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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon May 3 11:11:56 CDT 2010

Dear Devanathan-ji,

You wrote:
>Your usage of term ‘Jnana-Karma’ samuccaya is problematic and sounds
>non-Mandanaite to me. As you may know, Brahma Siddhi postulates
>sapta-sambhanda between Karma and Jnana in as means to liberation. The seven
>relations between Jnana and Karma are
Please see the following text in Brahmasiddhi (brahma kANDa) where Mandana discusses the role of
yajnas in AtmasAkShAtkAra. Here, an objection is raised saying that abhyAsa (repeated contemplation)
combined with shama, dama, etc. is needed for realization of the Self, but not yajnas and other scriptural
karmas.  Mandana says:
satyam | tathā cordhvaretasāṃ cāśramiṇāṃ vināpi tairviśuddhavidyodaya iṣyate | kiṃ tu kālakṛto
viśeṣaḥ |
True, for the sannyAsin (who takes up sannyAsa directly) from Brahmacharya, there is the rise of
knowledge (of the Self) without the (performance of yajnas, etc.). But there is a difference in time taken
(to reach the goal). 
sādhanaviśeṣāddhi sā kṣipraṃ kṣiprataraṃ ca vyajyate | tadabhāve cireṇa ciratareṇa ca |
From the special means (sādhanaviśeṣa) of yajnas, etc., the knowledege (of the Self) rises very quickly.
In the absence of (such special means), the rise of knowledge could be slow or very slow.
It is important to note here what the commentator shankhapANi says.
etaduktam bhavati - kevaläbhyäsaçciratareëa vidyämabhivyanakti yajïädiñvekaikasahitaù çéghram sarvasahitaù çéghrataramiti |
This is what (maNDana ) says: Just repeated contemplation (on the upanishad statements) gives rise to
knowledge (of the Self) very slowly. When combined with yajnas and other Vedic karmas, it gives rise to
such knowledge quickly, and when combined with everything (i.e. yajnas, etc, and shama, dama, etc.),
very quickly. 

This position of Mandana is clearly favorable and close to the jnana-karma-samuccaya view, even if he
does not explicitly use the word samuccaya. It can also be intrepreted that he favors the taking up of 
GrihasthAshrama from Brahmacharya, because, obviously, yajnas and the like cannot be performed by
sannyAsins. Some even intrerpret this position as saying a Grihastha can attain Self realization much
faster than a sannyAsin!  
Mandana cites the Brahma sUtra 3.4.26 in support of his view of karma.
taduktam ---
‘sarvāpekṣā ca yajñādiśruteraśvavat’ | (Brahma sUtra 3.4.26)
eṣo 'rthaḥ ---
‘yajñena dānena'iti śravaṇātkarmāṇyapekṣyante vidyāyāmabhyāsalabhyāyāmapi, yathāntareṇāpyaśvaṃ
grāmaprāptau siddhyantyāṃ śaighryāyākleśāya vāśvo 'pekṣyate |
All scriptural rites are necessary, as per the shruti prescribing yajnas. This is as in the case of a horse
 (Brahma sUtra 3.4.26). This is the meaning. From the (BrihadAraNyaka upaniShad 4.4.22) statement,
 "The BrAhmaNas seek to know It by the study of the Veda, by yajnas, by charity, ...", Vedic karmas are
necessary for attaining knowledge of the Self, even if it (knowledge) is attained through repeated
contemplation (abhyAsa), just as, even if one can reach the village (destination) by plodding on, still it is
necessary to use a horse for speed (in reaching the destination) and to avoid hardship. 
The text of Brahmasiddhi is available at: 


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