[Advaita-l] BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti in the jIvanmuktiviveka of svAmi vidyaraNya

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 25 20:09:00 CDT 2003

On 3rd March 2000, Ramana R. posted a message to the list raising a
doubt regarding BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti, quoting from the
jivanmuktiviveka (JMV) of svAmi VidyAraNya (SV) and giving the example
of YAGYavalkya as a BrahmaGYAnI but not a jIvanmukta. I had also quoted
the Apastamba dharma suutra, which distinguishes the GYAnI
from the mukta.

I then read the JMV to verify that the gentleman was indeed correct: a
BrahmaGYAnI need not necessarily be a jIvanmukta. I'll only quote the
essential JMV passages that distinguish the two, giving one reason for
this distinction, as a complete discussion will take too much time. The
book I'm using is "Jivan Mukti Viveka" translated by Swami
Moksadananda. Since the JMV is a prose text, I'm not sure how to
provide the exact reference, and will only give the name of the chapter
and the page numbers in this translation. 

Note: jIvanmukta and sthitapraGYa are synonymous terms.

dvitIyaM vAsanAxaya prakaraNam.h
Second Chapter: On the effacement of Latent Impressions

(pages 151-154)

asti hi YAGYavalkyasya tatprativAdinAM ushhasta-kaholAdInAM cha
bhUyAnvidyAmadaH, taiH sarvairapi vijigIshhukathAyAM pravR^ittAt.h .
"Even YAGYavalkya and his opponents Ushhasta, Kahola and others, all
had vast pride of learning inasmuch as all of them entered into
disputation desiring victory."

nanu teshhAM vidyAntaramevAsti na tu brahmavidyeti chet.h .
"(Objection:) They has other learnings only, but not knowledge of

na, kathAgatayoH prashnottarayoH brahmavishhayatvAt.h .
"(Reply:) It cannot be said so, since in that debate, all questions and
answers thereto are found to be concerning Brahman."

nanu brahmavishhayatve.api teshhAMApAtato GYAnameva na tu saMyagvedanaM
iti chet.h .
"(Objection:) Although Brahman was the object of discussion, they had
only imperfect knowledge, not perfect knowledge."

na, tathA satyasmAkamapi tadIyavAkyaiH utpannAyA brahmavidyayA
asaMyaktvaprasangAt.h .
"(Reply:) It cannot be said so, because, in that case, our knowledge of
Brahman arising out of their statements shall also become imperfect

nanu saMyaktve.api paroxaGYAnameveti chet.h .
"(Objection:) Although it is perfect, yet it is mediate knowledge

na 'yatsAxAt aparoxAdbrahma' (BR^i . up . 3.4.1) iti mukhya
aparoxavishhayatayaiva visheshhitaH prashnopalambhAt.h .
"(Reply:) To this we say no, as the questions put were especially
concerned with the directness and immediateness of the knowledge of
Brahman: 'That Brahman which is direct and immediate' (B.U. 3.4.1)

(after a few lines)

nanu vijigIshhorAtmabodha eva nAsti,
'rAgo lingamabodhasya chittavyAyAmabhUmishhu .
 kutaH shAdvAlatA tasya yasyAgniH koTare taroH ..'
 (naishhkarmya siddhau 4.67)
"(Objection:) Moreover, there is not even self-knowledge in him who is
desirous of defeating others, since the AchArya (sureshvara) has agreed
to this thus: 'Attachment to the grounds on which the mind exercises
(sound etc.) indicates absence of knowledge. How can a tree remain
verdant which has fire in its hollow?' 
(naishhkarmya siddhi 4.67)

'ragAdayaH santu kAmaM na tadbhAvo.aparAdhyati .'
 - (BR^ihadaaraNyakopanishhadbhAshhyavArttike 1.4.1539)
'utkhAtadaMshhTaroragavadavidyA kiM karishhati .'
 - (tatraiva 1.4.1746)
ityatra taireva rAgAdyabhyupagamAt.h . na chAtra parasparavyAhatiH,
sthitapraGYe GYAnimAtre cha vachanadvayasya vyavasthApanopayuktatvAt.h
"(Reply:) It is not so, because the AchArya (sureshvara) himself
approves of such things in BR^ihadaaraNyakopanishhad bhAshhyavArttika
1.4.1539.2 and 1.4.1746.1 thus: 'Let the attachment and the rest remain
freely, their presence alone cannot offend. What (harm) can the
ignorance - avidyA - do like the serpent whose fangs have been
And there is no contradiction between these two positions inasmuch as
they can be so arranged as to fit in with a sthitapraGYa and a simple
Knower (GYAnI)."

nanu GYAnino rAgAdyabhyupagame dharmAdharmadvAreNa janmAntaraprasanga
iti chet.h .
"(Objection:) Now, if attachment and such things are permitted for a
plain Knower (GYAnI), then they will surely bring about virtue and vice
and they in turn will lead to rebirth."

maivaM, adagdhabIjavadavidyApUrvakakAmAdereva mukhyarAgAditvena
punarjanmahetutvAt.h . GYAninastu dagdhabIjavadAbhAsamAtrA eva
rAgAdayaH .
"(Reply:) It is not so. Desire etc. generated by ignorance are the real
attachment etc. and are, like unbaked seeds, the cause of birth. As for
the Knowers (GYAnIs), like baked seeds, the attachment etc. are just
appearances (i.e. cannot cause rebirth)."

(after a couple of lines)

tarhiM sthitapraGYasyApi te santviti chet.h .
"(Objection:) Then let the sthitapraGYa also have them (attachment

na, tatkAle mukhyavadevAbhasamAnAnAM bAdhakatvAt, rajjusarpo.api
mukhyasarpavadeva tadAnIM bhIshhayannupalabhyate, tadvat.h .
"Not so, because at that time they, even the apparent attachment etc.,
cause hindrance to the state of sthitapraGYa just like the real ones.
Even the rope-snake at the time of its perception causes fear just as
the real snake. Like that."

tarhyAbhAsatvAnusaMdhAnAnuvR^ittau na ko.api bAdha iti chet.h .
"(Objection:) In that case they, the attachment etc., cannot cause any
hindrance if they are remembered as mere appearances."

chiraM jIvatu bhavAn.h . iyaM eva asmadabhimatA jIvanmuktiH .
"(Reply: Then) we say - may you live long. (Since) this is the
jIvanmukti we approve of."

There's a lot more the JMV has to say on the distinction of 
BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti, but this has taken me a long time already,
so perhaps Jaldhar will post the rest to the list soon. 


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