[Advaita-l] Two types of Atma jnAni-s & their approachtoreallife situation

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 26 01:03:35 CDT 2010

Dear Vidyaranyaji,
I think the jnani can appear to be like an ajnani at times but he is jitaasana, jitashvaasha and jitendriya and is always a recluse, disinterested in the worldly matters for his own benefit. He may have momentary indignation and the puranas show that even the divinities also got upset at times. Finally his wisdom prevails. The ordinary people may think a jnani to be an ajnani by seeing the latter's actions. I think the Bhagavad Gita has a verse which means that the Jnani can do anything. Would you think the above expression to be correct?

--- On Wed, 6/23/10, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Two types of Atma jnAni-s & their approachtoreallife situation
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 12:04 PM

> By quoting BG verse pashyan shrnvan.... if we are to accept the presence of 
> kAma, krodha, ........ in a jnAni, please classify who is an anjAni. If 
> kAma, krodha .... are all daivI sampat then what is AsurI?
> In my humble opinion the one in whom kAma, krodha ... are present and who is 
> not worried about correcting it, he is not even fit for starting spiritual 
> journey by undertaking karma yoga.

Dear Shri Pranipata Chaitanyaji,

In my view, the key lies in recognizing where the kAma and krodha lie or
arise and who is worried about correcting it. There is nothing that says
kAma and krodha will never arise after the rise of samyag-jnAna. On the
other hand, once samyag-jnAna arises, the person in whose antaHkaraNa
these may arise, will naturally think, "these are by-products of the guNa-s
and they lie in the guNa-s." He or she will not identify with them, unlike
the ajnAnI who gets lost in the kAma and krodha. And kAma in this case
is not limited to sexual desire; it can be as simple as desire for the taste
of coffee in the morning or for a comfortable bed at night. It can even
be for something as simple as clean water to bathe in, and anger or
resentment at a situation may arise if the clean water is not easily or
immediately available.

The jnAnI does not have to worry about correcting kAma and krodha
because they don't really affect the Atman. It is only the ajnAnI who has
to worry about taking corrective action, if he wants to attain jnAna.
However, inasmuch as it is only the ajnAnI who has to become a jnAnI,
the control of kAma, krodha and the like become natural to the jnAnI.
The quality of such control and the duration between the effective
control and arising of kAma/krodha are all totally variable and depend
upon the prArabdha karma that each jnAnI's deha, indriya-s and prANa-s
bring to the table.

The rising of these and other antaHkaraNa-vRtti-s is natural to the citta,
no matter how much citta-Suddhi is achieved prior to jnAna-prApti. There
is no rule that the citta be totally dead to all external stimuli beforehand.
Even SravaNa of the vedAnta-vAkya requires the antaHkaraNa to interact
with the organ of hearing and the organ of hearing to react to external
sound. And SravaNa is the only acknowledged pramANa for vedAnta vidyA,
manana and nididhyAsana being only derivative of SravaNa. This practical
concern is, in my opinion, precisely the reason why Sankara bhagavatpAda
acknowledges that Atma-vijnAna-smRti-saMtAna is ananya-sAdhana for
citta-vRtti-nirodha and then recommends tyAga and vairAgya as sAdhana-s
to bolster this smRti-saMtAna and to control the activity of speech, body
and mind. 

Of course, all of the above also revolves around who is a jnAnI and what
is samyag-jnAna. One can always redefine everything here so as to be

in accordance with what one's own conception of an ideal jnAnI is, which
is what I think many people are doing, consciously or otherwise. That is
not how Sankara or other AcAryas in the advaita tradition construe the
situation, which is the topic of another discussion altogether.

Best regards,


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