[Advaita-l] JIvanmukti - Jnana plus Sannyasa Pt 2
shyam_md at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 25 23:56:04 CDT 2009
Having said that, there are instances even in Shankara’s bhashyas where he clearly differentiates jnana and mukti.
In Br.Up 1.4.10 "Morover false notions do not arise in a Realized Man........however sometimes memories due to the impressions of false notions antecendent to the dawning of knowledge, simulating those notions, suddenly appear and throw him into the error of regarding them as actual false notions…" showing that there may be lack of constancy in the conviction of Oneness at least in some Realized men – i.e. Knowers. Certainly this cannot be seen to be applicable to jivanmuktas as that Status, of Vishnor paramam padam, by accounts of both Shruti and Smrti has been shown to be clearly an Absolute, a point of no-return. Furthermore in the same Upanishad Shankara also says even after the rise of right knowledge (samyag-jnAna), due to the strong effect of prior karma, whose momentum is like that of a released arrow, and the relatively weakness of the newly acquired tendency towards jnana, it is necessary to maintain a steady recollection of Self-knowledge
(Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtati), accompanied by renunciation (tyAga).
In the Mandukya Karika as well we have a very similar description of a steady recollection (– see the identical use of the term smrtim) of self-knowledge
Vidityva enam HAVING KNOWN it evam thus YOJAYET SMRTIM one should fix one's memory ADVAITE on non-duality. And Shankara clarifies here – one should practice recollection for the realization of nonduality. And having comprehended that nonduality, having realized directly and immediately that Self, AND after attaining the consciousness I am the Supreme Brahman lokam acharet jadavat one should behave in the world like a dull-witted...
Here we find a very clear cut distinction between knowledge and the direct realization thereof. The “having known” here refers to aparoksha jnana – in other words aham brahmasmi - alone – but this knowledge now needs to be constantly and incessantly contemplated upon by directing one’s thoughts exclusively towards it
Furthermore, Shankara says in his Up Sah that The Knower who has renounced everything unreal does not get bound again, AND further, when the desires of a man of self-knowledge vanish he becomes immortal. Were the knower to automatically mean a muktA – these type of assertions would be rendered totally meaningless – if a person is a Knower, a Brahmavit, and he is already a jivanmuktA – then why qualify such a knower by saying “The Knower WHO HAS RENOUNCED EVERYTHING” – why not simply say the Knower does not get bound again….and similarly so for “when the desires of a man of self-knowledge….”
Elsewhere too, in the words of the Vivekachudamani - Pramado brahmanishtayam na kartavyah kadachana - In respect of brahmanishta one should not be guilty of negligence and Atah pramadanna parosti mrtyuh vivekino brahmavidah samaadhau For the man of discrimination who IS A Brahmavit is in deep concentration there is no other death than inadvertence
Now if aparoksha jnana of Brahman as “aham brahmasmi” that was fully mature after shravana and manana had already resulted in jivanMukti, then is it not extremely incongruous to talk of pramada or lassitude for that same “individual”? Here is an individual who has achieved the Supreme State of Peace and Immortality, from which there is no return and here is advice to him – be careful of unmindfulness?? Clearly there is a distinction made between one who is a Knower of Brahman – Brahmavit - and yet lacking in consummation of that Knowledge or jnananishta.
It is important here to note that the content or construct of the knowledge itself does not change. It is not as if the knowledge of aham brahmasmi is in anyway going to get transformed – in other words aham brahmasmi in the case of a “knower”, a Brahmavit, is in every sense of the term samyag jnana or aparoksha jnana. There are some who contend that this type of “non-liberating” knowledge is only paroksha jnana (in the case of a non-mukta knower) and that by deep and constant meditation it has to be converted into a different kind of special knowledge - a suprasensory knowledge or special experience in order to convert it into “aparoksha” jnana and thence only does he obtain mukti – this viewpoint has been firmly negated by Shankara in the Br Up 1.4.7 (“Others say that meditation generates a new, special kind of consciousness concerning the Self, through which the latter is known and which alone removes ignorance….this view is
So if the knowledge itself is not going to change, and any further action is not possible for a knower, as he knows himself to be a akarta on account of his right knowledge, then what further remains to be done or can be done for Mukti?
(to be continued)
Shri Gurubhyoh namah
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