Jivanmuktiviveka of Swami Vidyaranya

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Wed Oct 27 19:30:30 CDT 1999

Charles Wikner <WIKNER at NAC.AC.ZA> wrote:

> >     That man is called a (true) tridaNDin in whose
> > mind
> >     these three, the control over his speech
> > (vAgdaNDa),
> >     the control over his thoughts (manodaNDa), and
> > the
> >     control over his body (kAyadaNDa), are firmly
> > fixed.
> >
> >                            Manu 12:10, tr. Georg
> > Buhler.
> >
> > The tapas relating to these three is discussed in
> > gItA 17:14-16,
> > and the virAga view of these is given in 18:14-15.
> > Such vairAgya
> > is indeed "sharp".


Swami Vidyaranya's point is somewhat different. A person may have
control of body, mind and also speech. But, he may not have the most
important qualification to become an ekadaNDin, namely
nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka (discrimination between the eternal and
non-eternal). An ekadaNDin renounces all karma and becomes a
parivrajaka because he has the "complete vairAgya". Only such a person
has the right to give up karma.  Note that a tridaNDin does not give
up karma and continues to wear the sacred thread. So, as Swami
Vidyaranya says, a tridaNDin is much better than the run-of-the-mill
person, but is inferior to an ekadaNDin who has "all" qualifications.

This is explained in detail by the jAbAla upanishhad. It describes the
parivrAjaka as "ayaGYopavIti", (verse 5) and also with a shaven head
and wearing ochre robes. The next verse also says that the
paramahamsa-parivrAjakas renounce tridaNDa, kamaNDalu, shikha and
sacred thread! The jAbAla is very clear that the day one gets "true"
vairAgya, one must become a wandering ascetic, renouncing sacred
thread and karmas. An exception is made for sick people, who may
renounce only by mind and speech. The jAbAla upanishhad is quoted by
sha.nkara and also sureshvara.


1. Note that the ayaGYopavIti qualification in the jAbAla rules out

2. Neither the jAbAla upanishhad nor sha.nkara nor the current advaita
masters have any sympathy for people who go around claiming that they
have "mentally renounced" while living in comfort. Genereally, but not
always, such people turn out to be cheats.

3. Sha.nkara makes it clear in his sUtra-bhAshhya that it is possible
that people who have not become parivrAjaka-s can become GYAnis. The
question here is not what is *possible*, but what is *probable*. To
give a worldy example, a person sitting in the hot sun could do two
things. He may move to the shade or make a great effort and master
mantras which enable him to bear the heat. It is plain common sense to
just move to the shade and not waste any more time. In fact, most
people who opt for the mantra route would probably die of heat stroke
before gaining the mantra siddhi.  Similarly, a person with true
vairAgya, who has realized the "heat" of karma can at once move to the
"shade" by becoming an ekadaNDin. However, unlike moving to the shade
of a tree, becoming an ekadaNDin requires great qualifications. And
that qualification need not necessarily be possessed by a tridANDin.

4. There may be some fakes (perhaps even many) who become ekadaNDins.
This is not a fault of the institution of ekadaNDa, but the people
themselves, who have not realized the necessary qualifications.
Sureshvara mentions this fact in the bR^ihad-vArtika.

5. The argument between ekadaNDins and tridaNDins is very old, it
started between the advaita and the bhedAbheda school. After the
bhedAbheda school we have the vishishhTAdvaitins who are tridaNDins.
So to answer Jaldhar, tridaNDins are/were not necessarily vaishhNavas.
The bhedAbheda school was not vaishhNava by any stretch of
imagination. In fact the key person in the bhedAbheda school,
bhartrprapa.nca, seems to have been shaivite.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

Archives : http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l.html
Help     : Email to listmaster at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Options  : To leave the list send a mail to
           listserv at lists.advaita-vedanta.org with
           SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list