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

Sriram Sharma prahladadasa at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 20:14:53 CDT 2010

Namo Narayanaya!

Shri Subrahmanian,

> 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.... to further their cause.

How is it pertinent? There could be kAvyams, sthala purANams, and folklore
versions. All of that does not become pramANa for Vedantic discussion. We
have to stick to the Adi-kavi, Valmiki's version.

> I think the Valmiki Ramayana itself wants to portray Rama as a human who
> the protagonist of Dharma in practice of human life that is filled with
> uncertainties and vagaries of fate.

In my humble opinion, it is dead wrong to say that Maharishi Valmiki
portrayed Rama as "just an ordinary human". The Maharishi himself emphasizes
at many places that Shri Rama is the avatAra of Vishnu. That He wished to be
an ideal son, husband, and king during the time of the Avatara is a
different thing.

> 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
> be benefited by Rama's wailing in the forest just up to the point of
sighting JaTaayu?

To my understanding, to show how He really cares about His Devi. Rama also
wails when Jataayu leaves his body, it shows that He cares fore the
well-being of all Jivatmas. In any case, Mahesvara Tirtha (I believe he is
advaitin since he uses the term Saguna Brahman in the first chapter) has
commented on the Ramayana and someone who has a copy of it can refer to the
corresponding section.

> Shankaracharya has used this term *नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभाव: *in the
> Bhashyams quite often to refer to the Atman, Brahman. Has He used this
> to refer to the Jnani as well?

 He uses the term often to refer to Brahman, Atma, and Ishvara (specifically
also in the introductory part). In the Vishnu Sahasranama commentary also,
Sri Bhagavatpada uses the term at the "putatma paramatma" line. For Jnanis,
as far as I have seen, the Acharya never employs such a term. It is clear
why it cannot be employed -- in the empirical level of reality that we are
talking about, a Jnani was an a-Jnani in some previous birth, and samsAra
itself is beginningless. Hence, there is no way that we could call him/her
as Nitya-suddha-buddha-mukta. However, the Lord (Isvara) is no
transmigrating being, takes avatAras by his own volition to protect dharma,
is eternally pure, wise, and liberated.

> If, a Jnani is admitted to undergo experiences due to prArabdham, could
not Ishwara be
> admitted to undergo experiences owing to Maya?

An emphatic NO. The answer lies in the verse/commentary of 4.6 itself which
says Isvara is the controller of, and not subject to, Maya. Nowhere the
Acharya or the Lord Himself says that Isvara is also subject to his own
Maya. Moreover, let me quote the words of the Acarya in 7.25:

यया योगमायया समावृतं मां लोकः नाभिजानाति, नासौ योगमाया मदीया सती मम ईश्वरस्य
मायाविनो ज्ञानं प्रतिबध्नाति, यथा अन्यस्यापि मायाविनः मायाज्ञानं तद्वत्।

A. Mahadeva Sastri's translation to the above:

That *Yoga-Maya by which I am veiled* and on account of which people do not
recognise Me, is Mine, i. c, *subject to My control, and, as such, it cannot
obstruct My knowledge*— the knowledge of the Isvara, of the possessor (or
wielder) of the Maya, *just as the glamour (maya) caused by a juggler
(mayavin) does not obstruct his own knowledge*.

> 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?

It is improper to say that the Lord engaging in Rasa Kreeda with the Gopi
women was improper. The Lord Himself being the adhyakSa of do's and dont's
is not subject to those constraints. Moreover, it is the same Lord who is
also the all-pervading, the antaryAmi who resides in the Gopis' hearts, and
in the heart of every being subject to transmigration. From an external
point of view also, the Lord was in the form of a 10-year-old lad at that

Yes, Sukacarya says that great personalities, since they are totally
liberated, may occasionally seem to/really do transgress dharma. The point
is, the purpose there is not to instruct/encourage men to act in adharmic
fashion. There may be a different ulterior purpose which are explained in
the contexts separately.

If men want to imitate the Lord's Rasa Kreeda citing the Lord as the reason,
let them first lift the Govardhana hill with their pinky finger. If they are
successful, they can do what they want.

Two things to sum up Rasa Kreeda discussion:

(i) Sukacarya says that listening to the Lord's rAsa kreeDa makes one
overcome lust:

*SB 10.33.39* <http://vedabase.net/sb/10/33/39/en>: Anyone who faithfully
hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopīs of
Vṛndāvana <http://vedabase.net/v/vrndavana> will attain the Lord's pure
devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the
disease of the heart.

If this was an act of adharma, how does mananam of it bring the opposite
effect (of conforming to dharma)?

(ii) Narayaneeyam of Narayana Bhattathiri totally supports all of these

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

I will check Sridhara Swami's commentary and let all know.

> 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.'*

Nothing contradictory here either, that Rama/Krishna went to gurukula (as
if) to learn, and that the Guru instructed just as a normal guru would do,
is possible. If someone were to say that Maharishi Vasishta taught something
to Rama that the latter Himself indeed did not know, that would be absurd.
Why do I say this? Because of Gita 10.2, 10.6:

"Neither the hosts of the Gods nor the Great Rishis know my origin ; for I
am the source of all the Gods and the Great Rishis." (10.2 text)

"Prabhava (interpreted as origin) may also mean Great Lordly Power. Gods:
Brahma and others, Rishis: such as Bhrgu." (Srimad Acharya in 10.2 above)

"The seven great Rishis such as Bhngu, as well as the four Manus of the past
ages known as Savarnas, had directed their thoughts to Me exclusively and
were therefore endowed with the power ot Vishnu. They were produced by Me by
mind alone." (Lord's words as per Srimad Acharya, in 10.6)

> We can attribute prArabdham to Rama

Never. Kindly check "na mAm karmANi limpanti" in Gita 4.14.

> 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.

Cannot be the case, at least according to our Adi Acharya. Srimad Sankara
says in Gita introduction, and at 3.22 (where it is clear from the text
itself) that the Lord, being eternally perfect, has nothing to achieve and
is not wanting in any aspect. This is why the play-acting explanation fits
so very well.

For those who are familiar with Pancadasi-- isn't there a commentary
available to this text? What does the commentator say in the verses quoted
by Shri Subrahmanian?

I have tried to answer the points as per my understanding. I request members
to kindly evaluate them to see if they are indeed correct.


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