Jivanmuktiviveka of Swami Vidyaranya

Charles Wikner WIKNER at NAC.AC.ZA
Fri Oct 29 02:41:18 CDT 1999

On Wed, 27 Oct Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian <ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:

> Swami Vidyaranya's point is somewhat different.

The difference is still not clear to me, despite your very
informative post -- for which I thank you.

Manu's definition of tridaNDin was offered as a possible
non-sectarian explanation for Vidyaranya's use of the word.
Whereas your point:

> 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.

does not explain the use of the word in the text (to me at least).

> 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).

In terms of the text, does that mean that (parama)haMsa-s are

> 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.

I follow the logic of that, for such complete vairAgya arises
only from direct Self-knowledge (YogasUtra 1.16).  But another
question arises here: what fills the "gap" between the life of
the gRhastha and that of the ekadaNDin?  The gRhastha is under
pressure from family/employer/customer to produce _results_,
which militates against vairAgya.  Practising the threefold tapas
(gItA 17:14-16) as best he can leads to unselfishness, but there
is still far too much rajas in his life to lead to "complete
vairAgya".  For that a more contemplative life is required:

> 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.

Is the tridaNDin here the same as vAnaprastha?  Is Vidyaranya
using the term saMnyAsa loosely to include vAnaprastha, whereas
you would restrict it to the ekadaNDin?

I am obviously not familiar with the tradition, so I would
appreciate being corrected.  (In fact, I have a particular
interest in vAnaprasta, with my worldly responsibilities
coming to an end in a few years.)

> 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.

I would be more generous and say self-deluded: the "feel good"
high (pleasure) of "doing" good is taken for Ananda, and the
byproducts of fame and wealth reinforce the feeling.

This paragraph seems to express the central concern of your post.
Much dust was raised on this topic a few years ago, and led to
some members leaving the list; but, for all the smoke, some light
did get through (where there's smoke...).  My apologies to all if
my post appeared to be raising that ghost again: it was certainly
not my intention to do so -- hopefully it is laid to rest again.

Regards, Charles.

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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