of avidya cover is thin enough that the Self
shines through. If the individual has a thought that binds the thought to
that shape, then there is still avidya. Thus, no one can claim that I,
presently bound by this body am the enlightened one [I bow before
YAjnavalkya who made such a claim without attributing that claim to that
particular shape of his in contrast to the other assembled scholars].

Gummuluru Murthy
Yadaa sarve pramucyante kaamaa ye'sya hr^di shritaah
atha martyo'mr^to bhavatyatra brahma samashnute   Katha Upanishhad II.3.14

When all the desires that dwell in the heart fall away, then the mortal
becomes immortal, and attains Brahman even here.

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