[Advaita-l] FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 21 11:14:31 CDT 2010

> Bhaskar, I will keep my response brief and pertinent to only a couple of 
> points.
> The rest has already been said and all that remains to be done is to read 
> the
> bhAshya-s carefully.
> bhaskar :
> First, my apologies for the very belated reply..I was out of station last 
> fortnight...
> Thanks a lot for your patience & time prabhuji. It is my great fortune 
> that you are giving your kind attention to my ramblings. For your kind 
> information, I've been studying shankara bhAshya atleast daily two hours 
> with the Kannada commentary by my parama guruji Sri SSS..and Whenever I 
> get any doubt, immediately I call my guruji-s (Mattur Sri Ashwatha 
> Narayana Avadhani & Sri ChandramouLi avadhAni ( now he took saNyAsa and 
> became Sri advayaanandendra Saraswati))for clarification. And ofcourse, 
> your goodself & Sri Vyas prabhuji will always be there on cybernet to help 
> me. 

Dear Bhaskar,


I don't doubt at all that you are studying the bhAshyas, but I assume that you
will be among the first to grant that every re-reading of these texts reveals
something that we have missed all along.

As my time is also very much taken up with other tasks on hand currently, let 
me get back to basics, and ask you to clarify some of your assumptions and/or
conclusions, rather than respond point-by-point.


You distinguish between intellectual understanding of AtmajnAna and the kind
of jnAna that a true jnAnI has. You are not prepared to accept that there can
be different kinds of jnAnI-s, even if Sruti and bhAshya both use the suffix
-varishTha in this respect. (I am not, at this point, interested in showing again
why your reinterpretation of this reference with respect of saguNa-brahmavit
and nirguNa-brahmavit is quite unnecessary and contrary to the explicit wording
of the bhAshya on the muNDaka.) You fail to see what is meant by jnAna-
pravRtti-daurbalya and how that can be after the rise of samyag-jnAna, when
even Sankara bhagavatpAda allows for it and says so explicitly in the bhAshya
on the bRhadAraNyaka.


Every discussion of these points brings in the word dhyAna and you are always
quick to point out that this is "different" from dhyAna in pAtanjala yoga. This
presumes that you know very well what is described as dhyAna in the yoga
texts, and how that is different from dhyAna in vedAnta. Do let us know in
detail where these differences lie and what they consist of. It is Sankara
bhagavatpAda himself, who sees some room for accommodating sAMkhya and
yoga even after refuting parts of those systems of thought. e.g. in numerous
places in the gItAbhAshya and even in the sUtra bhAshya. I had collated a
whole bunch of these citations in a series on Yoga and Advaita Vedanta a
couple of years ago, of which I'm sure you are quite aware.

Every discussion of these points also always brings up the issue of injunctions
with respect to jnAna-sAdhana-s and you are again quick to point out that
there is no action in Self-knowledge and that there can be no injunctions here.
You are correct, but only in a very limited way. It is Sankara bhagavatpAda
himself who allows for a niyama vidhi with respect to tyAga-vairAgyAdi sAdhana
AFTER the rise of samyag-jnAna, while denying an apUrva vidhi even before the
rise of samyag-jnAna. If you cannot see how or why this niyama vidhi is possible
or necessary, and if you cannot see why Sankara bhagavatpAda admits it, your
quarrel needs to be with him. As far as I am concerned, I have shown very clearly
why your paksha's argument, "this is only abhyupagamana" has the situation
totally wrong. You need to get back to basics either to see why this is so, or to
prove me wrong about this.


These basics are - 


1. What do you mean by "intellectual understanding" of Atma-jnAna? 

2. If Atma-jnAna is a special thing that does not involve the intellect at some stage,
    can even SravaNa (let alone manana and nididhyAsana) reveal it? 

3. What then, is the role of mind/intellect in jnAna?

4. Does jnAna arise at all, or does it always exist and only needs to be uncovered?
5. If it arises, does this arising happen in an instant? 

6. If it is only uncovered, does this uncovering happen in an instant?

7. In either case, is it absolutely impossible that it may take some time?

8. What happens to the jnAnI's mind or intellect at the instant that jnAna arises
   (or is uncovered)?
9. What happens to the jnAnI's mind or intellect AFTER this instant?

10. What happens to the jnAnI's mind or intellect at the moment of physical death?

11. Why does death even happen to a jnAnI's body?


I can think of a few more follow-up scenarios and questions, but the above offer 
a good enough starting point to refocus a discussion. Please don't be in a hurry 
to respond to these, because in any case, I will not be in a position to respond
to your response immediately and will have to take my time.


Best regards,

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