[Advaita-l] The Human aspect of Jnanis - 5 (Concluded)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 12:35:40 CDT 2010


In the earlier parts we had seen instances of manifestation of emotions such
as attachment, anger and desire in  a Jnani.  Let us remind ourselves of
what a 'Jnani' is:

A samsari jiva is what he is because of ignorance, avidya.  Avidya is always
a viShaya, object, to the viShayi, the subject Consciousness.  The jiva is
in truth this Consciousness.  It is because this realization is not there in
the jiva that he sees himself as a samsari.  When owing to scriptural
enquiry he realizes his true nature, he is freed of this jivatva,
samsaaritva.  However, this knowledge does not destroy the body-mind
apparatus and the world of matter.  The body-mind apparatus that lives on
along with the Knowledge of the Truth is what is termed a Jnani.  It is
Jnanam, Knowledge, plus the  body-mind  that is called a Jnani.

The word 'jivan-muktaH' means 'the one who is released from the bonds of
samsara even while alive'.  The word 'jeev' has the meaning of
'prANadhaaraNe'.  That is, he who is endowed with prANa, the mark of life,
is a jiva.  So, a jivanmukta is one with prANa.  PrANa is the one that
enables the mind/intellect/ego to function as well as the sense and motor
organs to operate.  This shows that the jivanmukta is very much in the range
of interacting with the material world.

With that definition of a Jnani, it becomes easy for us to appreciate that
while Jnanam does not and cannot have any manifestation of any emotion, the
Jnani who is the peculiar combination of Jnanam and the body-mind does
indeed and by default, manifest emotions as it is this combination that is
amidst the material world and its machinations.

All the sthitaprajna lakshanas detailed in the scripture are to be seen in
this light:  When for example, the verse :

duHkeShu anudvignamanaaH sukheShu vigataspRhahaH
veetaraaga-bhaya-krodhaH sthitadheer muniruchyate  2.56

of the Bhagavadgita is encountered, we quickly see these points:

   1. The word 'manaaH' prominently displayed in the verse teaches that the
   Jnani, the sthitaprajna, is endowed with a mind.
   2. He is not identifying himself with the mind, yet the mind itself is
   not absemt.
   3. It is this mind, the verse says, is not affected by
   sorrow/grief/misery when difficulty arises and is not affected by elation
   when favourable things happen.  [The Acharya's bhashya:  duHkhapraaptau mano
   yasya na prakShubhitam = when misery is encountered, the mind is not
   overwhelmed.  ]
   4. That mind is not subject  to fear, attachment and anger.
   5. All this means, these emotions arise, or their possibility of arising
   is there
   6. The mind senses them
   7. But does not give them the power to overwhelm the person.
   8. The mechanism involved in this exercise is:  The realization 'I am not
   the mind/body/organs but am the unchanging Atman, the Consciousness
   principle that enables the perception of these and the emotions. Hence I am
   not affected by these vikara-s.  What is, however, affected or might be
   affected, is the mind and I am not the mind.'
   9.  It is such viveka that enables the 'person' to remain as the witness
   and detach himself from the witnessed.
   10. It is such a person that gets the appendage: sthitadheeH.  It is not
   that there are no emotions or reactions and therefore he is a sthitadheeH.
   This can happen in deep sleep and even for a dead body.  It is only in the
   wake of emotions arising, their potential being very well there, their
   causative stimulants being very much present, that the scope for
   sthitaprajnatvam is appreciated.
   11. For the jivanmukta, sthitaprajna, prArabdha is very much there but
   only the effect of prarabhda, the affectation, is not there.  What does this
   mean?  It means that the 'person' there knows that prArabdha can and does
   affect the body-mind apparatus but the Atman is totally detached from this.
   It is only the Atman is not affected by prarabdha.  It is  this phenomenon
   that is popularly expressed as: the 'jivanmukta is not affected by
   prarabdha.'  This expression is often misunderstood to mean: there is no
   prarabdha at all for the jivanmukta / some Advaitic texts deny prarabdha for
   a Jnani, and so on.  The correct understanding is:  When a Jnani is
   admitted, there is no way prarabdha can be wished away.  The two 'Jnani and
   prarabdha' go together.  It is only the two 'Atman /Jnanam and prarabdha'
   that are antithetical and therefore do not go together.
   12. The 'dheeH', buddhi, intellect, is 'sthitaH', unmoved, only when the
   possibility of movement is there and despite that it is not moved.
   13. This means:  The 'person' does not give room for the feeling: 'I am
   affected'.  It is this disidentification from the mind/body and
   identification with the Atman alone constitutes 'sthairya of prajna'.  This
   is what is meant by 'the Jnani is not moved / affected'.  It is only the
   Jnanam / Atman that is not affected.  The mind does sense the affectation.
   14. How intensely the mind entertains the affectation, however, depends
   on the samskara, the paripakva, the training the mind has.  Mind 'A' might
   quickly expel the affectation and mind 'B' might not be able to do so that
   quickly.  This is what is the basis of differentiating, theoretically, one
   Jnani from another, capacity-wise.
   15. It is not the Jnanam that is different between them; it is
   essentially the mind that is different between them.
   16. It is like jnani, jivanmukta A living for 80 years and Jnani B living
   for only 30 years.  Jnanam in both is the same; only the body is different.

      Thus, the above verse of the Gita is to be understood in the manner
shown.  When seen thus, we are able to appreciate the fact that there are
emotions that arise, in whatever intensity, being vasana-prarabdha
dependent, and become known to the 'person'.  This is inevitable as long as
the person is awake and in the midst of vyavahara.  There might be some
repitiion of ideas in the above list; yet they are  not out of place.

Reverting to the emotions, here are some more instances of the Jnani having
the capacity to be a father/family man (refer post : // The Human aspect of
Jnanis -4 // )  -

   1. Sage Yajnavalkya was a Jnani who is a preeminent Acharya of
   Brahmavidya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.  His two wives were:
   Kaatyaayini and Maitreyi.
   2. King Janaka is a famed householder
   3. Varuna was the Jnani-father of Bhrugu who was instructed into
   Brahmavidya in the Taittiriya Upanishad
   4. Sage Uddalaka was the Jnani-father of Shvetaketu in the Chandogya
   5. Some Upanishads declare the fruit of Brahmavidya as (also) -  'In his
   , this Jnani's, lineage, kula, there will be no one who is not a Jnani'
   [nAsya kule abrahmavit bhavati']  This shows that the Jnani will  be / can
   be a father.
   6. Shankaracharya treats of these personalities of the Upanishads as
   'real' and not imaginary.  There is ample evidence for this treatment by the
   Acharya in His bhashya-s.


Om Tat Sat

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