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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue May 4 01:41:58 CDT 2010


Here is an excerpt from the chapter 'Jnanin' in Book 'Exalting
Elucidations', a compilation of several dialogues between a disciple and Sri
Abhinava Vidyatirtha MahaswaminaH, the 35th Jagadguru of Sringeri Peetham:

Disciple: Will a jñànin desire samàdhi? Is there any need for him
to remain in that state?

AcharyaL: A jñànin has neither craving for nor the need to remain in
samàdhi. Be it samàdhi or distraction, they are mental
states. He is beyond all these. Considering the depth of a
jñànin’s experience of samàdhi, it is said that one jñànin
is superior to another. This is with regard to an observer.
That is, as far as an observer is concerned, gradations,
such as, “He is a greater jñànin”, are there. But as far as
the jñànin-s are concerned, there is no such differentiation
at all. A jñànin involved in worldly activities is referred to
as a brahmavid. If a jñànin has the practice of going into
nirvikalpa-samàdhi and coming out of it on his own, he is
a brahmavidvara. If he can be awakened from nirvikalpasamàdhi
only by the efforts of others, he is a brahmavidvaräyàn. A
brahmavidvariShTha is one who never emerges from nirvikalpa-samàdhi. His
body perishes while he is in samàdhi. As a brahmavidvariShTha has the best
pràrabdha, he is deemed the greatest jñànin.

(Excerpt ends)

The Jivanmukti viveka, the Yoga VasishTha and other works could contain the
above or another type of classification. I remember having read in the YV
about Prahlada's deep samadhi and the Lord bringing him out of it by making
sounds like blowing conches, etc.

In one classification I read that of the sapta-bhUmika-s, the fourth,
brahmavid, is not an aparoksha jnAni and only the fifth onwards are.

Reproduced below is an excerpt from the book 'SrIdakshinamurti stotram'
Vol.I p.702:

6.16.13 SaptabhUmika, seven stages of Yoga:

All this is to be traced to the lingering aspect of the peculiarities in the
vikshepashakti which comes in the way, as it were, of the full enjoyment of
the Bliss of liberation, inspite of its direct realization.  Hence it is
that Sri Vidyaranyacharana instructs the pracice of the four stages of
samadhi of the knowers of Brahman namely, Brahmavid, etc., which are the
last four of the seven stages of yoga enumerated by sage Vasistha -

1. ardour, 2. the spirit of enquiry, 3. attenuation, 4. attainment of
sattva, 5. indifference, 6. obliviion and 7. transcendence (of the previous

'Why do I stand thus steeped in ignorance? Let me call to aid Shastra and
the wise' - such a desire, arising from a deep sense of dispassion, is
called 'ardour' by the wise.  The 'spirit of enquiry' consists of the
constant application of the mind in search of Brahman, the Existent,
resulting from the study of Shastra, the company of the wise and practice of
dispassion.  The wearing away to almost imperceptible thinness, of the
attachment to sense objects, resulting from 'ardour' and 'spirit of enquiry'
is called 'attenuation.'  With constant application to these three stages,
the mind attains purity and turns away from sense objects and rests in pure
sattva in the fourth plane called, therefore, as the 'attainment of
sattva'.  As a result of the virtues practiced in these four stages, comes
the fifth called 'indifference' in which detachment and the glorious gift of
confirmed sattva are predominant.  On the perfection of these five stages,
results the sixth called 'padArthAbhaavini' - 'oblivion' in which there is
total absence of the consciousness of all objects, external and internal,
because of deep absorption in the Bliss of Atman, when, owing to the
persistent efforts of others, arousal from samadhi is occasioned.  As a
result of long practice of these six stages, he perceives no duality and
abides in Self alone and is said to have reached the seventh stage called

....(what the Sringeri Acharya has stated is mentioned here) Of these, the
first three are comparable to the waking state since the objective world is
then believed to be real.  The one in the fourth stage looks upon the world
as a dream since the world has been sublated by jnana and has only an
illusory appearance because of past impressions, as in a dream.  The fifth
is like dreamless sleep.  The sixth is like very profound sleep, there being
then the awareness of neither duality nor identity...Some are of the opinion
that disembodied liberation, videhakaivalya, is itself the seventh.

साधनचतुटयसंपत्तिः प्रथमा । सन्न्यासपूर्वकश्रवणसिद्धिर्द्वितीया ।
मनननिदिध्याससंपत् तृतीया । साक्षत्कारश्चतुर्थी । निर्विकल्पकसमाधेः स्वत एव
नियतकालमुत्थाने पञ्चमी । पार्श्वस्थबोधनेन युत्थाने षष्ठी । स्वतः परतोऽपि
चिरमनुत्थाते सप्तमीति निष्कर्षः ।  ......चतुर्थी तु
*ज्ञानबाधितप्रपञ्चस्य *स्वप्न
इव *संस्कारमात्रेण *मिथ्याभूतस्य भानात् स्वप्न इति ।  पञ्चमी सुषुप्तिरिति ।
षष्ठी गाढसुषुप्तिरिति ....(YV 3.118.8 to 15 in the svAraajyasiddhi 3.11

These seven stages are again referred to in chapter 120 of the Yogavasishtha
pUrvArdha of NirvANaprakaraNa.

This sentence above:

......चतुर्थी तु *ज्ञानबाधितप्रपञ्चस्य* स्वप्न इव
*संस्कारमात्रेण*मिथ्याभूतस्य भानात् स्वप्न इति  is so reminiscent of
the bhashyavaakya in
the BSB 4.1.15:

बाधिमपि तु मिथ्याज्ञानं कञ्चित्कालं *संस्कारवशात् *द्विचन्द्रज्ञानवत्
अनुवर्तते ।

Om Tat Sat
(I am posting the above under a separate title also : 'SaptabhUmika - the
seven stages of Yoga' so that it will be prominently accessible in the

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I would ask you to re-read a couple of my previous posts, where I
> have reiterated that there are no different levels of true brahma-
> jnAna and that I have never said that Sankara bhagavatpAda admits
> of gradations in AtmaikatvajnAna, but that there can be different
> levels of nishThA in that jnAna.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list