[Advaita-l] VedaprAmANya in Advaita
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 06:10:57 CDT 2010
Dear Sri Murali,
Thanks for your response.
The BhAmati's clarification of the AchArya's expression 'anubhava' as
sAkShAtkAra is neither to be faulted nor could be seen as out of the
context. This anubhava can ligitmately be a part of the comprehensive
jijnAsA process; only that it will be the ultimate pramANa. And to name it
'pramANa' is also not incorrect. For, we have in the 'VivekachUDamaNi' of
Shankaracharya ample evidence to say so:
शास्त्रं युक्तिर्देशिकोक्तिः प्रमाणं
चानतःसिद्धा स्वानुभूतिः प्रमाणम् ॥ 475
//In the realisation of the Atman, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute,
through the breaking of one’s connection with the bondage of Avidya or
ignorance, the Scriptures, reasoning and the words of the Guru are the
proofs, while one’s own experience earned by concentrating the mind is
The Jivanmukta Acharya HH Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati SwaminaH comments:
अन्तः सिद्धा शास्त्रयुक्तिगुरूक्त्यनुरूपा स्वानुभूतिश्च प्रमाणम् । [The
experience that has arisen in accordance with the scripture, logic and the
teaching of the Guru (all other pramANams) is also pramANam.]
[In fact only this 'anubhava' alone confirms to the jijnAsu that his jijnAsA
The Acharya introduces the next set of a few verses with the words:
उक्तार्थे दृष्टान्तार्थं अनुभवप्रमाणकानन्यानप्याह् [ In testimony of the
above some more 'proofs' that are non-different from anubhava pramANa are
476.Bondage, liberation, satisfaction, anxiety, recovery from illness,
hunger and other such things are known only to the man concerned, and
knowledge of these to others is a mere inference.
477. The Gurus as well as the Shrutis instruct the disciple, standing
aloof; while the man of realisation crosses (Avidya) through Illumination
alone, backed by the grace of God.
478. Himself knowing his indivisible Self through his own realisation and
thus becoming perfect, a man should stand face to face with the Atman, with
his mind free from dualistic ideas.
One may look up the original verses which are so very telling of the
Now, we turn to a very important sutra bhashya: 'LingAccha' 18.104.22.168.
In this bhashya the Acharya says:
येषां ....न.... प्रतिबन्धोऽस्ति ते शक्नुवन्ति...तत्त्वम्सिवाक्यार्थं
सकृदुत्पन्ना एव आत्मप्रतिपत्तिः अविद्यां निवर्तयति इति....
य्स्य तु नैषोऽनुभवः द्रागिव जायते तं प्रति अनुभवार्थ एव आवृत्त्यभ्युपगमः ।
ब्रह्मविषयेऽपि प्रत्यये तदुपायोपदेश...
In all the above sentences 'anubhavaH' is synonymously spoken of as
'pratyayaH' and 'pratipattiH'. All these words denote the true final,
avidyA-dispelling, liberation-producing, aparokShaanubhavaH. The second
quoted sentence says it all: This is the anubhava that puts an end to
jijnAsA. This is what is meant by Bhagavatpada in the words:
anubhavAvasAnaH... He gives expression to this anubhavaH alone in the famous
sentence: स्वहृदयप्रत्ययं ब्रह्मवेदनं....in the 4.1.15 bhashya.
It is quite logical to speak of the culmination of jijnAsA. When I say 'I
will undertake a train journey from station A to B', I can definitely say:
my journey will culminate in my / the train reaching station B. In the same
way the Acharya says the brahma jijnAsA is of such a nature as to culminate
in one's getting the direct experience of Brahman/Atman.
The Vivekachudamani verses quoted look like a 'vArtika' for this sentence of
In the light of these verses and other verses of the Panchadashi, etc. it
would be quite appropriate to say that the 'Adi' of the word 'anubhavAdayaH'
can mean all the fruits of this direct realization like: supreme peace,
unsurpassed contentment, extinction of all doubts, reveling in the Self
alone, sarvAtmabhAva, etc.
It is also to be noted that this expression: anubhavAvasAnatvAt.. does not
mean the 'end of all experiences'. This would be completely inappropriate
in this context. The Jnani does not cease to have experiences; in fact
there are specific sutra-s that teach that he will exhaust the praarabdha
karma only by experiencing them. The body-mind apparatus does not perish and
he will continue to have all experiences that are required for life to
This anubhava is the experiance of the three states (avasthatraya) and the
the identity of causes and effects, despite their visible differences
(kArya-karaNa-ananyatva). This is clarified later by the acharya himself in
[I have no objection to taking the above as 'anubhava' in the path of
jijnAsA. For that matter even in dharma jijnAsA such type of anubhava is
not ruled out. For example, even the aspirant of dharmajijnAsaa knows that
there is a soul different from this body and that this body will not go to
heaven and only the soul will transmigrate, etc. He has the anubhava of
sukha, the gradations in it in this life and can thereby appreciate the
svargaadi loka sukhas and the gradations in them when the Shruti vAkya-s
teach them. ]
2. anubhava-avasAnam is better read as the cessation of all experience
rather than the culminating experience of brahma sAkSatkAra.
[I have answered one portion of this observation of yours. And have also
shown how and why the anubhava-avasAnam has to be only the 'culminating
experience of brahma- sAkSatkAra.' The Acharya is making it a hEtu -
अनुभवावसानत्वात् , भूतवस्तुविषयत्वात् च. These two hEtu-s make the
interpretation very tight and give no room for any other kind of
interpretation. 1. The viShaya for brahma jijnAsA is Brahman which is an
Existent Entity, bhUtavastu. In dharma jijnAsa, the vishaya, Dharma is not
an already existent entity; it has to be produced and will remain as
adRShTa, apUrva. 2. For this reason alone, dharma jijnAsaa cannot culminate
in anubhava of dharma. This I showed from the vyAkhyAnam.
Unlike this, because Brahman is a BhUtavastu, the culmination of
brahajijnAsA is in experiencing It, here and now. In Vedanta, Moksha is a
fruit available here and now. These two are the distinguishing features
that make brahman enquiry stand apart from dharma enquiry. That is why
anubhava becomes a pramANam here. It is the crucial one in that it is this
alone that confirms to the aspirant that he has reached the goal and the
jijnAsaa has come to an end]
3. Analysis is premised on Sruti (Sruti anugrahIta tarkA), and such analysis
has this anubhava as its object; so it is anumana that continues as a valid
pramANa, and anubhava is not introduced as a new pramANa.
[ No one introduces anubhava as a new pramANa; it is a natural consequence
and a logical requirement. The aspirant knows for himself whether the
हृदयग्रन्थि has snapped, whether the doubts have gone, whether sarvAtmabhAva
has set in, whether he is having the notion of a finite entity, etc. All
these are verified for him by his own sva-anubhava.]
A reading of the sutra bhashya (lingAccha) I quoted from will clear all
doubts regarding the word and concept 'anubhava'.
With warm regards,
On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 4:39 AM, Murali Karamchedu <murali_m_k at msn.com>wrote:
> Dear Sri Subrahmanian,
> Thank you for clarifying many things. You posts are immensely thought
> >'anubhava: is the specific antaHkaraNa-vRtti that dispels avidya. This is
> generally called 'akhanDAkAra vRtti.'
> In the context under discussion, this anubhava cannot mean brahma
> sAkSatkAra, for if it did, then there
> would be no jijnasa and hence no need for pramANa, and if jijnasa were
> still there, then the anubhava would
> degenerate to smrti, and it would not be a valid pramANa for all the
> reasons the mImAm.saka rejects it.
> After this post of yours and that I Ramakrishnan's, I re-read
> Ramakrishnan's post and that cleared up quite a bit as well -
> 1. This anubhava is the experiance of the three states (avasthatraya) and
> the experiance of
> the identity of causes and effects, despite their visible differences
> (kArya-karaNa-ananyatva). This is clarified later by the
> acharya himself in BSB-2.1.6
> 2. anubhava-avasAnam is better read as the cessation of all experience
> rather than the culminating experience of
> brahma sAkSatkAra.
> 3. Analysis is premised on Sruti (Sruti anugrahIta tarkA), and such
> analysis has this anubhava as
> its object; so it is anumana that continues as a valid pramANa, and
> anubhava is not introduced as a
> new pramANa.
> Murali Manohar
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