[Advaita-l] SSS and Panchapadika (was Re: SSS and bhAmatI)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 23 22:08:12 CST 2007

--- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:


> How about this quote then, where the topic is the Panchapadika (p.
> 463):
> "Here the doctrine is that the power of Ignorance persists
> throughout
> the three states, accompanied by the latent impression of the ego.
> But several points are not explained. When Ignorance has been
> abolished through metaphysical knowledge, how can it in some sense
> continue through a latent impression?"
> SSS has phrased his objection in the form of a question. In other
> words, SSS is incredulous that a latent impression can exist after
> metaphysical knowledge!

It appears that SSS has actually misunderstood the Panchapadika in
this context, for the textual quote he provides for the above
objection is (page 463):

"But would it not be the case that, when Ignorance was removed
through knowledge of the Absolute, the ego-complex, which is its
effect, would cease at that very moment? No. Ignorance can continue
in the form of an impression ... (P.P. p. 174/40, cp. M.V. 151,2)

Firstly, the Panchapadika does not say that Ignorance is *abolished*,
but that it has been *removed*. I don't know what the Sanskrit words
used here are, but the latter can mean something very different from
the former.

The Jivanmuktiviveka distinguishes between three kinds of persons:

Sthitaprajna: Ignorance doesn't exist at all.
Jnanimatra: Ignorance is removed, but exists as a burnt seed.
Ignorant person: Ignorance exists as a fresh (unburnt) seed.

Therefore, when the Panchapadika says that Ignorance can continue in
the form of a latent impression after knowledge of the Self, the
meaning is that Ignorance *can* exist as a burnt seed after attaining
Knowledge of the Self. There is no problem with the Panchapadika's
teaching since it can be taken as the state of the Jnanimatra, but
there is definitely a problem with SSS's reading of the text.


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