[Advaita-l] jnAna-vijnAna, gradations in Atma jnAna, superior-inferior jnAna nishTa etc. etc. PART-I

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 28 11:31:38 CST 2007

--- bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:


> I shall humbly try to
> address
> issues regarding (a) gradations in Atma jnAna,

Absolute nonsense.

There is no such thing as gradations in Atma-jnana. The other person
who has repeatedly pointed this out in this list is Annapureddy
Siddartha Reddy, who has specified that it is GRADATIONS IN THE

Show me where Vidyaranya speaks of gradations in Atma-jnana! You are
obviously raising a straw-man argument here.

> (b) bruhadaaraNyaka
> 3.5.1
> quote which our Sri Kartick prabhuji holding passionately to prove
> his
> theory of  *effort* after Atma jnAna and finally (c) what is jnAna 
> & its
> different interpretation according to shankara and what are the
> means
> recommended by him to achieve *Atma jnAna or paripUrNa jnAna*  &
> how brahma
> jnAni is *free* from all sorts of vidhi-s.  But befofe doing I
> earnestly
> request prabhuji-s here to not to drag the *individual names* of
> some
> exalted personalities & try to compare them & say who's superior to
> who &
> who's knowledgeable than who... etc. etc.

H.H. Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal of Sringeri has himself
admitted to gradations in the establishment of Atmajnana. Therefore,
by arguing against it, SSS is aligning himself directly against the
Sringeri Math.

I must point out that this list firmly stands by the Sringeri Math
when it comes to understanding Sankara's doctrine.

> Firstly, it is better to start with baNdha (bondage)  & mOksha
> (release)
> in advaita...coz. I think the realization/mOksha  closely related
> to jnAna
> in advaita...Advaita says fundamental problem for not realizing
> brahman
> i.e. our svarUpa is due to our ignorance (avidyA)  about
> it...Shankara says
> *brahma bhAvascha mOkshaH* (the nature of brahman is mOksha), When
> we
> become THAT, there is no meaning in telling that *I get the
> realization*...It is proper to say, when I was in avidyA, inspite
> of my
> real nature i.e. nitya, shuddha, buddha mukta svarUpa, I was
> thinking that
> I am a *saMsAri*, and now, since I realized my real nature &
> established in
> my *svarUpa* I can say this state as *mOksha.  Shankara says in
> kArikA
> bhAshya "svarUpAvasThAnAM shrEyaH*.    Here problem is
> ignorance/avidyA and
> this avidyA  is about  our own svarUpa & it is not an outside
> object....The
> jnAna which *removes* ajnAna does not do anything special to create
> a new
> thing & present it afresh by sometimes saying *see this is the
> glimpse of
> your Atman & this is the *permanents vision of your Atman etc. 
> jnAna can
> only reveal the ever existing thing (bhUta vastu) and helps us to
> realize
> that there was/is/will be no ajnAna whatsoever in us &  we are
> always
> THAT...Shankara calls this as *paramArtha jnAna*...a person who
> gets this
> paramArtha jnAna is krutakrutya forever & he'll realize that his
> true
> nature is yEkamEvAdvitIya brahman & in that state of realization
> there is
> absolutely no diversity whatsoever. And he is called parAjnAna
> nishTa.

There is no disagreement between Vidyaranya and Sankara on any of the
above points.

> But interestingly  if  we see shankara bhAshya, the term jnAna has
> been
> contextually interpreted differently.  whoever studies shankara
> bhAshya in
> detail will definitely come to know *jnAna* cannot be always refers
> to
> thebrahmajnAna alone  in absolute sense but sometime  it may refer
> to
> shAstra pAnditya (mere intellectual scriptural knowledge) sometimes
> it is
> upAsana associated with karma etc. etc. For example,  in
> bruhadAraNyaka
> (introduction to 1-3-1) bhAshya shankara says *karmaNAM jnAna
> sahitAnAM
> paragatiH uktA* Here it is quite clear that jnAna is used to denote
> *upAsana*, it cannot be interpreted as shAstra vAkya jnAna which
> shankara
> recommends for *paramArtha jnAna*...Likewise instead of jnAna
> shankara uses
> the term *vidyA* also to give the meaning of *upAsanA*.  In
> IshavAsyOpanishat 9th maNtra shankara says * vidyAyAMEva dEvatA
> jnAnE yEva
> ratAH..Here also it is evident that jnAna/vidyA has been
> interpreted as
> *upAsaNa* which is closely associated to karma and purusha taNtra
> sAdhana-s.
> Elsewhere the same term jnAna has been interpreted as *shAstra
> pAnditya*
> (mere intellectual scriptural knowledge). 
> Shankara says in gIta
> bhAshya
> (Chapter VI verse 46) *jnAnam atra shAstrArtha pAndityaM*  that
> knowledge
> (vidyA/jnAna) which is gained through regular study of scriptures. 
> Here
> according to shankara, jnAna is contextually *mere shAstra
> pAnditya* and
> nothing else...Point to be noted here is *jnAna* that is used in
> this
> context can noway be connected to that of Atma jnAna or paramArtha
> jnAna*.

Au contraire.

"Panditya" itself is taken as referring to Paramartha Atmajnana!

Sankara is saying that the Paramartha Atmajnana is nothing but the
Self that is revealed after ignorance is removed by
Sravana-Manana-Nididhyasana on scriptural statements!

> Finally, the same terminology *jnAna* used by shankara to denote to
> what it
> is usually meant for...i.e. Atma vijnAna, Atma jnAna nishTa,
> parajnAna
> nishTA etc. etc. Shankara emphasizes here this jnAna is the ONLY
> means to
> mOksha and in this jnAna there is not even iota of kriya (karma /
> upAsana)...Shankara declares * tasmAT jnAnamEkaM muktvA kriyAyA
> gandhamAtrasyApi anupravEshaM iha na upapadyatE*.  Here it is quite
> evident
> that jnAna mentioned by shankara here is nothing but *paramArtha
> jnAna*
> which is simultaneously comes with vijnAna of Atman (I've dealt
> with
> jnAna-vijnAna below).   Shankara's words also reminds us shruti
> vAkya (kaTa
> ) that *tamEva viditvA atimrutyumEti nAnyaH paNTha
> vidyatEyanAya*...Through
> this knowledge only one will cross/overcome death and there is no
> other way
> to go!!
> Despite  shruti & shankara emphasizing  that jnAna is the ultimate
> means
> for mOkshA why divisions like jnAna, vijnAna, jnAna nishTe,
> parAjnAna
> nishTe etc. etc in advaita vEdAnta??   what is their role in
> shankara's
> advaita??  .  Is there really any tAratamya in jnAna nishTa?? are
> there
> really something shaky & something firm jnAna in Atma jnAna??  is
> there any
> necessity for repetition of this jnAna to make it firm & establish
> in it
> permanently?? As we've seen most of the later advaita vedAntins
> have agreed
> to this *repetitive sustained *effort* even after absoulte Atma
> jnAna &
> declared that even jnAni has avidyA lEsha due to prArabhda karma
> and hence
> he has to observe some vidhi-s (niyama) to protect his Atma
> jnAna*....I'll
> come to this issue later...but now, let us see if there  is any
> difference
> in the  usage of both  jnAna & vijnAna when they are used in the
> same
> sentence...yes, there is a difference, if both jnAna & vijnAna used
> in the
> same sentence, jnAna stands for mere *shAstra pAnditya* and vijnAna
> stands
> for knowledge of intuitive realization (svAnubhAvAtmaka
> jnAna)..shankara
> uses jnAna & vijnAna in gIta bhAshya at couple of places.  In
> chapter 7,
> 2nd verse, shankara says : jnAnaM tE tubhyaM ahaM savijnAnaM
> vijnAna
> sahitaM *svAnubhava yuktaM* idaM vakshyAme...and in Chapter 9,
> Verse No. 1,
> * jnAnaM kim vishistaM??  vijnAna sahitaM
> *anubhavayuktaM*...(kindly see
> any English translation for its meaning) Here *real* jnAna means
> *vijnAna
> sahita svAnubhavAtmaka jnAna*  that which fetch us Atma jnAna in
> its
> entireity...and shurti says in this jnAna there is absolutely no
> duality...nEha nAnAsti kiNchana...When an able shrOtrIya brahma
> nishTa
> jnAni teaches this jnAna to an uttama adhikAri, during shravaNa
> itself both
> jnAna & vijnAna automatically happens...Whereas  those who have not
> been
> taught by brahmanishTa can only have shastra pAnditya which is
> exclusion of
> anubhavAtmaka vijnAna.  So, whenever the term jnAna used &
> subsequently
> recommended some vidhi-s it should be understood that it is mere
> jnAna
> without vijnAna...This subtle difference is very important & should
> always
> be kept in mind to understand why *effort* is required after jnAna.
> Obviously it is not vijnAna that is referred here and it is after
> mere
> jnAna , some injuctions in the form of niyama recommended...
> Next we shall see what is the meaning of suffix *nishTa* to jnAna
> according
> to shankara.  In gIta 18th Chapter, 50th verse bhAshya shankara
> says
> *nishTA paryavasAnaM pari samAptiH*.  Here nishTa means ultimate
> full
> fledged establishment in jnAna, the supreme culmination of
> steadfastness in
> knowledge. 


> However, we can also say, nishTa to a person who is
> persuing
> this path obediently with all dedication...So, the mumukshu who is
> putting
> effort to achieve this apex knowledge can also be called as
> *nishTa*

!!!!!  Hello...!!!!!!

It seems as if you're trying to say that "Jnana Nishtha" can refer to
the Mumukshu (as you've indicated in your summary below)!

WOW -- talk about twisting theory by debasing terminology!

> nishTa is  explained as karaNArthA nishTa by shankara...For example
> in gIta
> bhAshya on samaH sarvEshu bhutEshu, shankara does not propagate the
> absolute Atma jnAna, he simply says here the mumukshu feels here
> that the
> same pain & pleasure is applicable to one and all...but here in
> samaH
> sarvEshu bhutEshu is not about yEkamEva advitIya jnAna of jnAni
> that jnAna
> shankara says will be explained subsequently..shankara clarifies
> here " na
> AtmadarshanaM iha tasya vakshyAmANatvAt" ....Interested reader may
> please
> refer to shankara bhAshya on 18th chapter 50 verse to 55th
> verse..it will
> be interesting reading to know the difference between two types of
> nishTa-s....For the second type of nishTa-s (mumukshu-s) shankara
> suggests
> a process of realization.  He says in gIta bhAshya (18-55)
> *shAstrAchAryOpadEshEna jnAnOtpatti paripAka hEtuM sahakAri kAraNaM
> buddhivishuddhatvaadi cha apEkshya janitasya kshEtrajna paramAtma
> yEkatva
> jnAnasya, katrutvAdikAraka bhEdabuddhi nibaNdhana sarva karma
> saNyAsa
> sahitasya, * sva Atma anubhava nishchaya rUpENa yat avasThAnaM sA
> *parA
> jnAnanishTA* ityuchyatE....it is really a big process is it not??
> interestingly here *kshEtrajna paramAtma yEkatva jnAna* which is
> supposed
> to be the ultimate nondual  knowledge has come among one of many
> sAdhana-s
> prescribed by shankara..it is quite clear that after this *yEkatva
> jnAna*
> shankara recommends bedha buddhi nibhaNdhna, sarva karma saNyAsa &
> then
> parA jnAnanishTA. Here the word *jnAnOtpatti* is very important in
> this
> context we should not interpret this vyutpatti of jnAna as
> Atmaikatwa
> paramArtha vijnAna. 

And why not, may I ask?

There is no problem in assuming that Sankara only means Paramartha
Atmajnana by the term "jnanotpatti" throughout his Prasthanatrayi.

This easily fits into Vidyaranya's thesis that effort needs to be
made to attain steadiness in Atmajnana.

> What is said here is sAdhaka should listen
> (shravaNa)
> to the shAstra & AchAryOpadEsha, do *manana* and nidhidhyAsana to
> establish
> himself in *parA jnAnanishTa*..Hence, here jnAnOtpatti is
> preliminary stage
> which should be gained through Agama & gurUpadEsha which comes
> under the
> *shravaNa* category of sAdhana..

Again -- where is the evidence for your tall claim?

It appears to me that you are simply *stating* your hypothetical
theory rather than *establishing* it.

> As we all know, shankara
> categorically says
> shravaNa, manana & nidhidhyAsana are the direct means (sAkshAt
> sAdhana-s)
> for the ultimate Atma jnAna. (ref. sAkshAdyEvacha kAraNatvAt
> shravaNa,
> manana, nidhidhyAsanAnAM....shankara in taitirIya upanishad
> bhAshya). So,
> shankara in this bhAshya vAkya says first we should get shAstra
> jnAna
> (jnAnOtpatti) finally to establish oneself in parAjnAna nishTa.

No contradictions with Vidyaranya here.

> Sofar we have seen :
> (a) jnAna & its origination have been interpreted contextually with
> different meaning.
> (b) There is a difference between jnAna & vijnAna when they are
> used in a
> same sentence.
> (c) there are two types of nishTa-s, one is mumukshu in sAdhana
> path &
> another one is jnAni.

Not at all. "Jnana Nishtha" always only refers to the Jnani.

> (d) Mere jnAna can be shAstra pAnditya (intellectual knowledge of
> scriptures) which is devoid of svanubhavAtmaka vijnAna.

This has not been proven.

As I mentioned above, "Panditya" itself can refer to Paramartha

> With the backdrop of all these points, in the Part-II, let us see
> if there
> is any gradations in this parAjnAna nishTa or jnAni who has the
> ultimate
> knowledge/realization of brahman.

Which is redundant, because there are too many potholes in your first


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