avidya (was Re: message to my friends)

Charles Wikner WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Tue Aug 18 04:09:30 CDT 1998

On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> 5. The knowledge gained by the intellect through study of Vedas is
> knowledge still within the realm of avidyA and hence will not lead
> to moksha.

Do not confuse the finger pointing at the moon with the moon itself.

> If this were accepted, it leads to the rather unacceptable conclusion
> that the role of viveka is minimal.

Discriminating between the Light and what It illuminates -- activity
(rajas) and objects (tamas) -- is crucial.

> Vedanta students, fully equipped with shhaTsampatti and diligently
> following sAdhana chatushhTayam, pursue vidyA (does not waste time
> with avidyA) and out of those vedanta students, the SELF chooses a
> few to reveal Itself and those few students realize the SELF.

The Light reveals Itself to Itself as Itself, not to the student (or
any "other" which is the illuminated).

> The vedanta students are put on this path through their viveka and
> thus viveka plays a major role in the Self-realization.

Quite so.  Now practice discriminating between the Light and that which
is illuminated/activated (the body/mind).

The path starts with avoiding habitual actions, then avoiding forbidden
actions and only performing allowed/enjoined actions, and so on; at
each step it reduces the attachment/valuation to activity/objects and
brings the mind to some sort of rest and detachment (i.e. increases sattva).
When there is sufficient sattva, one can start to discriminate between the
Seer and the seen, and simply observe the play of the guNa-s, the senses
playing among the sense-objects.  Finally, there is just Knowledge, both
latent and patent.

> There is some link (that is not and cannot be understood by the
> intellect) between the vyavahArika and paramArthika.

That link is the problem: it is called avidyA.  Concentrate rather
on the Light that is common to both.

> Thus we can learn something from the study of source of avidyA in
> our quest for realization of the SELF.

Learn??  You do not need to acquire anything: just get rid of the
acquisitions that you already have!  Moksha is freedom from the
limitations that we impose on the Self by identifying with actions
and objects (nAma and rUpa).

> Now, the answer to the question: To whom does the avidyA belong ?

To whoever claims it.

> It is quite revealing that Shri Shankara says that an embodiment of
> jnAnam does not see avidyA *anywhere*, not only in that physical
> shape of jnAnam, but nowhere else either.

Because it is not there.  There is Knowledge, and Its manifestation.
pUrNamadaH pUrNamidaM ... Nothing else, no limitation, no identification.

> That must be an amazing state.

It is the natural state, pure perfect and complete, with no "other"
to cause fear agitation desire and so on.  That's what you are when
you finally give up all attachments to the limitations.

So I understand occasionally.  :-)

Regards, Charles.

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