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

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Sat Jul 24 06:07:53 CDT 2010

Dear Sri Vidyasankar & Praveen:

Thanks for your thoughts. The subject has drifted a little from what I was
trying to get at - most likely due to my own responses. I guess, in all
this, what I am trying to understand is the mind of the Jnaani (self
realized soul).* Is what the Jnaani writes 'revealed' to him or her? Or it
is a product of his or her MI? *

When Praveen writes:
"The greatness of advaita vedanta lies in the fact that it accepts the
mithya level of BMI of the sAdhaka or the author/ Guru to reveal the truth
as it stands."

And when Sri Subrahmanian writes:
"Any work written be it the Brahma Sutras  by Badarayana or the Bhashya by
Bhagavatpada Shankara is essentially 'pUreSheya'."

it clearly indicates that the MI is involved.* If so, given the general
nature of MI, it is subject to fallibility.* And that is what was
disconcerting to me. The question I asked myself was, why should the MI of
Sri Aurobindo (for example) be any different from that of Sankaracharya? *Were
they not both Jnaanis?* Why then is Sankaracharya any more correct about
'The Truth' than Sri Aurobindo? To support Shankaracharya's position, it is
argued that his philosophy is more in line with the scriptures and also that
he professes true freedom for the jiva. But given that we as novices can see
this, one ought to give that much credit to a profound saint like Sri
Aurobindo to draw a similar conclusion!

Then, as Sri Vidyasankar has pointed out, there were many subsequent
Advaitin Jnaanis who did not agree fully with Sankaracharya's philosophy. Is
this an indication of fallibility on the Acharya's part? Or do we say that
they were not Jnaanis and hence did not understand the Acharya?

Lastly, one may call the various teachings as paths to reality - that is
agreeable, but then one must, if one is to be honest, accept that
Sankaracharya's philosophy as a path & not 'The Truth'. To Praveen's view
that it has to be 'The Truth' since it professes 'freedom without
qualification', I again ask why did a Vallabhacharaya not see this? If the
latter was born to serve the needs of a certain people at a certain time,
why don't we give Sankaracharya a similar mission?

I guess the thread "The Mechanics of Self Realization" which Sri Sadananda
has recently started in this group, and addresses this very state of a
Jnaani, could not have come at a more opportune moment. I will follow it

In closing, Praveen, I look forward to your private communication on the
topic of freedom.

Thanks, Mahesh

On Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 6:57 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > The problem is that we take the import of the Vivekachoodamani or
> > Sankaracharya Bhashyas for coming to grips with the ultimate reality
> > (however approximate that may be). But there are other Bhasyas & works,
> for
> > example the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo or Suddha Advaita of
> > Vallabhacharya and many such. Each claims a Reality different from the
> > other, so much so that that they cannot be reconciled with each other.
> A reconciliation, or failing which, a resolution of contradictory notions,
> can only come with a recourse to the fundamental source texts of
> vedAnta, the upanishad-s. There may be points of commonality among
> various authors or there may be fundamental differences of perspective.
> At some point, such an exercise becomes merely academic and can be
> far removed from us coming to grips with ultimate reality.
> > Given this, if one believes (for legitimate reasons) that only his view
> is
> > correct, it indirectly means the author of the others would have to be
> taken
> > as fallible. If one says all views are correct, then Sankaracharya's
> > exposition is just a view, one among many. And then, oddly, all the
> > different authors become, in some sense, fallible. Truth is only
> expressed
> > through silence.
> >
> The problem would lie in saying unconditionally that all views are correct.
> There would be no problem in accepting that all views are partially
> correct,
> given the assumptions and hypotheses on which those views are based.
> I think that a major hesitation in boldly saying that the authors of other
> views are fallible is of very recent origin. Syncretism and broadness of
> perspective are well and good, but they cannot and should not stand in
> the way of clarity of insight. Prior to the Western colonization of Indian
> minds, I don't think any scholar in any vedAnta tradition felt it necessary
> to think that Sankara and rAmAnuja and madhva and vallabha and others
> all had to be correct at the same time.
> For that matter, at least within the advaita tradition, subsequent authors
> have not felt duty-bound to "toe the line" of earlier authors. For example,
> sureSvarAcArya, whose works exhibit a high degree of fidelity and respect
> towards Sankara bhagavatpAda's views, did not hesitate to specifically
> say "bhAshyam virudhyate" with respect to saMnyAsa for non-brAhmaNa-s.
> With the greatest respect towards his guru, sureSvara wrote down his own
> view on this topic, substantiated it with references to the dharmaSAstra
> texts and thereby clarified an important issue. Accepting fallibility in
> one's
> own paksha and moving to correct it is more important, at least in my mind,
> than holding to an impossible ideal of infallibility.
> There is the fairly well-known bAshkali-bAdhva episode recounted in the
> sUtra-bhAshya, which drives home the point that truth indeed lies only
> in silence. However, such silence is not to be understood as lending an
> unqualified acceptability to every view. Rather, such silence stands as
> a lasting rejection of all views, because of the limitations of every point
> of view. Now, it is of course possible to turn around and say that this
> statement about silence is itself only a view! So, having said what I've
> had to say in this regard, let me be silent :)
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
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