[Advaita-l] A Perspective 17-1 (Contradictions & Questions)

Sundar Rajan avsundarrajan at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 3 00:20:38 CST 2010

Something caught my attention a while back in thearticle"A perspective - 17-1 (tat tvam asi – VIII)" 
explaining the relevance of Nidhidhyasana. 
I have been meaning to respond to this posting for a while but have been caught up in work matters etc.
Sri Sadananda-ji writes in perspective17-1:
Shravana involves listening to the scriptures under a competent teacher for a prolong length of time until one is convinced of the advaitic nature of the reality and significance of the tat tvam asi statement. Reflecting on the teaching or manana ensures clarity in understanding without any doubts.
Conviction arises only when it is understood as a fact and not just as
thought or good idea. Self-Knowledge with conviction removes only
self-ignorance. However, knowledge does not remove ignorance generated
The implication in the article is that Shravana and Manana are the means to Self Knowledge 
and one becomes a Jnani thru just Shravana and Manana :
Thus knowledge removes both sanchita and aagaami karmas, since notional kartRitva bhaava i.e. notion that I am a doer is sublimated with the knowledge
This view however contradicts the scriptures
shravaNa-manana-nididhyAsana is an ‘AND’, Not an ‘OR’
Except for the very rare case of a very advanced aspirant getting realization 
thru shravaNa ALONE, 
the scriptures uniformly present shravaNa AND manana AND nididhyAsana 
together as the means to self-knowledge as in 
‘Atma va are drastavya srotavyo mantavyo nidhidhyasitavyah’ (Br Up II.4.5)
Not just Shravana-Manana as presented in perspective 17-1. 
S-M-N is a logical AND not an OR. 
None of the 3 are optional.
shravaNa-manana alone for Self Knowledge contradicts Gita 6th chapter
Self-Knowledge with conviction removes only self-ignorance.. Thus knowledge removes both sanchita and aagaami karmas, since
notional kartRitva bhaava i.e. notion that I am a doer is sublimated with the knowledge.
The view presented in the article 17-1 that  shravana-manana alone is sufficient for self knowledge 
also contradicts the 6th chapter of Gita.
Nidhidhyasana is presented in the article as “developing habitual understanding of my true nature” 
AFTER attaining Self-Knowledge.
 If one is already self-realized thru shravana and manana , 
then Nidhidhyasana would never be required beyond a single birth. 
Why?  Because sanchita and aagaami karmas are removed and only praarabda remains. 
This will get exhausted in the current body itself.
The chapter of the Gita that deals extensively with Nidhidhyasana, however, 
points out that Nidhidhyasana can carry over to multiple births 
by discussing the notion of ‘yoga bhrastha’ and 
how someone continues Nidhidhyasana in to a future birth .
I also have some questions on the effort required after ‘self knowledge’, 
will take it up in the next post

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