[Advaita-l] BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti - 5 (Other References)

jagannathan mahadevan jagannathan.mahadevan at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 00:06:19 CST 2007

Respected Sri Vidyasankar,

Thank you for the explanation. I agree that from a critical and
academic (read teaching) standpoint one does need to distinguish the
different moments of the experiences, from that of a person who merely
has a "glimpse" of the self to that when the person permanently
realizes the self.

It may appear to be a tangential topic in what follows: I am trying to
compare this experience of the self to the experience of love (love of
god or another beloved; it does not matter). I am sure there are
enough first accounts to vouch for the fact that people do fall in
love at first instance. For instance, in the accounts of Ramana
Maharishi's experiences, it is said that bhagavAn almost
instantaneously felt a love for just the word "Arunachala," after
hearing it incidentally from a visitor to his home, without even
knowing what and where it was. Subsequently he set out for the place,
which is also called Thiruvannamalai, and remained there until his

When the above experience, albeit in a different perspective, can
arise in such perceptibly quick succession, why cannot GYAna that is
permanent experience of the self?  It seems to me that the permanent
experience of the self is not a gradual process but the removal of the
latent tendencies (vAsanA) that block the permanent experience of the
self is! This is significant because this removal process is really in
our hands! Isn't it?

I suppose the tradition of teaching necessitates this distinction as
opposed to the reality of the term "unsteady GYAna." I do not wish to
extend the example of day/night, but my immediate thought is that, is
there any extent to which one should distinguish the experiences just
as one would think about distinguishing matter let us say. But I
accept that this is part of the teaching and our gurus know better.


On 2/8/07, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >I agree that perfect sAdhana-chatushhTaya is necessary for
> >brahmaGYAna. What I do not understand is the term "unsteady GYAna"
> >which I think can be simply called as "aGYAna."
> Darkness is the "absence of light" but when night transitions into day,
> there is the period of dawn when the light emerges slowly. It is not as if
> pitch dark suddenly gives way to blinding light. For clarity in
> philosophical argumentation and for rigor in textual interpretation, one
> needs to heavily contrast darkness from light, but one also has to recognize
> the process of the dawning of light. If an eclipse were to occur soon after
> dawn but before full sunrise, the light diminishes and returns fully only
> after the period of the eclipse is over.
> If jnAna is light, ajnAna is darkness. What vidyAraNyasvAmin refers to
> stabilizing jnAna is the process of dawn, culminating in the fullness of
> daylight. He teaches vAsanA-kshaya to counter the extraneous factors that
> could cause a possible eclipse. After all, it is the same person who once
> considered himself an ajnAnI, who should become a jnAnI and thereby get
> liberated. A sudden jump from one state to another is extremely rare. What
> is more common is a gradual approach, and it is therefore necessary to teach
> the paths that are involved in this gradual approach.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
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