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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 15:00:05 CDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 6:44 AM, Sriram Sharma <prahladadasa at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namo Narayanaya!
> Shri Subrahmanian,

>  > 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?
> To my understanding, to show how He really cares about His Devi.

The 'care' for one's 'devi' has been brought out by Shankaracharya in the
AdhyAsa Bhashyam:

पुत्रदारादिषु विकलेषु सकलेषु वा अहमेव विकलः सकलो वेति....

The naisargika loka vyavahara: 'aham idam, mama idam' (I am this, this is
mine) translates into one's attachment to that which belongs to him.  When
one's son or wife suffers a loss one thinks that he himself has suffered
that loss... This is the natural adhyAsa, that comes without anyone
teaching.  In the Mundakopanishat bhashyam 3.1.2 the Acharya says this even
more dramatically:   पुत्रो मम विनष्टः, मृता मे भार्या, किं मे जीवितेन
इत्येवं दीनभावोऽनीशा तया शोचति सन्तप्यते मुह्यमानोऽनेकैरनर्थप्रकारैः
अविवेकतया चिन्तामापद्यमानः ...

[Under the heavy weight of ignorance, desire, attachment etc......owing to
complete identification with the body, this very being has such ideas as, '
I am the son of such a one....I am good for nothing, My son is lost, and my
wife is dead; what avails my life? -  with such moods he grieves, is
smitten, being worried, by various kinds of troubles because of his
ignorance.  ]

Shankaracharya calls this natural to an ajnani, not being taught by anyone
to have such notions.  Is the pramANa, the Valmiki Ramayana, teaching this
that is already known to man?

Sage Shuka, in the Srimadbhagavatam, has brought out this very purport, as
Shankaracharya,  when he commented, on Rama's grief upon Sita's abduction

भ्रात्रा वने कृपणवद् प्रियया वियुक्तः स्त्रीसंगिनां गतिमिति प्रथयंश्चचार ॥
9.10.11 ||

//Then Lord Ramachandra wandered in the forest with His brother Lakshmana as
if very much distressed due to separation from His wife. Thus He showed by
His personal example the condition of a person attached to women. //

If Shuka Muni had seen Rama as only Para Brahman, he would not have
described Him in the above terms.  He would have said something like:
अशब्दमस्पर्शमरूपमव्ययम्....or यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत् तत्केन कं
पश्येत्.....or in saguNa form: यतो वा इमानि भूतानि जायन्ते...जन्माद्यस्य यतः
etc.   No.  Shuka did not do that.  Doing that would be useless for a
seeker.  He saw Rama as a MaryAdaa Purushottama, giving a lot of
lessons tofellow humans.  He saw Rama as a man with emotions,
reactions and concern.
All this is possible only if the human aspect is not rejected but
purposefully retained, studied and analysed.  Look at these words of Shuka:
कृपणवद्...स्त्रीसंगिनां गतिमिति...   Surely, man does not need an Avatara to
teach him something that he already is naturally, untaught.

>  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.

Here is a shloka that is dear to a Vedantin - sadhaka as well as a siddha:

नित्यः शुद्धो बुद्धमुक्तस्वभावः सत्यः सूक्ष्मः सन् विभुश्चाद्वयश्च  ।
आनन्दाब्धिर्यः परस्सोऽहमस्मि  प्रत्यग्धातुर्नात्र संशीतिरस्ति ॥

I am not very sure of the source of this verse but would guess it is in some
important work like the 'SamkShepashAreeraka'.  I remember Sri Mani Dravid
Sastrigal mentioning the source of this verse as something like this.  In
any case, the meaning is very clear and beyond doubt that it applies to the
Jnani who has realized his non-difference from the Atman/Brahman.

> > 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
> time.

The age of Krishna does not count in Shuka's reply and Parikshit's
question.  The Bhagavata itself calls it: amorous play.  It is only because
of this Parikshit raises that question.  Shuka does not bring in the age
factor in his reply on 'dharma vyatikrama'.
On an aside note:  There was a report from the US recently that a boy of 10
had become a father.

> > 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.

Swami Vidyaranya quotes profusely from the LYV in the JMV.  The whole work
is sadhana oriented.  He sees the dialogue between VasiShTha and Rama as not
something like the Sandipani instruction.  He does not view Rama as
Ishwara.  He sees Rama in the context of the LYV dialogue as a sadhaka and
the dialogue itself to be a great text for vedanta sadhana.  It is not
viewed by Vidyaranya as a Puranic text.  As I pointed out, the 'chitta
vishrAnti' problem is identified by Vidyaranya in Rama, Shuka AND
Yajnavalkya and King Bhagiratha alike.  And the problems this leads to and
the need to address them.

> 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 with me the commentary of Sri Ramakrishna, a quite popular and lucid
one.  I have seen it and did not  find anything to add to the discussion
excepting this:  commenting on verse 7.157 'न च ईश्वरत्वं हीयेत....ईश्वरेणैव
निर्मिता’  He says:  prArabdhasya aparihAryatve tatparihAra-asamarthasya
Ishvarasya aneeshvaratva prasangaH ityaashankyaaha: ...Kuta ..avashyamiti...
yataH kaaraNaat eShAm duHkhAdInaam avashyambhaavitaapi IshvareNaiva
nirmitaa, ato na aneeshvaratva prasangaH ityarthaH.

// If prArabdha cannot be averted, since Ishwara has been unable to avert
it, will Ishwara not be deemed to be devoid of Ishvaratva?  ...No.. The
reason is:  The inevitability of these particular miseries also has been
ordained by Ishvara alone; hence there is no possibility of Ishvara becoming
devoid of Ishvaratva.//

Here is an episode of Gandhari's curse on Krishna after she had lost all her
sons in the battle.  She held Krishna responsibile for this saying 'You
could have averted this war and you have failed in it.'   She cursed Him
that His Yadava clan would also perish without any remainder.


Gandhari confronted Krishna and said, "You are the cause of death of my
sons. You could have prevented the war but you did not. As a result the
Kurus have been almost wiped out. I curse you that you shall die the death
of an animal, your clan of Vrishni will perish in an internal strife. The
cousins will fight and kill each other." The grief seeing all her son's dead
had overwhelmed Gandhari. Draupadi's sons dead. She could not find the words
to console the women lamenting at the loss of their sons and Krishna
happened to come in the battlefield, where Gandhari was sitting with all
other woman and trying to console her.

Krishna gave his gentlest smile and said, "Mother you have relieved me of a
burden. My clan cannot be destroyed by anyone in the world except by
themselves. You have solved my problem. As to my death it is so ordained. I
accept your curse by way of your blessings." Now Gandhari anger was abated
fully. She became full of love for the Pandavas.

See also this:

 And it came to pass.  SAmba, Krishna's son from Jaambavati,  disguising as
a pregnant woman and ridiculing the Rishis and earning their curse also
added to the extinction of the Yadava clan.  Does this not show that so many
events were interlinked in this story to bring about those events the way
those events occured?  The fate of the Yadava clan of Krishna was  linked
with the fate of the Kuru clan.  Such is the jigsaw - model  that even
Krishna's death was caused by the arrow that was made from the iron spikes
that formed as a result of the Rishis' curse in Dwaraka.  Krishna says in
the Gita:  vedAham samateetaani, vartamaanaani cha Bharata. BhaviShyANi
cha... He knows the past, the present and the future of all beings.  He is
the one, keeping His prakRti in control, that drafted the story which must
include His own birth and disappearance from the world after the purpose is
over.   So, going by the commentary on the Panchadashi, all those events
were destined to be the way they happened by Ishwara alone.  And He is also
a part of, party to, those events that could not be averted.

And Vedanta, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad teaches, the input for Ishwara to
create is provided by the jivas, in the form of their karma. And in a
particular span of an avatara, it is the karma of those jivas that happen to
be present during that avatara, where the life of that avatara is also a
part of that creation.  And even that avatara cannot escape the events of
the span.  That is the purport of the Panchadashi verse.


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