[Advaita-l] Two types of Atma jnAni-s & their approach to real life situation

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jun 25 05:30:10 CDT 2010

Namaste Advaitins

Here is an instance, a glaring one, where the Acharya uses the first person

...अत्यन्तविरुद्धानेकार्थत्वेन लौकिकैर्गृह्यमाणमुपलभ्य अहं
विवेकतोऽर्थनिर्धारणार्थं संक्षेपतो विवरणं करिष्यामि ।.....अतस्दद्विवरणे
यत्नः क्रियते मया ।

The above is found in His introduction to the Bhagavadgita Bhaashyam.  He
says:' ..I have found that to the laity it appears to teadh diverse and
quite contradictory doctrines.  I propose, therefore, to write a brief
commentary with a view to determine its precise meaning.  .....Hence an
attempt is made by Me to explain it.'

I quote from the book 'The Crest Jewel of Yogis' - Vol I authored by Sri
R.M.Umesh.  On page 644 under the heading: BEHAVIOUR OF GREAT PERSONAGES it
is recorded:

Jivn Mukti would remain purely a theoretical concept unless there existed
Jivan Muktas to demonstrate its possibility.  Consider Shankara
Bhagavatpadal.  No advaitin has any doubt regarding His freedom from the
bonds of ignorance and His being a Jivan Mukta.  Still, the Madhaviya
Shankara Vijaya records that violating the norms for a Sanyasi, He went to
Kalady to be at His mother's side during her last moments and even chose to
Himself cremate her.  Is this not a case of apparent attachment?

When His former relatives refused to co-operate He cursed  them to the
effect that thereafter their crematoriums would be in their backyards.  Is
this not a case of apparent anger? These do not detract from Bhagavatpadal's
merit for none of these deeds shook His steady Wisdom.

If we take up the life of Lord Rama as depicted by Valmiki, we see that He
exhibited very intense grief on Sita being abducted by Ravana.  Are we then
to assume that Rama was an ignorant, dejected, common person and not an

In Sri Krishna's life too we have clear-cut manifestation of apparent human
weakness. Vyasa writes that after Arjuna had vowed to either kill Jayadratha
by sunset on the following day or to commit suicide, Krishna was *worried*.
In fact, He spent a sleepless night and in the middle of it sent for His
charioteer Daruka and remarked to him, 'I cannot bear to see a world without
Arjuna.'  Would this anxiety mean that Krishna was not an Avatara?
Certainly not.

We can even consider the cases of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Ramana whom
Acharyal acknowledges as Jnanis.  That will help to throw light on the
behaviour of comparatively recent personages.  [ I am skipping a portion
related to Sri Ramakrishna]

In 'Ramana Maharishi and the path of Self Knowledge' Osborne records the
following incident relating to Alagammal, Sri Ramana's mother:

'In 1914 she went on a pilgrimage to Venkataramana Swamy shrine at Tirupathi
and stayed at Thiruvannamalai on her way back.  This time she fell ill there
and suffered severely for several weeks with symptoms of typhoid.  Sri
Bhagavan tended her with great solicitude.  The verses he composed during
her sickness are the only instance known of any prayer of his to influence
the course of events.  'Oh Lord! Hill of my refuge, Who curest the ills of
recurrent births, it is for Thee to cure my mother's fever.'

Sri K.S. Swaminathan in his book 'Ramana Maharishi' records the episode of a
lady named Echammal.  who came to Sri Ramana in 1906.  Her husband, son and
daugher had died.  She adoped a girl named Chellamma and subsequently got
her married.  Chellamma had a son who was named Ramana.  One day Echammaal
received a telegram to the effect that Chellamma had died.  She ran and
handed over the telegram to Sri Ramana.
as he read it, he wept.  Echammal then went to attend her daugher's funeral
and returned with her grandson.  She placed him in Sri Ramana's arms for
blessing.  He wept again.  Surely this is not a case of indifference and is
an apparent case of manifestation of grief.

Some months ago Sri Bhaskar ji asked this question and I had provided some
instances as a reply.  I am reproducing that portion here as the discussion
is taking a similar turn now too.  It is regrettable that we keep forgetting
the earlier questions and answers and keep repeating them ad nauseum.

>  I'll ask you one simple question since you are
> holding jnAni's individual mind, body etc. close to your chest...tell me
> how can a body of a jnAni without having the strong feeling of an opposite
> sex can indulge in sexual activity?? You take your own example of talking,
> seeing, sitting, listening etc. of a jnAni & extend that to this scenario
> also, what would be  your answer??

 Atma sAkShAtkAra or enlightenment will not take away the Jnani's capacity
for maithuna. There are several examples in the scripture and in the world
to show that a Jnani, that is after enlightenment, did engage in maithuna
and sired offspring.  The famous case of the birth of Paandu, DhritarAShtra
and Vidura through Veda Vyasa is there.  After Vichitraveerya died, the
widows who did not have issues to continue the Kuru clan, gave birth to
those two brothers Pandu and Dhritarashtra through Vyasa as the father.
There is no doubt at all about Veda Vyasa's JnAnitva.  One might not say
that he had a 'strong feeling of the opposite sex' but he did indulge, as a
matter of obeying the command of Satyavati, his mother, in the maithuna.
And there is no escape from the feeling the activity brings.  When someone
sprinkles water, prokShaNa, on you as asheervachana, if it is cold season,
you will feel the chill.  If it is hot season, you will feel pleasant.

Kashyapa PrajApati is spoken of as a Jnani.  There is the famous case of how
Diti demanded maithuna in sandhyA kaala and Kashyapa had to oblige, much
against his will.  And that is how daityas were born.

In contemporary history, here is an incident reported by Swami Saradananda
in  'Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master':

(Quote) The Master: 'Ah, lust does not vanish till God is realized.  *So
long as the body lasts, a little of it continues even after realization but
then it cannot raise its head.*  Do you think I myself am altogether free
from it? At one time I thought I had conquered lust.  When I was sitting
under PanchavaTi such an onrush of lust came that it seemed to be beyond my
power of control.  I then wept rubbing my face against the dust on the
ground and said to Mother, ' I have done a great wrong, Mother.  I shall
never again harbour the idea that I have conquered lust.'  It was then only
it vanished.' (unquote)

Here is an excellent example of how vasana works.  It requires something to
trigger it.  It could be actually sighting someone in front of you or it
could be triggered just by thinking of someone or remembering a past
incident similar to the one that can trigger lust. ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः...
In any case, there is dvaita darshana, externally or internally.  The
intellect might wage a war but the deep rooted emotions could have an upper
hand.  That is when a crisis develops.

This instance, when it  pertains to a Jnani, has been authenticated by
Shankaracharya in His Bhashyam for the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 with
the analogy of 'digbhramaa'.  Some more instances of the persistance of
'avidya lesha' to which Shankara has unmistakably alluded to have also been
presented by me with exact references.  But all that is given a go by and
have gone unnoticed!!.  Shankara calls it* 'vipareeta pratyaya and raagaadi
dosha' for a Jnani.*  When we have such an unambiguous statement from none
other than the Bhashyakara Himself for the presence, occasionally, of such
emotive moments, EVEN in a Jnani, not affecting His Jnana, however, it is
nothing but sheer arrogance to totally disregard the Bhashyakara's words and
assert one's own misguided perceptions as the correct ones.  And this
perception comes from a school that boasts of 'rediscovering Shankara after
a 1000 years'!!  If this distortion is their 're-discovery' of the
Bhashyakara's views, sad indeed is their followers' destiny.

A Jnani who lived till recently, was a Grihastha.  Out of his five children,
two were born after he was enlightened.

I have chosen to present the above cases with this basic understanding:
That the above cases can be appreciated ONLY by those who hold that there
can be Jnani-s and they can be alive and that they operate with a set of
body-mind-indriya apparatus.  The above citations are NOT intended to appeal
to those for whom the concept of a Jnani is an oxymoron.  For them a Jnani
is an impossibility.  Even Bhagavatpada is not a Jnani for them for if they
admit Him to be a Jnani, they cannot account for His authoring the Bhashya
literature.  If they have to admit that the Bhashya is indeed the work of
Shankaracharya, it cannot be authored by a Jnani, for a Jnani cannot be
alive and writing and thinking and comparing and sifting information and
acepting and rejecting views before him as he will not have a mind,
indriyas, to do this. And even if he has these, it is impossible for him to
accept/reject, etc. for that will be a violation of samadarshana, and
admitting bheda drishti which the scripture forbids for a Jnani!!  And if it
is not authored by a Jnani, the writing cannot be a pramaNa for only that
which comes from a Jnani can be pramaNa.  Such is the catch 22 situation
that they have put themselves in.  So, the above instances of mahatmas whom
many people admit to be Jnani-s, are NOT addressed to those other
unfortunate few who cannot appreciate how a Jnani can live in the world.

Best regards,

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> Sri Subbu prabhuji, while answering my doubt on gradations in jnAni-s, has
> given the below definition and explained there can be two type of jnAni-s
> who are having the ONE & SAME Atma jnAna.  I would like to get more
> clarification & details of these two type of jnAni-s from the revered
> prabhuji-s/mAtAjis of the group (I am requesting Sri Subbu prabhuji also
> to throw more light on his view points)...I am more interested in knowing
> about the jnAni who would 'suppress' his emotions/feelings & who would try
> to jump to the status of jnAni No.1 !!?? ...Here is Sri Subbu prabhuji-s
> explanation for your ready reference :
> // quote //
> There can be a Jnani who is in the first category and another Jnani in the
> second category.  For the first Jnani, anger arises and thereafter he
> quells
> it.  For the second Jnani there is no need to even quell anger as it does
> not even arise in the first place.  The first one is a little disturbed;
> the
> second is least disturbed.  This is one typical case where one can see the
> real-life basis for the distinction between/across Jnanis.  And remember
> both these states are WITHIN the daivee sampat.
> The same can be said with desire, kAma, too.  There can be two mental
> states, two minds, one where kAma arises and is quelled and another where
> kAma does not even arise (when the stimulus is present).  Sjurely, the
> minds
> are products of prakrti, they are the results of samskaras.  They can be
> improved upon, with effort, if one desires.  So, in this typical case,
> Jnani
> 1 can put in efforts to have a state of mind that Jnani 2 enjoys. However,
> it is emphasised that there is no difference in their Atma Jnanam and the
> mukti/moksha that they have attained even when Jnanam dawmed.  All these
> differences in mental states are relevant only during the life time of the
> Jnani.  It can be very well imagined that for the same Jnani the two
> mental
> states can occur in different situations.  It is quite possible.  And only
> this possibility opens the further possibility of one improving the
> condition of the mind.  And that is what the crux of Jivanmukti viveka is.
> // unquote //
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
> _______________________________________________

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