[Advaita-l] Culminating anubhava ( from VedaprAmANya in Advaita)

Murali Karamchedu murali_m_k at msn.com
Wed Apr 7 18:14:54 CDT 2010

Dear Sri Subrahmanian,

>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
>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.]

I have been mulling over this, and one of the questions that I was struggling with
was this notion of the culminating character of  jijnasa when such anubhava happens.
I found the following discussion between the student and teacher in the second section 
of Upadeshasahasri (prose part, 76 - 81) very helpful:

First the student suggests that such an apprehension or perception is itself transformative.
In normal life, during the act of perceiving something, there is the continuous action of
percieving, hence an actor, and any such action is by its character transformative. 

tatrAha - upalabdhirnAma dhAtvartho vikriyaiva, upalabdhuH kUTasthAtmatA ceti viruddham. | 76

[the student] said - the verbal root denotes [the act of] perception which is transformative,
it is contradictory to state that the perceiver is immutable.

Now, in response the acharya appears to say a couple of things - 
First, that the verbal root which is naturally indicative of change, here figuratively 
refers to the what the buddhi determines - i.e it refers to a state of awareness.
Second, even in this anubhava, the buddhi - which has a natural character of do-ership, imputes
back on the Atman the appearance of a perceiver.

[the teacher]
na, dhAtvarthavikriyAyAm upalabdhyupacArAt | yo hi bauddhaH pratyayaH sa dhAtvartho 
vikriyAtmakaH AtmanaH upalabdhyAbhAsaphalAvasAna iti upalabdhi Sabdena upacaryate|
yathA chidikriyA dvaidhIbhAvaphalAvasAneti dhAtvarthena upacaryate || 77

[the teacher says]no; the 'sense of change' due to the verbal root in perception is here 
used as a matter of convention. Whatever may be determined by the buddhi, is what the 
verbal root indicates. The resulting reflection of the Atman in the inherently changing buddhi is
this perception, the (word/act of) perceiving is used as a matter of convention. 

( Here I interpret this to mean that since the buddhi is vikriyAtmakaH, it has a natural sense 
of agency, and because of the reflection of the Atman on it, the sense of a perceiver gets 
imputed on the Atman.  In this sense, such imputing is no different from ajnanis, except 
here there is no other object of perception and there is an awareness of this.)

Just as in the act of cleaving, it is the result of cleaving - the two parts, that the verbal root
conventionally indicates. (I suspect that here the acharya is drawing attention to the outcome
of awareness rather than the act of knowing, which inherently involves the sense of a knower)

[the student]
ityuktaH SishyaH Aha - nanu bhagavan, mama kUTasthatva partipAdanam. prati asamarthaH 
drshTAn.taH | kathamm. | chidiH chedyavikriyAvasAnA upacaryate - yathA dhAtvarthatvena 
tathA upalabdhiSabdo'pacarito'pi dhAtvartho bauddhaH pratyayaH AtmanaH 
upalabdhivikriyAvasAnaScet nAtmanaH kUTasthatAm. pratipAdayitum. samarthaH || 78

to this the student said - no bhagavan, this analogy is inadequate in explaining my 
immutable and untouched state. How, [asks the teacher, to which the student says,]
the verbal root of cleaving connotes the parted change in the object, similarly, if a
resulting change is what the verbal root of perception connotes in what the buddhi  
determines, then this is a change in the perception of the Atman. and  hence it 
is inadequate in explaining the immutable nature of Atman.

[the teacher]
gururuvAca - satyamevam. syat yadi upalabdhyupalabdhoH viSeshaH |
nityopalabdhimAtra eva hi upalabdhA | natu tArkikasamaya  iva anyA upalabdhiH
anyaH upalabdhA ca || 79

the teacher said - true indeed, were there any special distinction between the perceiver 
and perception. Eternal perception alone is the perceiver, and not as the logicians doctrine
would have a distinct perceiver and perception.

[the student]
nanu - upalabdhiphalAvasAno dhAtvarthaH kathamiti | 80

no - how does the action connoted by the verbal root result in perception?

[the teacher]
ucyate SrNu - upalabdhyAbhAsaphalAvasAna ityuktam. | kim. na Srutam. tvayA |
natu AtmA vikriyotpAdanAvasAna iti mayoktam. || 81

listen - What I said was that the reflection (in buddhi ) of the perception (of Atman.) 
is the culminating result. Was this not heard? I did not say that there was any resulting

So, if I understood this dialogue right, upon the attainment of this Atman. perception, 
there is a continued sense of a perceiver - as it were, just because it is natural to buddhi.
Yes, no?

Murali Manohar


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