[Advaita-l] Ego, Mind and Body of a Jnani

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 02:25:00 CDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 5:40 AM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Let us separate the enquiry into two questions. I will always take the EGO
> = ahaMkAra = "I-am-this-body" idea.
> Question 1: Can the GYAnI (i.e. is it possible for some GYAnI to) have an
> ahaMkAra?
> Answer: NO.
> Question 2: Can the GYAnI (i.e. is it possible for some GYAnI to) speak or
> act AS IF an ahaMkAra exists?
> Answer: YES.

This, the above.2 and the answer, is exactly what I mean by my statements
that you have based these questions upon.  Supposing a Jnani is a grihastha
and someone asks him about his gotra.  He will give the name of the gotra.
If he is required to fill out a form asking for details of age, date of
birth, place of birth, male/female, height,weight, etc. by some civic
authority he will give all these.  [All these details belong to the body]

If you accept the answers to Question 1 as "NO" (Vide Gita 5.8-9), we have
> no disagreement. Otherwise, we definitely have a disagreement.
> If you hold that the GYAnI can have the ahaMkAra (NOT merely act or speak
> as if an ahaMkAra exists), I would like you to provide a strong
> authoritative quote to that effect.

It is worth noting the following:

Here is a quote from the book 'Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection' (of Sri
Abhinava Vidyateertha Mahaswamigal) p.206:

//The possibility of apparent erroneous notions causing transient delusion
in a knower of the Truth is stated by Bhagavatpada as follows in His
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad bhashyam on the passage 1.4.10:

...न च विपरीतप्रत्ययो विद्यावत उत्पद्यते ।  क्वचित्तु विद्यायाः *
पूर्वोत्पन्नविपरीतप्रत्ययजनितसंस्कारेभ्यो* विपरीतप्रत्ययावभासाः स्मृतयो
जायमाना विपरीतप्रत्ययभ्रान्तिमकस्मात्
कुर्वन्ति । यथा विज्ञातदिग्विभागस्याप्यकस्माद्दिग्विपर्ययविभ्रमः ।

[Erroneous notions (such as that one is an agent and that one experiences
pleasure and pain) cannot arise in the knower of the Truth....Sometimes,
however, recollections that stem from the *impressions formed by the
erroneous notions *that arose prior to enlightenment and which have the
appearances of erroneous notions crop up and suddenly delude him as to their
being actual erroneous notions just as even one who knows the directions
well sometimes suddenly becomes confused about them. ]

In the Panchadashi it is said:

भोगकाले कदाचित्तु मर्त्योऽहमिति भासते ।। (VII 245 cd)
नैतावताऽपराधेन तत्त्वज्ञानं विनश्यति ।
जीवन्मुक्तिव्रतं नेदं किन्तु वस्तुस्थितिः खलु ॥  (VII 246)
[Sometimes, during the period of experiencing of the fruit of past karma,
the idea, 'I am a man' may seem to be.  By this much defect, the knowledge
of the Truth will not perish.  *This (the eradication of such notions) is
not any vow of jivanmukti *(to be observed by the enlightened one without
any slip whatsoever).  On the other hand, *this is actually how the matter
stands*.] //

[Quote from that above Book 'YEP' is over]

Now, this is what Swami Vidyaranya, in the Panchadashi, Chapter 11, towards
the end, has to say:

अविरोधिसुखे बुद्धिः स्वनन्दे च गमागमौ ।
कुर्वन्त्यास्ते क्रमादेषा काकाक्षिवद्तस्ततः ॥

128. The sage, looking now at the bliss of Brahman and now at such worldly
objects as are not opposed to it, is like a crow that turns its eye from one
side to another.  [Note the most significant word in the above shloka:
buddhiH.  In Vedanta 'buddhi' is a synonym to denote the manas, chittam and

........द्वये *तत्त्वविदो मतिः* ।।

129. The crow has only a single vision which alternates between the right
and left eye. Similarly the vision of the knower of Truth alternates between
the two types of bliss (of Brahman and the world). [Again, Note the most
significant word in the above shloka: matiH.  This word too, means any of
the manas, buddhi, chittam, ahankara.  And these are the various modes of
the one dravyam called 'antahkaraNam'.  It comes as a package; there is
absolutely no way that one element in the package is not there (in a
physically healthy person)]

130. Enjoying* both *the bliss of Brahman taught in the scriptures *and* the
worldly bliss unopposed to it, the knower of truth knows them both in the
same way as one who knows two languages.

131. When the knower experiences sufferings, he is not disturbed by them as
he would have been before. Just as a man half-immersed in the cool water of
the Ganges feels *both* the heat of the sun and the coolness of the water,
so he feels the misery of the world* and* the bliss of Brahman at the same

132. The knower of truth, experiencing the bliss of Brahman in the waking
state experiences it also in the dreaming state, because it is the
impressions received in the waking state that give rise to dreams.

*अविद्यावसनाप्यस्तीति* अः तद्वासनोत्थिते ।
स्वप्ने *मूर्खवदेवैष *सुखं दुःखं च वीक्षते ॥

133. The impressions of ignorance still continue in the dreaming state. So
in a dream a wise man will experience sometimes joy and sometimes suffering,
without being affected by either.

[The translator has been a little 'lenient' in this verse.  Note the word
'moorkhavat' which means just like an ignorant man'.  Also note another
significant word in the verse:  'avidyA-vAsanA' which Swami Vidyaranya
teaches will be present in a Tattvavit.  The dreams that the Tattvavit gets
will be triggered by the impressions of the waking state as well as the
subconscious avidya vasanas that persist, till the death of the individual.
I have heard and also read in the Brahmasutra and Brihadaranyaka Bhashya,
references for which I am not immediately able to provide, that a (very
accomplished) Jnani will be able to have the 'all this is seen is mithya'
vision even in his dreams.]

In closing, let me remark that in my understanding the behaviour of Sri Rama
upon Sita's abduction that we considered recently, is govermed by the
mechanism given out by Swami Vidyaranya above.  Swami Vidyaranya does not
say anything like 'acting' to a particular audience. I shall just quote two
relevant verses from the Panchadashi itself in this regard, that is also in
reply to a question/opinion expressed by a member in another thread:

156. If it were possible to avert the consequences of fructifying Karma,
Nala, Rama and Yudhisthira would not have suffered the miseries to which
they were subjected.

न च ईश्वरतां ईशस्य हीयत तावता यतः ।  157
[ Since the name of Rama is included in the above verse, Swami Vidyaranya
himself provides an answer anticipating a question:  From the above verse
one should not conclude that the Omnipotence, Ishvaratvam, of Ishwara,
(Rama), is at stake. (This portion of the verse is not explicitly stated in
the translation and hence I have added it.)]

157. Ishvara Himself ordains that the fructifying Karma should be
inexorable. So the fact that He is unable to prevent such Karma from
fructifying is not inconsistent with His omnipotence.

158. Listen to the questions and answers between Arjuna and Sri Krishna from
which we know that a man has to experience his fructifying Karma though he
may have no desire to experience it.

159. ‘O Krishna, prompted by what does a man sin against his will, as if
some force compels him to do so ?’

160. ‘It is desire and (its brood) anger, born of the quality of Rajas. It
is insatiable, the great source of all sins; know it to be your enemy.’

161. ‘O Arjuna, your own Karma, produced by your own nature, compels you to
do things, even though you may not want to do them’.

I have made the reply too lengthy; pl pardon me.  I just wanted to include
many details.



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