[Advaita-l] Acceptance of the validity of shruti is only *faith*

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Mon May 14 06:11:05 CDT 2007

sAshtAnga praNAms to Sri Vidya prabhuji
Hare Krishna

It is really my pleasure to see my vociferous mails getting the attention
of my guruji Sri Vidya Shankara prabhuji...Dear prabhuji-s, kindly dont
think that Sri Vidya prabhuji is asking below questions without knowing the
answers..am sure he is only testing his student and wanted to see the
growth of the seed of advaita knowledge which he himself affably implanted
few years back...so, this mail will not be like question & answers, it is
more like a *progress report* a student hesitatingly showing to his beloved
Sri Vidya prabhuji, with your kind permission, I hereby humbly submit my
understanding.  Kindly correct me if I said anything against shankara's

Sri Vidya prabhuji :

sArvatrika lokAnubhava - does this refer to what is commonly experienced by

all human beings (e.g. external objects), or does this refer to something
that is universal to all human experience (e.g. the presence of
consciousness in any cognition of an external object)? In either case, does

everyone have agreement on what that is?

bhaskar :

sArvatrika lOkAnubhava simply put is nothing but an *anubhava* gained
through a detailed examination of our avasthA-s.  These avasthA-s are
*common* to all..(unless opponent is too argumentative & ready to sacrifice
his *own* anubhava).  IMHO when shankara tells us anubhavAdi also a pramANa
*apart* from shruti, he implies this *pUrNAnubhava*..This pUrNAnubhava
neither pertains to pratyakshAnubhava nor pratyayAnubhava..This experience
can also be called as *sAkshi anubhava* coz. from the witness view point we
are going to examine the experience of three states.  This pUrNAnubhava is
an intuitive experience of the *witnessing* priciple & invariably *uniform*
to one and all..This *sAkshianubhava* is existing all the time in all of us
but we donot know that this intuitive knowledge of it accrues to us through
the *sAkshi* chaitanya in ours..For example, all of us do vyavahAra in our
day to day like in the manner that " I saw a dream wherein the mind through
senses was knowing the objects and in deep sleep I did not see anything
whatsoever"  Here we are making two statements i.e. " I saw a dream" & I
did not see anything in the deep sleep" What is meant by the first
statement that *I saw a dream*??By what means did we see the dream?? did we
see the objects in our dream with our eyes??  which is that * I * here we
are talking about??  Likewise in deepsleep when we say that *I did not see*
which is that *I* we are using to illustrate this *not knowing*?? does this
waking *I* & mind exist in our dream & deep sleep state to pass on these
judgements on those two states??  if not, then what is the meaning of our
assertion here??  it is quite certain that the third kind of experience
(i.e. neither pratyaksha nor pratyaya) which is *common* unchanged *witness
experience (sAkshi anubhava)* in all through these states giving us the
intuitive knowledge of all avasthA-s..  This is what exactly shankara calls
as *nirvikalpaka anubhava* i.e. super conscious state of intuitive
experience which is beyond the realms of pratyaksha & pratyayAnubhava.
Since these avasthA-s are there in everyones experience & everybody
objectifying these states from standing outside these avasthA-s, it is
called sArvatrika pUrNAnubhava.

Sri Vidya prabhuji :

vaiyaktika anubhava - does this refer to the experience of an individual
human being (e.g. my interaction with my computer as I write this mail) or
does it refer to the fact that human individuals are capable of separate
experiences that may not correspond to what is experienced by other
individuals (e.g. my dreams)?

bhaskar :

With regard to *vaiyaktika anubhava* (individual experience) I'd like to
share one of my mails I had written to Advaitin list...I am reproducing the
same at the end of this mail for your kind consideration prabhuji.  Kindly
go through it.

Sri Vidya prabhuji:

Finally, when we maintain that the tattva explained in Sruti is capable of
being experienced here and now, do we include the tattva "ahaM brahmAsmi"

bhaskar :

Our enquiry should go like this on this upanishad mahAvAkya: who is this
*ahaM* shruti referring here??  through sarvatrika pUrNAnubhava we should
verify this statement & find out which is this *ahaM* which is *common* in
all through our anubhava-s & which is that ahaM that can be capable of
holding the title nondual brahma??  is it our *ahaM* in waking state??  is
it our *ahaM* in our dream state?? or is it *ahaM* which is objectifying
both the states & even telling us the *expereince* of *no ahaM* state i.e.
sushupti??  prabhuji, as you know, this is not mere intellectual
understanding of avasthA-s & shruti vAkya-s.  (Sri SSS tells in Kannada :
*shruti vAkyagaLannu avugaLa artha kedadaNte anubhavakke hondisikondu
hOguvudu* )

Sri Vidya prabhuji:

If yes, without my having  intuitively experienced it myself, how can I
claim that the tattva taught in Sruti is capable of being experienced?
Furthermore, wouldn't that experience itself be a vaiyaktika anubhava only
and not sArvatrika lokAnubhava? Also, if I haven't intuitively experienced
it myself, and hold that such and such a teacher said this, am I not merely

taking on faith the claim that it can be experienced? In other words, faith

in Sruti is transferred to faith in the potential experience of someone
else, no?

bhaskar :

prabhuji, as you know, shankara did not propagate his theory based on his
*own* experience & nor based mere scriptural authority...he gave utmost
importance to *anubhava* which is one and same to all & to uphold this
*sArvatrika pUrNAnubhava gone to the extent to declare that *if shruti goes
against anubhava we should discard it*...

Best regards,

Humble praNAms onceagain
Your humble servant
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

Here is my earlier mail to avaitin list :

// quote //

Hare Krishna

In this part we shall see why individual experiences (vaiyuktika anubhava)
cannot be the valid means for brahmAtmaikatva jnAna...Infact these view
points with regard to *anubhava*  have been discussed sometime back in this
very list. Anyway, this is for the fresh readers :-))  But before that it
is interesting to note that shankara gives us the process of jnAna
prApti/Atma jnAna...somewhere he says, shuddha satvasya jnAnanishTA
yOgyatAprAptidvArENa jnAnOtpatti hEtutvEna nishrEyasahEtutvamapi
pratipadyate...( I dont know where shankara says this)...I was just
wondering where PY's NS individual experience fit into this sequence!!!

Shankara gives special emphasis on anubhava in all through his prasthAna
trayi bhAshya...Unlike in dharma jignAsa, he says in brahma jignAsa shruti
& as well as experience (anubhavasAnatvAt) both are valid means for brahma
jignAsa.  But what is this *experience* shankara talking here??  Is it some
sort of *supernatural* experiences of some exalted beings??  or is this
anubhava one and the same to ALL??  Through japa, dhyAna, upAsana, bhajana,
hatha yOgic practices people will get different type of supernatural
experiences. I myself experienced some state of trance when I did
sudarshana kriya basic course ( it is a breathing exercise course founded
by  Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art of Living).. We have heard/read plenty of
these divine experiences through the biographies of noble souls.
paramahaMsa Sri Ramakrishna physically seen & talked kAli
mAta...paramahaMsa yOgAnanda seen & talked to ever youth bAbAji,
rAghavEndra mahAswamigal of maNtrAlaya has the krishna darshana at udupi,
vivEkananda has the experience of NS in Kashipur garden house, chaitanya
mahAprabhu in his premOnmAda always felt the presence of rAdhA gOpAla.  No
doubt, these noble souls gained these divine & out of world experiences
through dedicated sAdhana towards it.  But nobody can deny that all these
*experiences* of these exalted beings are their *individual experiences*
(vaiyuktika anubhava) only.  It is quite acceptable and we will
wholeheartedly prostrate before these noble souls & respect their
experience & worship them as divine incarnations.  But can we determine
vEdAnta siddhAnta based on these *individual experiences*?? I dont think
so, Sri chaitanya mahAprabhu, who has the personal interaction with krishna
(ISKCONites believe that he is krishna himself) refuted advaita &
propagated dualistic bhakti siddhAnta...paramahaMsa Sri Ramakrishna who has
seen & interacted with mother kAli & often experienced NS, approved all
paths & ultimately upheld advaita...paramahaMsa yOgAnanda recommended kriyA
yOga, madhvAchArya, rAghavEndra mahAswamigaL written volumes & volumes of
shAstra graNtha &  mercilessly slaughtered advaita siddhAnta!!  So, these
mahApurusha-s with their rich divine experiences back ground differed
within themselves with regard to ultimate siddhAnta of shruti-s.  Under
these circumstances how can we adjudge who said it right & on what basis??

This is the reason why, shankara is not part with the validity of
individual experiences & says in sUtra bhAshya 2-1-1 " ShakyaM kapilAdInAM
siddhAnAm apratihatajnAnatvAt iti chEt! na ! siddhEpi sApEkshatvAt!  Here
pUrvapaxin asking shankara, since kapila, kaNAda siddha purusha-s have
attained siddhis can they preach paramArthA jnAna ??  NO is the emphatic &
expressive answer of Shankara because even these siddhis gained through
individual sAdhana is relative (sApEkShata) & cannot be considered as valid
means to teach jnAna.  He continues to say in the same sUtra bhAshya :
"prasiddhamAhAtmyAnumatAnAmapi thIrthankarANAm, kapilakaNabhuk prabhrutInAM
*parasparavipratipatti darShanAt!!  Shankara tells here personalities like
kapila kaNAda etc. who were the great siddhA purusha-s will differ
themselves in paramArtha tattva & declarations of those characters with
regard to brahma jnAna cannot be treated as shruti pratipAdita satya since
they are talking through their individual experiences howsoever powerful it
may be!!!

As we all know the tattva embedded in vEdAnta is universal & applicable
without the limited boundaries of space, time & individual
experiences....and it is conveying the truth that is sArvakAlika & equally
applicable to ONE & ALL. vEdAnta does not deny these individual experiences
but fact is that we cannot do siddhAnta nirNaya based on these individual

It is quite evident from the above shankara bhAshya statements that
individual experiences, occult powers, miracles, savikalpa, nirvikalpa
samAdhi experiences of certain people cannot be the valid premise for
paramArtha jnAna nirNaya.  Then what is required for siddhAnta nirNaya??
Shankara says this *experience*  which is capable enough to determine
brahma tattva should be uniform & universal irrespective of space, time

In sUtra bhAshya (2-1-11) shankara says : "taccha samyagjnAnaM yEkarUpaM
vastutantratvAt! lOkE tad vishaya jnAnaM samyag jnAnaM iti uchyAte!! yathA
agnirushNa iti!! tatra yEvaM sati saMyagjnAnE puruShANAM vipratipattiH

See, how beautifully shankara explains shruti's samyag jnAna.  can we say,
the experience of NS in a particular state is as simple as *agnirushna*??
I dont think the
prabhuji's who have been studying shankara bhAshya for decades find it
difficulty to understand the purports of this simple bhAshya vAkya.  The
knowledge which has been realized through vastu tantra jnAna is equal to
one & all since it is in the control of objects / vastu-s,  like fire...We
cannot modify the knowledge of fire according to
our will & wish & say it is cold ...we have to realize fire as
*fire* only as it is...noway, the cognizer of this fire can influence the
characteristics of fire & say it is cold!!  The fire is *fire* for all the
human beings at all time & at all space...This vastu tantra *anubhava* is
called  sArvatrika pUrNAnubhava this is not nirbIja, sabIja,
nirvikalpa-savikalpa, guNa rahita, guNa pUrNa, saMprajnATha-asaMprajnATha
samAdhi experience  of few individuals...This anubhava is what has been
explained in
bruhadAraNyaka shruti also ayamAtma sarvAnubhuH ..shankara while commenting
on this says " sarvAtmAnA sarvaM anubhavatItI sarvAnubhuH"...

Without realizing the huge (yes it is indeed  very huge :-)) difference
between individual experience & universal experience, here prabhuji-s have
been consistently trying to prove individual experience of PY's NS with
Atma jnAna & banging mercilessly others those who are trying to bring it to
the notice of *pundits* of this list:-)).

sadguru charaNAravindArpaNamastu..hariH Om tatsat...

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

// unquote //

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