SSS on "Effort after GYAna" (was Re: [Advaita-l] Re: Pa~nchapAdikAchArya)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at
Mon Oct 30 19:19:20 CST 2006

I will answer all of your questions if you can answer the following
question for me:

"If all that exists is Brahman, where is the "room" for such as a
thing as avidyA?"

In case you think I'm "objectifying avidyA", how about answering the
equivalently posed question from a "subjective" perspective:

"Who or what is the locus of avidyA?"

Let us first accept that fitting avidyA into a two-fold logic is
IMPOSSIBLE. It is not for nothing that advaitins have declared avidyA
to be anirvachanIya. Given this, your attempt to raise objections
like "How is it possible for Swami Vidyaranya to claim that avidyA
remains after attainment of BrahmaGYAna?" can only be answered (if it
is at all possible) with an appeal to analogies.

Here's an analogy:

Most people believe that the water they drink is, chemically
speaking, H2O. This "fact" is well-documented in many advanced
science books. **Strictly speaking**, that is actually false! It
turns out that more correctly, the water that people drink is
actually H+, OH-, and H2O, all in chemical equilibrium. This more
accurate description of water may be dealt with in greater detail by
a chemist working on the specific topic of the "Self-ionization of
Water", where he painstakingly provides the exact content of H+ and
OH- ions in water at room temparature that people usually drink. It
is futile and quite meaningless to say, "I have the quote from a
Nobel-prize winner saying that water is H2O. Therefore, this
disproves the chemist who says that it also contains H+ and OH-

The point is: it is *generally* held that avidyA is completely
removed for people who have attained saMyak- and aparoksha-
BrahmaGYAna. This is accepted by everyone, including Swami
Vidyaranya. This is the ABC of advaita and known to the beginners in
the subject, whereas Swami Vidyaranya is speaking at the PhD level!
It is futile to point out that there are quotes in scripture to the
effect that BrahmaGYAna implies mukti, because Vidyaranya takes pains
to point out that he is not contradicting this. It is only for some
*rare souls* that in spite of attaining saMyak- and aparoksha-
BrahmaGYAna (NOT merely "intellectual scriptural knowledge"), avidyA
still remains undestroyed. It is this particular case that is dealt
with in greater detail by Swami Vidyaranya in his Jivan-mukti-viveka.
This has been accepted as correct by Ramana Maharshi as well as H.H.
Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal who speak of these cases, and I
believe that Sankara also hints of the same case in his
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Commentary 1.4.7.

Basically, it is wrong to speak of avidyA as "0 or 1" in stricly
digital terms as you have done below.

I hope that is clear,

PS: I definitely feel that I have to start a series explaining the
differences between BrahmaGYAna and mukti, and will do so sometime

--- bhaskar.yr at wrote:

> praNAms Sri Karthik prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> I.e. trace of vAsanAs still remain in this BrahmaGYAnI who has
> attained BrahmaGYAna with infirm qualifications. Only these
> BrahmaGYAnIs will have to practise vAsanAkshaya to attain mukti.
> >  Here it is implied that all brahmajnAni-s are not
> it not
> prabhuji..
> (a) brahmajnAni + vAsana = Not mukti
> (b) brahmanjnAni - vAsana = mukti
> kindly clarify whether (a) type of brahmajnAni who has vAsana-s or
> avidyA
> lEsha is jnAni in an absolute sense...obviously, IMHO,  these
> bramajnAni-s
> pertain to (a) are not brahman in absolute sense..coz. shruti is
> clear
> after brahmajnAna *bhidhyate hrudaya grantiM, chidyante sarva
> saMshayAH...sadyO mukti is what emphasized here for category (b) I
> believe....
> Karthik prabhuji :
> VidyAraNya considers objections like the ones you have given above,
> where quotes from scripture seem to indicate that "knowledge of
> Brahman destroys ignorance completely", and his reply is that this
> refers to those who have attained BrahmaGYAna with firm
> qualifications.
> bhaskar :
> prabhuji, I am not clear here...kindly clarify whether there are
> two types
> of brahmajnAni-s like below ??
> (a) one is who attained brahmajnAna with firm qualification who
> does not
> have any vAsana & has realized his true nature without any trace of
> avidya
> &
> (b) another one  who is attained *mere brahmajnAna* (is it mere
> intellectual understanding of shAstra vAkya or something special
> than it)
> with the residual avidyA in him??
> I  dont know how  (b) canbe classified as brahmajnAna/i  in an
> absolute
> sense....if  (b)  is not belongs to brahma jnAni in absolute sense
> as
> declared by shruti  then what is the point here  that needs to be
> discussed
> ??  We can easily conclude (b) is the process involved in absolute
> brahmajnAna i.e. krama mukti as prescribed for manda & madhya
> adhikAri-s...for which I believe Sri SSS does not  have any
> objection...prabhuji, am I missing something here?? pls. clarify
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
> _______________________________________________
> Archives:
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at

Low, Low, Low Rates! Check out Yahoo! Messenger's cheap PC-to-Phone call rates 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list