[Advaita-l] Fw: How shruti is antya pramANa in advaita vEdAnta??

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Thu May 31 02:27:47 CDT 2007

----- Original Message ----
From: savithri devaraj savithri_devaraj at yahoo.com

> We seem to be talking in circles here. Again, no one
> is denying the
> application of the intellect in vedAnta.

But, you didn't answer my question - HOW?

NOW, we are going in circles, when you start repeating my own words to me. If you care to answer, my question was, and I repeat here - What is the role of "manana/nidhidhyAsana on the sruti vAkyas" if it doesn't help internalizing them? Sure, this will be the last post on this topic. 
Madam, namaste.

Your posts are normally very precise and restrained. It pains me to see the above.

As is well known, intellect is required to apply the six rules of interpreting Sruti, and in rejecting all explanations like annam brahmeti, mano brahmeti or by following in the lines of neti, neti till one is fully convinced that all inconsistencies are removed only when the nature of self and Brahman are as explained by Sruti. And then the more we think about it, the truer it seems. Finally at one stage, the truth of "ayam AtmA brahma" is fully established, that is it explaine everything. Such a realisation, the SAstras say, results in infinite bliss. In other words, intellect indeed helps in internalising the tenets of Sruti - Sri Vidyasankar Sundaresan never said anything to the contrary, he only contends that you  mixed up reference frames in your exposition of the avasthA-traya parIksha. It is a valid argument, and I submit, nothing to be exasperated about.

Having said that Smt. Savithri mixed up reference frames, the onus is on me to prove it: so I shall by walking through the thread of the discussion. 

Initially, Sri Vidyasankar asked "when we maintain that the tattva explained in Sruti is capable of being experienced here and now, do we include the tattva "ahaM brahmAsmi" in this?"

To which, Smt. Savithri Devraj seemed to reply in the affirmative and explained how avasthA-traya parIksha helps, by saying "Pure Consciousness of sleep state diversifies itself as the subject-object of the dream and waking states. The "I didn't observe anything" experience of deep sleep is sArvatrika anubhava, remembered after the fact from a waking self's perspective. Now, remembering that that which is real can never be sublated, and that which is sublatable has never been, we can see that our seeking/learning nature of the waking and dream states must be fleeting, and that our true nature must be pure consciousness /pure knowledge (in-keeping with the sruti vAkya)."
Sri Vidyasankar, using Gaudapada Karikas, showed that though Deep Sleep and Turiya Avastha share the quality of not perceiving duality, there is a key difference between them: in Deep Sleep state aj~nAna persists in a seed form - pure consciousness does not shine, whereas in Turiya, it does. The clinching argument was: "After entering the waking state, how is it possible for one to say "I didn't see anything in the deep sleep state"? The statement made in the waking state relies upon a memory of the deep sleep state. The jIva, in the deep sleep state, is not aware of itself nor objects (nidrA tattvam ajAnataH - G Karika)." Since the jIva is not aware of itself, we have to conclude that the pure-cit that is the substratum of jIva is not shining, that jIva is covered by some form of avidyA. 
Smt. Savithri replied stating that "TurIya is not a fourth state but the substratum of the three - which would be available to a man of knowledge at all times. What about - "api ca na kadAcit jIvasya brahmaNA satsampattirnAsti. swaroopasyAnapAyitvAt. svapnajAgaritayostUpAdhi saMparkavashAt  pararUpApatti mivApekshya tadupashamAtsushupte svarUpA pattirvakshyate." Su Bh (3-2-7). This roughly states - There is no time when the jIva is removed from brahman, because his true nature can never really desert him ever. But, giving concession to the fact that due to his upAdhis in waking and dream states, he has as though taken a different svarUpa there, we say that he attains his true svarUpa in sushupti. That's all. This is a good way to understand and reconcile sruti vAkya "aham brahmAsmi". "

** This is where mixing up of reference frames happened. ** Sri Vidyasankar is trying to differentiate deep sleep state and turIya-avasthA by showing a proper reason for it. In stead of refuting it, Smt. Savithri simply says they are both same, and quotes AchArya's bhAshya on 3.2.7, irrelevantly I might add, saying that jIva is never removed from Brahman. Yes, looked at from a pAramArthika point of view, jIva is never removed from Brahman; but when you compare deep sleep and turIya avasthas, the view point is vyAvahArika. 
This is what Sri Vidyasankar said by stating that "The statement that no one is truly removed from one's identity as brahman is made in the same spirit as saying that in reality there is no one bound and no one released, no bondage and no release. However, when one talks of bandha, moksha, what is the means to moksha etc., different statements are made."

The discussion deteriorated from this point on. Smt. Savithri, instead of answering the charge about mixing of reference frames, flipped the discussion by saying "If there is no intellection and understanding what that spirit is, or why Sruti says so, where is manana/nidhidhyAsana or the use of the intellect? The crux of avasthA-traya - the direct practical path of finding out who we are, is, I believe, the basis of RamaNa's method also."
The proper answer to Smt. Savithri should have been to show how avasthA-traya parIksha leads to (the direct practical path as it were) finding out the nature of the Atman, without mixing reference frames as she had done earlier. Instead she is now implying that Sri Vidyasankar's analysis somehow has to lead to the conclusion that intellect cannot be used. It does not. In fact his analysis shows why it is not possible to deduce the nature of Atman from an independent avasthA-traya-parIksha without using the guidance of Sruti as to what the nature of Atman is.


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