[Advaita-l] GYAnimAtra and the sthitapraGYa (was Re: FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat May 8 12:51:02 CDT 2010

On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > In my opinion, if the Yajnavalkya
> > case is resolved, things will be very
> > clear about the mukta and jivanmukta as per the JVM.
> > Personally I do not
> > see any problem here.  Sri Vidyaranya himself agrees
> > that Yajnavalkya is an
> > aparoksha jnani with the authoriity of being a Brahmavidya
> > Acharya of the
> > Upanishads. Nowhere he says that he is not a mukta, to
> But VidyAraNya unambiguously says that YAGYavalkya is NOT a jIvanmukta.
> Given that the discussion is about YAGYavalkya's state when he was disputing
> with others, we are talking about whether or not a living person has
> attained to mukti. If not jIvanmukti, what other "mukti" are we talking
> about?!

Dear Karthik, there is no doubt about this.  But I have been asking for
evidence to from the JMV to say that Yajnavalkya was NOT a liberated soul
and that he would be reborn.  To say or assert that Yajnavalkya is not a
jivanmukta does not imply that he was not a mukta at all.  Pl. see what the
JMV itself says, a little before the kRtopAsti - akRtopAsti discussion:

//As the obliteration of latent impressions (vasanakshaya) and 'the
dissolution of the mind', are the PRINCIPAL CAUSES OF JIVANMUKTI (liberation
in life), so Jnanam is the PRINCIPAL CAUSE OF VIDEHAMUKTI (liberation after
death), it being the DIRECT means of attaining the same. Says the Smriti;
>From Jnana alone is attained kaivalya, whereweith one is liberated.//

Thus, Sri Vidyaranya does make a distinction between jivanmukti and mukti in
general, also termed videha mukti or moksha.

This is the settled view of the shastra and of the JMV.  Going by this, the
akRtopAsti who has the samyagjnAnam, characterized by the absence of
*ignorance, doubt and false pperception  *with real Jnana achieved* is

This is the portion that says that the ignorance destroyed does not return:
In the absence of a more powerful means to counteract it and of any cause
which can resuscitate the ignorance dispelled by it, *the resultatnt Jnana
does not fade.*

 This is the state of Yajnavalkya. The JMV continues, starting a discussion
on the meaning of the term 'videha mukti', saying:

// This condition of videha mukti, it should be understood, *comes about the
very moment in which Jnanam appears (sAkShAtkAra)*...This simultaneity of
Jnanam and liberation the Bhashyakara has expatiated upon, under the
samanvaya sutra 1.1.4, as also in the following one: On its (jnanam)
attainment, future and past sins are kept off and destroyed, it being so
pointed out:  4.1.3.//

I do not want to go into the lengthy discussion on videha mukti.  It is
clear that Jnanam gives its result of liberation immediately upon its
attainment.  Manonasha and vasanakshaya are, undoubtedly, for the attainment
of jivanmukti.  Yajnavalkya's case is to be seen as: He has the aparoksha
jnanam and is a 'videha mukta' as per Vidyaranya.  He is seen to be
resorting to sannyasa for seeking rest for the mind.  That shows that the
jivanmukti that aught to accompany Atma jnanam,ideally, is not there for

A little later too the JMV says:  //Thus is established the premier position
of Jnanam, which is the  DIRECT MEANS of attaining videhamukti, while ' the
obliteration of latent impressions (vasanakshaya)' and 'the dissolution of
the mind' occupy only a subordinate position therein, being merely the means
of acquiring Jnanam. //

Here too, we see that Jnanam results in moksha.  It is my conclusion that
the akRtopAsti with jnanam is a mukta, in the light of what the JMV says,
quoted above/before and, most importantly, what the JMV itself is going to
say in the sequel.  This is by the very virtue of his having the aparoksha
jnanam.  VK and MN are the means for jivanmukti.  The uniqueness of the
present discussion of JMV is that we have a situation where it is possible
that there is a mukta but is not a jivanmukta. This is what is made clearly
known by the JMV's presentation of the case of Yajnavalkya in great detail.
To say that he was a mukta follows from the words of the JMV itself on
Yajnavalkya which you have quoted elaborately.  That he was not a jivanmukta
is also clear from the fact that his case is taken up by Sri Vidyaranya in
the context of jivanmukti, in the very chapter on vasanakshaya.  He argues
at length giving even counter arguments to conclude that the pride, etc.
seen in Yajnavalkya will not hamper the muktatva in him:

Quoting the Br.Vartika 4.4746:

//Let attachment and the like by all means remain, their mere existence can
certainly give no offence; for, like the serpent deprived of its fangs, what
can avidya do?//

Just before this quote, he quotes a verse from Sureshwara's Naishkarmya
siddhi: 4.67 -

//Attachment to any one of the many fields, wherein the mind exercises
itself, is the surest sign of ignorance; how can verdancy be expected in a
tree that conceals a consuming fire in its hollow?//

He says: // Further, there is no mutual inconsistency between the two; for
it is possible to understand both these positions with reference to the
ascetic of stable wisdom (stitha prajna) and the mere man of jnanam (what
you, Karthik, have referred as 'jnAnimAtra').  If you, the pUrvapakshin,
argue that attachment and the like, in Jnanis, will lead to their future
embodiment, through merit or demierit, the answer is that it need not be so,
for, like unbaked seeds, only desire and the like, begotten of ignorance,
lead to future birth, through attachment and the like.  On the other hand,
in the Jnani there is the MERE SEMBLANCE OF ATTACHMENT and the like, even as
seeds already baked in the fire are but seeds in name.  //

[When I quoted this portion from the Book on the Sringeri Acharya, I had not
imagined that this occurred in the JMV with regard to the very case of

Sri Vidyaranya argues at length on the case of Yajnavalkya  and gives one
more proof that he was a mukta:

// But, all the same, it should not be supposed that such a heinous sin as
killing a Brahmana (Yajnavalkya had cursed Shakalya, an opponent in debate,
to death) would bar his liberation; for say the Kausitakins: He loses not
that state by any act whatever, whether it be matricide, patricide, theft or
foeticide 3.1.  Sesha, too, says in his AryApanchaasiiti:

'The Knower of the absolute Truth, being ever pure, is never affected either
by the merit or the demierit resulting from the performance of a hundred
thousand horse-sacrifices or the murdering of an equal number of Brahmanas,
respectively. 77'

No useful purpose will be served by dwelling longer on the theme.  Even
reputed Knowers of Brahman, like Yajnavalkya and others are subject to the
influence of impure vasana.  Vasishta, in an episode of the Yoga vasishtha
speaks of Bhagiratha who though he knew the Truth, while engaged in ruling
over his kingdom, finding himself unable to command peace of mind owing to
the impact of impure vasanas, renounced everything and then only obtained
relief.  Hence, it follows that one should carefully diagnose the defects
due to impure vasana, even as one would examine, in a carping spirit, the
faults in others and then apply oneself to remedy the disease.//

My quotes from the JMV ends.

I complete my response by having quoted the JMV at length and conclude that:

   1. A Jnani with aparoksha jnanam is a mukta according to the JMV
   2. The JMV does distinguish between jivanmukti and mukti (videhamukti,
   3. A Jnani can have aparoksha Jnanam resulting in moksha and yet be
   troubled by impure vasanas - the detailed case study being that of
   4. The presence of such vasana-s and the actions as a result of these,
   sinful or meritorious, does not affect his moksha, now or after the fall of
   the body
   5. They do affect his peace of mind and as a sadhana for jivanmukti the
   obliteration of vasanas is prescribed for him.

In the light of the above, I would tend to conclude, cautiously though, that
the Vivekachudamani (267) verse in question is about jivanmukti alone and
not moksha, though only the word 'mukti' is used there.  I say 'cautiously',
because, there is a concept called 'sapratibaddha jnanam' in the shaastra.
The Acharya of Sringeri, commenting on this and other verses, does make a
mention of pratibandha.  This, I would explain as: there is aparoksha jnanam
but it does not give its result of 'experienceable' moksha while alive in
the presence of pratibandha, obstacle.  This is the impure vasana-s., impure
mind.  When this is exhausted, either by resorting to practices of vasana
kshaya and manonasha,  by samadhi, etc OR by just experiencing them, the
result of moksha will be there for him to experience in the form of peace,
etc. while alive (first alternative)  and as being the unbounded Bliss,
Brahman, itself when the body-mind apparatus ceases to be after death.  The
troublesome mind will no longer be there.

The case of Yajnavalkya taken up in so much detail in the JMV provides us
with the so many important conclusions that we have enumerated above.  This
discussion is yet another proof of the great efficacy of shAstra chintanam
where views and counter-views are offered, in a friendly yet serious
ambience and a 'mathanam', churning, of the shAstra is made, giving us the

I thank you Kathik for the sustained effort in enabling me, rather driving
me, to look into the JMV in greater detail.

With warm regards,

> > return to samsara by
> > rebirth.  Everyone understands by the term 'mukta'
> > someone who has destroyed
> > his avidya through samyag aparoksha jnana and freed himself
> Let us consider the verse 267 of the VIvekachUDAmaNi, along with the
> commentary by H.H. Chandrasekhara Bharati MahaswamigaL (the verse is
> numbered 268 in HH's commentary):
>   GYAte vastunyapi balavatI vAsanA.anAdireshhA .
>   kartA bhoktApyahamiti dR^iDhA yA.asya sa.nsArahetuH ..
>   pratyag.h dR^ishhTyA.atmani nivasatA sApaneyA prayatnAn.h .
>   muktiM prAhustadiha munayo vAsanAtAnavaM yat.h ..267..
>  "Even after the Truth has been known, impressions such as
>  I-am-the-doer and I-am-the-experiencer, the cause of saMsAra,
>  remain strong. This has to be removed by steady abidance in
>  the Self.
>  The attenuation of vAsanAs is called mukti by the Sages."
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> HH begins His commentary with:
>   vastuni Atmani GYAtepi...
>   "Having known the Truth that is the Self..."
> So there is no doubt that the verse is talking about a state AFTER
> AtmaGYAna has been achieved, as HH Himself takes it to be the case.
> Note the last line of the above verse is "muktiM prAhustadiha munayo
> vAsanAtAnavaM yat.h", where mukti is defined as the accomplishment of
> vAsanAkShaya AFTER THE ATTAINMENT OF ATMAGYANA!! You cannot ask for a more
> explicit statement about mukti and vAsanAkShaya after AtmaGYAna (the verse
> refers to "mukti", NOT JIVANMUKTI).

> HH continues:
>   ataH BrahmAtmanA saMsthitiH apramAdena saMsthitiH muktiriti
>   dR^iDhatama-sAdhanachatushhTaya-saMpattiM vinA janmAntara
>   sukR^itavashAt.h brahmavidopi vAsanAkshaya-manonAshArthaM
>   prayatnaH nirantara-samAdhirUpaH Avashyaka evetyuktaM bhavati .
>   "Therefore, steady abidance in Brahman is known as mukti.
>  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>   That Brahmavit (knower of Brahman), who has attained to his
>   state by infirm qualifications (dR^iDhatama-sAdhanachatushhTaya-
>   saMpattiM vinA) and past merits must make effort (prayatnaH)
>   in vAsanAkshaya-manonAsha by means of uninterrupted samAdhi."

> HH Himself writes that "prayatnaH" (EFFORT) is REQUIRED AFTER ATMA-GYANA by
> an akR^itopAsti (dR^iDhatama-sAdhanachatushhTaya-saMpattiM vinA) to attain
> MUKTI (again, note that he does not say "jIvanmukti", but just "mukti").

> I cannot say more than this! I believe I have said enough! But for one last
> time:
>    *** Mukti implies the elimination of VAsanAs after BrahmaGYAna. ***
> Regards,
> Kartik

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