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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 13:49:04 CDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Sriram Sharma <prahladadasa at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namo Narayanaya!
> > 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.
> That seems to be a straightforward contradiction to what Sarvajnatman,
> Ramatirtha, Madhusudana Saraswati, and Nrsimhashrama say in Sanksepa
> Sariraka II.182. All of these Acharyas specifically use the word
> 'play-acting' (nATya/naTana).
> Sarvajnatman talks about ignorance of the Jivas in II.181 and specifically
> makes an exception to exclude Isvara in II.182

Namaste Sriram ji,

While I am not denying that various Acharyas have opined that  Rama only
play-acted, it is also pertinent  to note that the original Valmiki Ramayana
itself has been seen in several ways by several people and we have so many
Ramayanam-s.  Kamba, Tulsi, Ananda, AdhyAtma, VAsiShTha,  just to name a
few.  There are variations across these works regarding incidents,
characters and so on.  I am not an expert in Ramayana studies and therefore
can't say much on these.  One thing I heard from a scholar recently is that
for instance, the idea of 'Lakshman Rekha' is not found in the Valmiki
version.  Lakshmana did not draw any such line around the hermitage before
leaving to attend Rama's distress call.  There are 'paTTi mandram-s'
(Tamil) held now and then where people argue whether or not Shurpanaka is a
noble character and was she not subjected to injustice.  Then about whose is
a greater sacrifice, Lakshmana's or Bharata's.  The same concern for
Mandhara, the mistress of Kaikeyi.  Again, about Kaikeyi herself.  People
have varied opinions and justifications to further their cause.

I think the Valmiki Ramayana itself wants to portray Rama as a human who is
the protagonist of Dharma in practice of human life that is filled with
uncertainties and vagaries of fate.  I am unable to understand as to who the
audience is that Rama is addressing, for instance, by his stated
reaction/behaviour on the abduction of Sita.  Which section of humanity will
be benefited by Rama's wailing in the forest just up to the point of
sighting JaTaayu?   What lesson do we learn from His behaviour at that

> In any case, what prArabdha karma of Rama are we referring to? There does
> not seem to be any pramANa for any of that in Valmiki Ramayana/Vishnu
> Purana/Bhagavata.
> This is also what Sri Appayya Dikshita says in Siddhanta Lesa Sangraha. If
> the members of the forum would like, I can include the links from the
> Digital Library of India web page to these references (or) transcribe them.
> SS

Here are two verses in the Bhagavadgita 4.5,6  - {verses and commentary in
Devanagari copied from gitasupersite beta}

श्री भगवानुवाच

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन।

तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप।।4.5।।

-- बहूनि मे मम व्यतीतानि अतिक्रान्तानि जन्मानि तव च हे अर्जुन। तानि अहं वेद
जाने सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ न जानीषे, धर्माधर्मादिप्रतिबद्धज्ञानशक्तित्वात्।
अहं पुनः *नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभावत्वात् *अनावरणज्ञानशक्तिरिति वेद अहं हे
परंतप।।कथं तर्हि तव नित्येश्वरस्य धर्माधर्माभावेऽपि जन्म इति, उच्यते --

Shankaracharya has used this term *नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभाव: *in the
Bhashyams quite often to refer to the Atman, Brahman.  Has He used this term
to refer to the Jnani as well?  If yes, the Acharya is not making any
difference in the nature of Bhagavan as above and a Jnani.  If, a Jnani is
admitted to undergo experiences due to prArabdham, could not Ishwara be
admitted to undergo experiences owing to Maya?

Could it be reasoned on the basis of Sri Shukacharya's statement, in
connection with the propriety of the Lord in engaging in Rasa kreeDa with
the gopi women?

//Shri Shuka said:  Violation of Dharma and overboldness is occasionally
witnessed on the part of the mighty (IshvarANAm) .//

If dharma-vyatikrama is admitted, due to what reason did it take place?
Could there be an element of 'moha' due to Maya on the part of the Lord?
For, in respect of others, a dharma vyatikrama can take place due to moha,
bewilderment, overtaken by maya.

How is the event of Lord Shiva becoming infatuated with Mohini, a bewitching
female form that Lord Vishnu took in the process of the samudra mathanam
looked at by various Acharyas?

4.5 O Arjuna, many lives of Mine have passed, and so have yours. I know them
all, (but) you know not, O scorcher of enemies!

 O Arjuna, bahuni, many; janmani, lives; me, of Mine; vyatitani, have
passed; tava ca, and so have yours. Aham, I; veda know; tani, them; sarvani,
all; (but) tvam, you; va vetta, know not, due to your power of understanding
being obstructed by righteousness, unrighteousness, etc. However, parantapa,
O scorcher of foes; aham, I know, possessing as I do unobstructed power of
knowledge, because by nature I am enternal, pure, enlightened and free.

'In that case, how, in spite of the absence of righteousness and
unrighteousness, can there be any birth for You who are the eternal God?'

That is beng answered:

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्।

प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय संभवाम्यात्ममायया।।4.6।।

4.6 Though I am birthless, undecaying by nature, and the Lord of beings,
(still) by subjugating My Prakriti, I take birth by means of My own Maya.

अजोऽपि जन्मरहितोऽपि सन्, तथा अव्ययात्मा अक्षीणज्ञानशक्तिस्वभावोऽपि सन्, तथा
भूतानां ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तानाम् ईश्वरः ईशनशीलोऽपि सन्, प्रकृतिं स्वां मम
वैष्णवीं मायां त्रिगुणात्मिकाम्, यस्या वशे सर्वं जगत् वर्तते, यया मोहितं सत्
स्वमात्मानं वासुदेवं न जानाति, तां प्रकृतिं स्वाम् अधिष्ठाय वशीकृत्य संभवामि
देहवानिव भवामि जात इव आत्ममायया आत्मनः मायया, न परमार्थतो लोकवत्।।तच्च जन्म
कदा किमर्थं च इत्युच्यते -- ।।4.6।।

Api, san ajah, though I am birthless; and avyayatma, undecaying by nature,
though I am naturally possessed of an undiminishing power of Knowledge; and
so also api san, though; isvarah, the Lord, natural Ruler; bhutanam, of
beings, from Brahma to a clump of grass; (still) adhisthaya, by subjugating;
svam, My own; prakrtim, Prakrti, the Maya of Visnu consisting of the three
gunas, under whose; spell the whole world exists, and deluded by which one
does not know one's own Self, Vasudeva;-by subjugating that Prakrti of Mine,
sambhavami, I take birth, appear to become embodeid, as though born;
atma-mayaya, by means of My own Maya; but not in reality like an ordinary

*What does the YogavasiShTha say?*

In the Jivanmukti viveka JMV, Swami Vidyaranya quotes these verses in the
Fourth Chapter: The purpose of the Attainment of Jivanmukti:

'O scion of the Raghu-s! the best of knowers! there is nothing more that
remains to be known by thee.  Thou has known, thru thy own sharp intellect,
all that is to be known.  Thy intellect, though well enlightened in regard
to all that is worth knowing, even like that of Shuka, the son of the
revered Vyasa, *still stands in need of the attainment of quiescence.'*
[Laghu Yoga Vasishtha LYV 3.17,18]

Here are some points that occur to me that could be analyzed and evaluated
by members here:

   1. According to the LYV  Rama was in need of 'chitta vishrAnti'.
   2. This is a term Sri Vidyaranya uses for Sage Yajnavalkya and Bhagiratha
   in the Vasanakshaya chapter in this JMV
   3. Sri Vidyaranya's two verses from the Panchadashi have been seen by us
   where he includes Rama in the category of those who experienced misery due
   to  events that could not be avoided
   4. In the JMV too Vidyaranya characterizes Rama as a student of VasishTha

   5. Is it possible that in the assessment of Swami Vidyaranya Sri Rama of
   the LYV is the one who is the subject matter of the two Panchadashi verses
   in question?
   6. If the answer to the above is in the affirmative, then we have no
   problem in settling the Panchadashi question:  how can Rama said to have
   undergone miseries?
   7. We  can attribute prArabdham to Rama since Rama is shown to be * in
   need of the attainment of quiescence *in the* *LYV*.*
   8. Prarabdham or not, at least the need of 'chitta vishrAnti' could be
   adduced as the cause of Sri Rama's behaviour in the Sita abduction or the
   golden deer event.
   9. Could there be a samanvaya made of Swami Vidyaranya's treatment of Sri
   Rama in the three works we have on hand: 1. The Vivarana prameya sangraha 2.
   the Panchadashi and 3. the JMV (LYV)?
   10. My formulation and the presentation of the questions may not be very
   accurate logically.
   11. Yet thinkers may address the issue presented herein.  I have
   presented data.

How does the Yoga Vasishtha see Sri Rama as?  - an avatara or a human
seeking knowledge and attaining it?  Could Swami Vidyaranya, owing to the
reasons of his treating Sri Rama on the basis of LYV be standing apart from
the other Advaita Acharyas who have uniformly spoken about Sri Rama's
play-acting as an avatara?

In the sequel are shown some verses, from the Panchadashi itself, where the
distinction between jiva and Ishwara is clearly brought out:

मायाधीन: चिदाभास: श्रुतौ मायी महेश्वर: ।

अन्तर्यामी च सर्वज्नो जगद्योनि: स एव हि ॥ (vi.157)

( The jiva is ‘subject to MaayA’ and Ishwara is the Lord of MAyA.  Ishwara
is the Indweller, Omniscient and the Origin of the Universe.)

In  verse 19 of the dvaitaviveka ch. 4 he says:

मायावृत्त्यात्मको हि ईशसंक्ल्प: साधनं जनौ ।

मनोवृत्त्यात्मको जीवसंकल्पो भॊगसाधनम् ॥ (iv.19)

(Ishwara’s will characterized by a MAyAvRtti is the means for creation of
the universe.  The jiva’s will of the nature of a mode of mind is the means
for experiencing the fruits of karma.)

माहेश्वरी तु माया या तस्या निर्माणशक्तिवत् ।

विद्यते मोहशक्तिश्च तं जीवं मोहयत्यसौ ॥ (iv.12)

(Ishwara’s MayA has two powers: The world-creating power *of Ishwara* and
the deluding power that *deludes the jiva*.)

मायोपाधिः जगद्योनि: सर्वज्ञत्वादिलक्षण: (vii.72)

( Ishwara endowed with the MAyOpAdhi is the source of the universe and is
characterized by *omniscience,* etc.)

All the above verses, from the Panchadashi, bring out the clear difference
between Ishwara and jiva.

Let me humbly state that I have only placed before this august group
some data in the above account and  not a
clear-cut analysis of the same.  I request the members to help
arriving at a meaningful conclusion.

Warm regards,


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