[Advaita-l] A note on ‘Avidya lesha’ 'अविद्यालेशः’ (Part 3) Concluded

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 8 06:07:39 CDT 2010

Thanks to Shri S N Sastri and Shri Subrahmanian for providing valuable information on 
SarvajnAtman's views on avidyAlesha. As I said earlier in my post, avidyAlesha cannot be
denied if we accept jIvanmukti, because prArabdha karma has to be exhausted, and
as Madhusudana Sarasvati says in his commentary on 4.39 of saMkShepa shArIraka of 
sarvajnAtman - 
अनारब्धकार्य एव तु पूर्वे तदवधेरितिसूत्रोक्तन्यायेन विद्याया 
आरब्धफलकपुण्यपापनिवर्तकत्वायोगेन तत्स्थितिनिमित्ततया
कल्पिताविद्यालेशवशेन विदुषोऽपि यावत्प्रारब्धकर्मक्षयं शरीरादिधारणोपपत्तिरिति मतान्तरमाह...
Even for a vidvAn (knower of Brahman), it is appropriate that he has to maintain
his body, etc. due to the power of an avidyAlesha (trace of avidyA) that is inferred
because vidyA cannot destroy the puNya and pApa that have (already) begun to yield
results. The BrahmasUtra "anArabdhakArye eva ..." (4.1.15) provides grounds for this 
reasoning. (Therefore, SarvajnAtman) admits another view (i.e., that of avidyAlesha 
in jIvanmukti).
Further, as Madhusudana says:
जीवन्मुक्तिशास्त्रस्यार्थवादत्वेऽपि तदर्थस्य मानान्तराविरुद्धत्वेन भूतार्थवादत्वोपपत्तेस्तत्सिद्धा 
जीवन्मुक्तिर्न शक्याऽपलपितुम् ।
Even though, (sarvajnAtman considers) the shAstra of jIvanmukti is an arthavAda 
(eulogy related to the vidhi about shravaNa, etc.), it is appropriate to be a
bhUtArthavAda, because it is not contradicted by another pramANa. And jIvanmukti 
that is so established cannot be denied. 
However, we also know that Appayya Dikshita has cited SarvajnAtman's view that holds
after Realization (AtmasAkShAtkAra), even a little of ajnAna and its effect, saMsAra, 
cannot remain in any form - "brahmasAkShAtkArodayaamAtrena savilAsavAsavAsanA 
avidyAnivR^ittiH" and  "manAgapyasya rUpAntaraM saMsArasya shinaShTi". It is clear
that SarvajnAtman has also accepted avidyAlesha and jIvanmukti in his works, the 
saMkShepa shArIraka and the panchaprakriyA. The question is: how do we explain the 
view on jIvanmukti as cited in Appaya Dikshita's work, the siddhAntaleshasaMgraha?
One possible explanation is that SarvjnAtman is drawing our attention to the fact that
videhamukti need not necessarily come after jIvanmukti. What is usually stated in the 
context of jIvanmukti is that a jnAni, after living out the remainder of his life as a 
jIvanmukta, attains videhamukti at death. However, there is always a possibility that 
one may attain Brahman realization at the time of death itself and not before. This is not
hard to understand if we consider the gItA verses 8.5 and 8.6. Madhusudana's 
commentary on 8.5 clearly says "mAmeva bhagavantaM vAsudevamadhiyajnaM saguNaM
nirguNaM vA paramamakSharaM brahma..." Here, BhagavAn tells Arjuna, " Whoever 
leaves the body and departs remembering Me alone attains the nature of ViShNu, the
highest Reality." If the dying person remembers the saguNa Brahman, he goes by the
path of Gods (devayAnamArga) to world of HiraNyagarbha and after experiencing that
world, finally attains nirguNabrahmabhAva, the state of nirguNa Brahman. This means
the person who remembers the saguNa brahman at the time of death, attains what is
called krama mukti or mukti in stages. This is in contrast with the sadyo mukti that 
a dying person who is devoted to the nirguNa brahman attains
(nirguNabrahmasmaraNapakSha). "brahmaiva sanbrahmApyeti". Being Brahman, he attains
Brahman. Madhusudana says that even if one is unable to make a deliberate attempt 
to remember so at the time of death (antakAle smaraNodyama asaMbhave api), the
vAsanA or the impression created by the practice done earlier (sharvaNa, manana,
nididhyAsana)  becomes the cause for remembrance (pUrvAbhyAsajanitA vAsanaiva

The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail. 

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