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

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Wed May 12 20:53:27 CDT 2010

Pranams Shri Subbu-ji and Shri Karthik-ji

Let me complement and thank both of you on a truly illuminatiing and stimulating series of exchanges, which have allowed us to examine two aspects of the highly pregnant term "mukti" in all its connotations. It is striking that both of you have picked different shades of the same work the JMV - to arrive (quite logically in your own ways) at polarized conclusions!

If I may succinctly paraphrase the two positions here:

Position A
Jnana is the ONLY proximate cause for mukti. A person endowed with discriminatory knowledge - a Jnani - is liberated, a mukta. If he by means of supreme vairagya/sannyasa develops vasanakshaya/manonasha he can here-in in this embodiment itself enjoy the fruit of moksha or jivanmukti. If however such is not his lot(prarabdha? plus? freewill?) then he does not attain to the Supreme Peace for the period of embodied existence, but upon death, does not suffer rebirth - is free from samsara.

Position B
Jnana "alone" (minus nishta) cannot confer mukti - it is jnananishta alone that ultimately leads to a complete consummation of the ahankara by means of vasanakshaya/manonasha (on the strength of that jnana alone) - and this is what results in mukti - which alone is jivanmukti. A jivanmukta when he casts off this body, is said to attain to videhamukti.

(Both these are of course quite distinct from krama mukti which is attained to by a worshipper or upasaka of Saguna Brahman)

I would like both of you to share your viewpoints and comments on a section of the Vivekachudamani, which I reproduce along with the invaluable commentary of His Holiness Sri Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal 

Verse 300
YAvat syAt svasya sambandho’hamkAreNa durAtmanA |
tAvanna leshamAtrApi muktivArtA vilakSaNA ||

So long as there is any connection of oneself with the wicked ahamkAra ( ego-sense), there can not be any talk, even in the least, of liberation, which is unique.
This is ofcourse not a matter of any debate. Now then -

Verse 304

yAvadvA yatkincid viSadoSasphUrtirasti ceddehe|
kathamArogyAya bhavet tadvad ahamtApi yogino muktyai||

How can one be healthy if there is even a trace of poison in the body? So also is ahamkara in respect of the liberation of the yogin.

It was indicated by the previous sloka that ahamkara should not remain EVEN as a MERE TENDENCY - VASANATMANAPI. The instruction ‘cutting asunder’ in the previous sloka is here expanded.

Dehe: in the body Yatkincit: even a small particle.
Even if there is a minute remnant of the poison, how can one enjoy health? So too, so long as the ahamkara remains even as a natural tendency - vasanatmana, it is an obstacle to liberation - muktyai pratibandhika - for the yogin.

samUlakrtto’pi mahAnaham punah vyullekhitassyAdyadi cetasA kSaNam|
sanjIvya vikSepashatam karoti nabhassvatA prAvrSi vArido yathA||

Like the cloud brought in by the wind in the rainy season, even though completely rooted out, if this ahamkAra is awakened in the mind even for a moment, coming to life again, it creates hundreds of perplexities.

mahAn aham: the ahamkara which has grown grotesque or colossal for a long time into numberless branches.
samUlakrttopi; THOUGH CUT asunder ALONG WITH its ROOT, AJNANA, [by discriminative knowledge]. punashcetasa yadi ksanam vyullekhitah: if allowed to SPROUD AGAIN by the mind EVEN FOR A MOMENT, it will strike terror like a terrible dream remembered by one just awakened from it. SPROUTING AGAIN, it will be cause of hundreds of wrong projections. An example for this is given. In the autumn season there is no cloud at all. But, gathered by the wind in [at the end of] the rainy season, it purs heavily, again. So, too, here.

If it be asked HOW the ahamkAra which has been destroyed will AGAIN COME TO LIFE, it is replied that, like the dead reviving by the sprinkling of amrta, thinking of the sense-objects is the cause therefor.

nigrhyashatrorahamo’vakAshah kvacinna deyo viSayAnucintayA|
sa eva sanjIvanaheturasya nprakSINajambIratarorivAmbu||

Vanquishing the enemy namely ahamkAra, no quarter should be given to it by thinking of senseobjects. Like water sprinkled on a lime tree, it is the AGENT OF REJUVENATION. nigrhya: vanquishing satrorahamah: of ahamkAra which is the cause of universal destruction. visayAnucintaya avakAsho na deyah: no chance should be given to it by thinking of sense-objects
to come back to life. Thinking of the sense-objects is the cause of reviving it. It will be said in the sloka 323: 
na pramAdAdanarthonyo jnAninah svasvarUpatah tato mohstatohamdhis tato
bandhas tato vyathA.

To a decayed lemon tree that comes to life again, water becomes the cause of its revival and growth. Thus, THOUGH AHAMKARA IS DESTROYED BY DISCRIMINATORY KNOWLEDGE, IT COMES BACK TO LIFE IF one indulges in the thought of sense-objects - AND THAT MAKES FOR SAMSARA.

Thus, EVEN THOUGH DESTROYED BY DISCRIMINATIVE KNOWLEDGE, evam vivekavijnanena nashitopyahankarah - when SPRINKLED BY VASANAS which have arisen from beginningless time, ahamkara WILL GROW in the mind AND LEAD TO SAMSARA in the absence of concentration on the atman by the mind turned inwards. So, one will not be affected by vasanas as there will be no occasion for thinking etc., on sense-objects if one is
continuously established in Brahman without negligence. Therefore, one should subdue the effect, i.e., one should not engage in thinking about sense-objects.

Here what is interesting is the assertion : that even AFTER discriminatory KNOWLEDGE has successfully annihilated and ERADICATED the AHANKARA - the force of vasanas is said to be such that even a sprinkling of these can indeed give a new lease of life to the Ego, and cause the AHANKARA to be REBORN. And hence the conclusion - elimination of vasanas ALONE is mukti.
tAbhyAm pravadhamAnA sA sUte samSrtimAtmanah| trayANAm ca kSayopAyAssarvAvasthAsu sarvadA||
sarvatra sarvatah sarvam brahmamAtrAvalokanam| sadbhAvavAsanAdArDhyAt tattrayam layamaSnute||

Growing by these two, the VASANA PRODUCES ONE'S TRANSMIGRATION. The means to bring about the destruction of these three vAsanas – tendency, thought and action – is to see everything as Brahman under ALL conditions, ALWAYS, everywhere AND IN ALL WAYS. By the strengthening of the vAsana of being Brahman, those three are annihilated.

tabhyam pravardhamana sa vAsanA: that vasana which grows by those two, namely thought and action. Atmanah samsmrtim sUte: produces one’s [involvement in] samsara.

Verse 318
For one who is not able to see everything as Brahman, the guru gives out a method by saying that the cause should be subdued by the subjugation of the effect.

kriyAnAshe bhaveccintAnAsho’smAdvAsanAkSayah|
vAsanAprakASayo mokSassa jIvanmuktiriSyate||

When the action is destroyed, longing ceases; that will lead to annihilation of vasana. THE ANNULMENT OF VASANA ITSELF IS MUKTI. That is called jivanmukti.Thus, effort should be made by a person till the state of ‘no action’ arises. Then, there arises complete destruction of vAsanas; that itself is liberation. Such a state is said to be jivanmukti, liberation even while alive. For it is said: muktim prahuhtadiha munayah vasanatanavam yat: “The munis say WHAT IS CALLED MUKTI IS ATTENUATION OF VASANA”. VAsana is the subtle condition of a thing. Its attenuation means destruction.

Similarly an examination of verses 322 - 325 with the Acharya's commentary will further expand on these ideas.

The Acharya of Kanchi also echoes similar thoughts - vid.

My humble pranams and thanks to both of you for spending your valuable time, and thoughts.

Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyoh namah

--- On Mon, 5/10/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] GYAnimAtra and the sthitapraGYa (was Re: FW: Avidya, Jnanis and SSS' views)
> To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Date: Monday, May 10, 2010, 8:39 AM
> On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 2:19 AM, S
> Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com>
> wrote:

> In the light of all these there is no reason to hold that
> the term mukta is
> to be used ONLY to someone endowed with vasanakshaya; a
> jnAnimAtra, even
> when alive, is undoubtedly entitled to this term.
> Best regards,
> subrahmanian.v


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