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

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Sat Jul 24 08:50:34 CDT 2010

Hari Om, Mahesh,

I'll try not to be repetitive, but its unlikely, and brief in my inline

On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 4:37 PM, Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com>wrote:

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? *

I'd say a more valid question would be whether jnAni's MI played any role at
all in trying to get to the stage of jnAni or such jnAna was a 'revelation'.
If that Q has an answer, the same answer is applicable here. And I'm sure
the answer to the question lies in the definition of the adhikari of jnAna.

> 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.*

Continuing on the earlier point, I'd qualify this by saying that given the
nature of MI of an ajnAni, it is subject to fallibility. As for what came
from the pen of a jnAni, only if one were to know how to assess a jnAni!
Ergo, it was deemed best if the works are inline with shruti and other

> 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!

For exactly the same reason that the philosophy is inline with shruti. That
shruti is the only tool available to measure cannot be overstated. We as
novices can see it because of the bhashya that shows whats is inline and
what is against the pramANas, what is valid jnAna and what is invalid, etc.
As much as you wouldn't agree if I'd instead said that we have faith in
Shankara's path, you'd have to agree that profundity of the saint doesn't
necessarily make the conclusion drawn from his path correct.

> 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'.

For the plain simple reason, again, that it agrees with shruti. But yes,
philosophy is still a path, but one that is about the whole truth, not a
partial one. :)

> 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?

Many of Shankaracharya's works show that the purvapakshin has erred on
something which seems so simple after we understand that. Why didn't they
see it is not very convincing there either. The entire advaita vedanta
tradition insists on shrotriya guru for this very reason. With many people
from many walks having 'revelations' would otherwise drag us in umpteen

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?
My view is that advaita vedanta path, at least, is timeless.

I reckon I have been repeating that shruti is the measure by which anything
in the tradition is measured to be true. That being the point, I rest the

Kind rgds,
--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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