[Advaita-l] Re: bhagavad.h gItA 2.11

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 9 04:14:46 CST 2007

namaskAramu Siddhartha gAru.

My replies start with two asterisks to differentiate from the earlier replies.


----- Original Message ----
From: Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com

namaskAramu Sivasenani gAru,
        My response is prefixed by ASR:

ASR: I do agree that praGYAvAdAnnabhAShasE might be more direct than
praGYAvAdAMshchabhAShasE where avAdAn is meant. But Ananda tIrtha also
gives another split as praGYA + vAdAn, but interprets praGYA as
arjuna's limited praGYA, and not praGYA in the sense of the wise.

** If by 'wise' is meant Atmavit, we are saying the same thing. Whether one chooses to define praj~nAvAn as the brahmavit or paNDita as the brahmavit governs the rest of the interpretation, I guess.

> -- shaN^kara means only worldly wisdom when he uses praGYAvatAM, budhdimatAM etc. But this also does not seem to be the case given that shaN^kara uses the word "pANDityaM darshayasi" for arjuna, and in the same paragraph, he goes on to define paNDita as "paNDA AtmaviShayA budhdiH yEShAM tE hi paNDitAH". Thus, praGYA could not have been used in the sense of the worldly
> wise.
> * There are two ways to look at this. pANDityam as used in the first instance (in 'tadetat mauDhyam  pANDityam ca Atmani darSayasi) cannot mean "knowledge of the Self" because in an unmatta, such a knowledge of the Self and mauDhyam do not co-exist. Why? where there is Atmaj~nAna, how can there be mauDhyam? Why will such a j~nAni be an unmatta?

ASR: But this is exactly the contradiction that shaN^kara sees.
-- arjuna talks like a paNDita (Note that it's only his talk, not his
mind which is like that of an AtmaGYAni.) (A)
-- arjuna behaves like a mUDha because he is in grief. (B)
-- A paNDita cannot be in grief either for the living or the dead.
Note the connecting yasmAt in the bhAShya sentence starting "yasmAt
gatAsUn..." (C)
-- Therefore, arjuna is not a paNDita, but is an unmatta (iva puruShaH).  (D)

** We are going around in circles. When we read a vAkya, we should try to make sense of it. If paNDita is interpreted as an Atmaj~nAni, in the first instance as well (it being absolutely clear that in the second instance, paNDita is defined as an Atmanj~nAni), we would be forcing non-sense into the clear writing of the AchArya: that is the reason we choose that meaning which makes sense.

* In the first instance, pANDityam should be taken to mean scholarship
etc. Only on such a reading is the analogy with unmatta apt because
such a person sometimes speaks profoundly, and at other times is
deranged. The second way of looking at it is, Arjuna is speaking the
words of a praj~nAvAn, buddhimAn but such praj~nA or buddhi is not
firmly established in Arjuna, and so even as he speaks the words of
the learned, grieves about those not to be grieved for.

ASR: Anandagiri's TIkA goes against the interpretation given above. He
says thus,
"tanmauDhyamashOchyEShu shOchyadR^iShTitvaM Etat pANDityaM budhdimatAM
vachana bhAShitvaM iti yAvat"...

** Anandagiri is interpreting the bhAshya as per the first alternative mentioned by me - that is, pANDityam buddhimatAm vacana (which are 'utsannakuladharmANAm' and others like that), and not the second way (which also I think was covered by Madhusudana Sarasvati).

"nanu sUkShma budhdi bhAktvamEva pANDityaM na tu AtmaGYAtvaM
hEtvabhAvAditi AshaN^kyAha -- tE hi iti|"

** However, anticipating the objection, or fearing the incorrect interpretation (ASa~Nkya) that then pANDityam would be known only as 'partaking of' or 'consisting of' (bhAktvam - the bhAva of bhukti) sUkshmabuddhi, and not Atmaj~nAna, the Acharya said "te hi" etc. The "te hi" etc. of the Acharya referes to "Atmaj~nAh paNDA AtmavishayA buddhi eshAm te hi paNDitAh"

Anandagiri uses the word pANDityaM for the words of arjuna, and then
goes on to define pANDityaM as AtmaGYAnaM. Thus, (IMHO) the question
is how Anandagiri interprets the arguments of arjuna in (and evaluates
his character from) the first chapter.

* It is clear from the explanation that Anandagiri gives to the sentence in the AchArya's bhAshya starting with 'praj~nAvatAm': "praj~nAvatAmiti. vacanAni 'utsannakuladharmANAm' ityAdIni." That is the words of Arjuna like those about the uprooting of the kuladharma are the praj~nAvatAm vacanAni ('words of the wise') that the Acharya is referring to, in the opinion of Anandagiri.

In dvaita vEdAnta, the flow is somewhat like:
-- arjuna speaks these arguments in the first chapter.
-- shrI kR^iShNa dismisses them starting BG 2.2
-- arjuna says that he suffers from kArpaNya dOSha, and is
dharmasammUDhachEtAH (BG 2.7).
The inference thus is that arjuna is talking like a confused man, and
by implication, speaking words not fit to be uttered by the wise. So,
the question is what words of arjuna did shaN^kara perceive to be wise
(fit to be spoken by AtmaGYAnis)?

** That Arjuna is speaking out of confusion is said even by Advaitins. By definition, a confused man speaks or thinks in more than one way. Otherwise there is no confusion: one is plain wrong or foolish, or plain right or wise. As explained earlier, the worry about uprooting of the kuladharma is considered as wise; the foolish part is the grief for the not-to-be-grieved-for. Wise words + foolish grief = mark of a confused, or even a mad, man. Confusion can also be treated as the non-concordance of tri-karaNas: manas, vAk, karma. This is a commonplace experience - the manas is clear that anger should be controlled, so I sometimes make resolutions aloud, but some people seem to be able to switch on my anger at will. Like the learned, Arjuna talks about dharma, but due to bhrAnti is not interpreting it correctly, as betrayed by his action of grieving. Such being the case, the words could be that of the wise, but not the actions.

> -- shaN^kara intends that arjuna indeed spoke words of wisdom (in the sense of speaking words fit to be spoken by an AtmaGYAni).
> * No, the bhagavatpAda intends that Arjuna spoke words fit to be spoken by scholars, not Atmaj~nAnis.

ASR: Anandagiri seems to think otherwise.

** No, Anandagiri does not think otherwise as shown above and as explained again here. Anandagiri first explains praj~nAvatAm vacanAni as 'utsanna kuladharmANam' etc. Then he says, since there is the possibility (or objection) that then 'pANDityam' would be understood only as having sUkshmabuddhi, the Acharya takes the trouble to define pANDityam. In fact, even as I write this, I think I understand the real intention of the bhagavatpAda: he seems to have wanted us to understand paNDita as used in the 'nAnu socanti paNDitAh' properly and so highlighted the special meaning by first using pANDityam in the common not-specially-defined sense, and then set the contenxtual meaning apart by his definition of paNDita = Atmaj~nAni. (It is surely a fancy interpretation, arising on account of the prolonged time spent on the meaning of 'pANDityam', but I will let it be.)

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