Jivanmukti in advaita - post 2

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Mar 13 07:15:23 CST 2000

Just before the discussion on individual differences among the
liberated, there is an explanation of  " little nescience "or " avidya
lesha " which is mentioned in Chitsuka, which may continue during the
jivammukti state.

This is not a left-over or a hang-over ; It is a distinct form of
nescience.  Avidya or nescience has three forms : the first one makes
for the belief that the world is real, the second one conjures up the
conditions that encourage involvement in such a world and the third
(little nescience) determines the objective forms that are presented to
the knowing mind. The first two are removed by the liberating wisdom,
whereas the third survives this wisdom. It determines the kind of body
that he will have and the character of the world that he has to deal
with. It is suspended and inoperative only during the state of
absorption that the jivanmukta may engage himself in. But it is
completely eradicated only when he dies, and this is referred to as
"utter isolation" or "kaivalya".

Appaya dikshita raises the discussion of this little nescience, due to
the continuation of which the liberation must be regarded as jivanmukti.
Of the two powers of nescience , aavarana (veiling the reality) and
vikshepa (projecting the phenpmenal world), the saint who is liberated
while still alive would have eliminated the former but not the latter,
for the latter is inherently involved in the body-mind complex and can
not disappear until death..........................This little nescience
may be regarded as a continuing sub-liminal (vaasanaa vishesha )
impression which is responsible for the survival of the body-mind
complex. This view ..................gives the analogy of a burnt cloth
: the shape of the cloth is retained until the breeze scatters it, but
the substance is already gone. The troublesome nescience has been
dispelled by the wisdom, and it is rendered altogether inactive ; but
its dead form lingers for a while in the shape of the saint's body-mind

Madhusudana, who is impressed by the burnt cloth analogy, interprets
'little' or 'lesha' as the mere form "aakaara", as a subtle state of
nescience which facilitates the appropriation of the body. He compares
it with the 'apurva' of the Mimaamsakas.......with the shiver that
persists even after one knows that a rope has been mistaken for the
snake ; with the potter's wheel continuing to revolve even after the
central shaft has been removed. He argues that it is possible for the
effect to persist even after the cause has been eliminated.

(to be contd. )

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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