[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Mar 10 03:46:07 CST 2010

With a view to present the scriptural position on some issues raised in this
reply of Sri Anbu, I am venturing despite Sri Vidyashankar's decision to
close this exchange:

My observations are within [  ]

On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:54 PM, Anbu sivam2 <anbesivam2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> "In your position, a jnAnI lives, breathes, eats, sleeps, talks,
> walks and teaches in a physical body, but all of this is without
> a mind at all. "
> Sorry, this is not my position for nothing positive can be said of Brahman.
> A gnyaani is Brahman.  He is simply anirvachaneeya and I have said this
> before.   One may or may not need the mind to know that he is Brahman (and
> I
> have said that it is actually an impediment) but definitely won't keep the
> mind or anything else when he knows he is Brahman.

[There is no option involved in the instrumentality of the mind in knowing
that one is Brahman.  All the Upanishads, Lord Krishna and Sri
Shankaracharya have unequivocally taught that only through the mind that is
adequately cultivated one can know the Ultimate Truth of his self. Also, as
per the above authorities, the jnani has no freedom to do away with the mind
apparatus; it is impossible for him to do that. The reason for this is
stated in the next section.]

>  What was once his body before his realization operates under the spell of
> Easwara even though the person has broken the mutual superimposition.  That
> is the praaptham with regard to the body.  Only because it, the body, is
> operating the entity is
> called Jeevan Muktha.  If the body had dropped he would be vidhEha muktha.

[In the Gita, the verse 13.20 says:

कार्यकरणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते ।
पुरुषः सुखदुःखानां भोकृत्वे हेतुरुच्यते ॥

A summary of the Bhashyam : // 'kAryam' is the physical body and 'karaNam'
refers to the thirteen instruments: five sense organs, five motor organs,
Manas, Buddhi and ahamkAra.  The five elements (bhUtas) which build up the
body, and the five sense-objects which are the emanations of PrakRti as
mentioned above are included in the term 'kAryam' and all qualities such as
pleasure, pain and delusion which are born of PrakRti are included under the
term 'instruments', since those qualities are seated in the instruments, the
senses.  In the production of the physical body, of the senses and their
sensations, PrakRti is said to be the cause, for, it generates them all.
Thus, as producing the physical body AND THE SENSES (13 in number), PrakRti
is the cause of samsara.//

>From tha above summary we understand that the physical body is not a
stand-alone; the senses, thirteen in number, which include the manas, buddhi
and ahankara, are not a stand-alone;  It is a package presented by PrakRti,
as a result of the jiva's karma.  It is impossible to separate the
mind/buddhi/ahankara from this prakRti-given package, along with the
physical body.  According to Shankaracharya, it is this kArya-karaNa
sanghAta (a word often used in the commentarial literature), that is termed
'prArabdham' or rather the apparatus with which the prArabdha karma bhoga
takes place.

Since a Jnani is undoubtedly admitted to undergo the praarabdha karma, only
by upabhoga, as per a specific Brahma Sutra and Shankara's reiteration in
several Bhashyams, this physical body-sesnse organs-mind-buddhi-ahankara
package is essential for this bhoga.  It is quite another matter that the
Jnani has disidentified from this package, given up the abhimAna, which is
what Realization is, but for the bhoga of the prArabdha, this package has to
be there mandatorily.  For example, bodily disease requires the availability
of the physical body.  For experiencing maana, apamaana, sukha, duHkha, etc.
the mind apparatus is essential.  Without this package there is no meaning
in the scripture talking about praarabdha karma bhoga for the Jnani.  This
possition of the Scripture and Bhagavatpada is unassailable.  If anyone
teaches otherwise, it has to be viewed as un-traditional, असंप्रदायम्, and
rejected, as per the dictates of Shankaracharya in the Gita bhashya.

When the prArabdha karma expires, the body-mind package undergoes death and
the disintegration of the package takes place in the manner the Shruti has
taught.  The entire package of the body-mind complex is a product of the
five bhUta-s and upon disintegration, they attain to their respective causal
elements.  ]

> A Jeevan Muktha is a total asangan and adhvitheeyan.  Who can say what are
> and what are not his powers?  Tell me if any Bhaashya or Primary Texts are
> to be quoted to say this.

[The Mundaka Upanishad teaches in mantra 3.1.10:

यं यं लोकं* मनसा संविभाति* विशुद्धसत्त्वः कामयते यांश्च कामान् ।
तं तं लोकं जयते तांश्च कामांस्तस्मादात्मज्ञं ह्यर्चयेद् भूतिकामः ॥

// Whatever world a man of pure understanding (Jnani) envisages in his mind
and whatever desires he cherishes, that world he conquers and those desires
he obtains, Therefore let everyone who wants prosperity worship the man who
knows the Self.//

Shankara comments: //  Any world whichsoever, such as the world of manes,
etc. (pitRs, etc.) that the man of pure mind, the man freed from mental
afflictions (klesha) the Knower of the Self, Jnani,* wishes for with the
mind, thinking, *'Let this be mine or for somebody else', and those
enjoyable things that he covets, he wins, gets, those very worlds and those
enjoyable things that are wished for.  Since the wishes of the enlightened
man are infallible, therefore, one who hankers after prosperity should
worship, through washing of feet, service, salutation, etc. the Jnani, who
is purified in mind by virtue of his knowledge of the Atman. Therefore such
a one, the Jnani,  is certainly adorable. //

Two features stand out in this mantra:  1. The word 'मनसा’ is present in the
mantra which means 'by/with the mind' in the instrumental, तृतीया, case.
This is the undisputable Scriptural evidence for the Jnani continuing with
the mind. The mantra says that not only does the Jnani have a mind, he uses
it too.  Shankara comments for the words मन्सा संविभाति thus: मनसा
संकल्पयति, मह्यं अन्यस्मै वा...By saying so Shankara confirms that not only
does the Jnani have a mind, he 'desires', wishes, and that the Jnani has an
ahankAra too:  the word मह्यं  ' for me' shows this.

2. The Jnani has great powers. He can grant anyone anything that is within
the confines of Dharma and Ishwara's dispensation.

Shankaracharya says about the Jivan mukta in the Shivanandalahari:

Sivaanandalahari - 81कंचित्काल-मुमामहेश भवत: पादारविन्दार्चनै:
कंचिद्ध्यान-समाधिभिश्‍च नतिभि: कंचित् कथाकर्णनै: ।
कंचित् कंचिदवेक्षणैश्‍च नुतिभि: कंचिद्दशामीदृशीं
य: प्राप्नोति मुदा त्वदीर्पित-मना जीवन् स मुक्‍त: खलु ॥ ८१ ॥

kaMchitkAla-mumAmaheSa Bavata: pAdAravindArchanai:
kaMchiddhyAna-samAdhiBiScha natiBi: kaMchit kathAkarNanai: |
kaMchit kaMchidavekShaNaiScha nutiBi: kaMchiddaSAmIdRuSIM
ya: prApnoti mudA tvadIrpita-manA jIvan sa muk^ta: khalu || 81 ||

Oh Uma Mahesvara ! one who does archana to your holy feet for sometime,
meditation and samadhi for sometime, some worship, spend some time in
hearing the stories of Lord Shiva, seeing you, does some pryaers, and with
joy surrenders his mind to you and attains such a state will attain
liberation even while living with the body.//

One can easily appreciate that each one of the 'activities' of this
Jivan mukta involves the
mind mandatorily along with the other instruments depending upon the
kind of devotional
act  he is engaged at that time.]

> Agnyaanis see and describe the gnyaanis in their own fancy.  That is what
> the agnyaanis do.

[ The Jnani has been described elaborately by the Upanishads, Lord Krishna
in the Gita, Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata and Shankaracharya in His
innumerable works.  All these Brahmavidyaa Acharyas will have to be grouped
under 'ajnAni-s' for their 'fault' of seeing and describing Jnani-s.]

The discussion in this thread offered a lot of opportunity to all of us to
revisit the canonical works of Vedanta and discuss a number of issues.  I
thank all the members who participated in this discussion by raising
questions, objections, providing answers, etc.  In this group-chintanam
there is absolutely no room for rancour or any ill feelings.  In an old post
Sri Jaladhar Vyas had remarked that by raising objections against Advaita
the Dvaitins have indeed done a great favour: Advaitins applied themselves
with greater fervor to the study and analysis of their own works and emerged
adding even more splendour to Advaita.

Om Tat Sat

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