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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon May 17 17:07:34 CDT 2010

Namaste Karthik,

You have brought a very important question pertaining to the JMV to the
fore.  It needs clarification so that no confusion remains in an aspirant.
Let me re-present the portion from the JMV (vAsnAkshayaprakaraNam) that was
already presented:

//इदानीन्तनास्तु प्रायेण अकृतोपास्तय एव औत्सुक्यमात्रात् सहसा विद्यायां
प्रवर्तन्ते । वासनाक्ष्य-मनोनाशौ च तात्कालिकौ सम्पादयन्ति । तावता
श्रवणमनननिध्यासनानि निष्पाद्यन्ते ।  तैश्च
दृढाभ्यस्तैरज्ञान-संशय-विपर्ययनिरासात् *तत्त्वज्ञानं सम्यगुदेति *।  उदितस्य
ज्ञानस्य बाधकप्रमाणाभावात् निवृत्ताया अविद्यायाः पुनरुत्पत्तिकारणाभाच्च *नास्ति
तस्य शैथिल्यम्* ।  *वासनाक्ष्य-मनोनाशौ तु दृढाभ्यासाभावात् भोगप्रदेन
प्रारब्धेन तदा तदा बाध्यमानत्वाच्च सवातप्रदेशदीपवत्सहसा निवर्तते *।

Nowadays men rush in quest of Jnana,  out of sheer curiosity, in most cases
even without going through the preliminary stage of upasana.  *They even
reach the stage of obliteration of vasana and the dissolution of the mind
for the time being*, and in consequence, study, contemplation and
assimilation (of the VEdanta) are also fully accomplished by repeated
application to these three; ignorance, doubt and false perception are
demolished; *and real Jnana is achieved*.  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.*  *But then the
obliteration of vasana and the dissolution of the mind are easily
extinguished*, like a lamp exposed to the breeze, for want of steady
application and in consequence of being influenced, from time to time, by
the fruit-bearing previous karma.//

You can clearly see here that the three obstacles : ajnAna, samshaya and
viparyaya, have been 'demolished' and avidya has been dispelled and the
resultant Jnana does not fade.  So, what has been stated in the
'svarUpasiddhiprayojanaprakaraNam.h" is  a different case where doubt, a
manifestation of avidya/ajnana has NOT been destroyed as yet.

The case of Shuka is NOT something where avidyaa nivRtti has taken place
already  and that it has now become ineffective owing to 'doubt', samshaya.
He remained with doubt and it was quelled only after the instruction from
Janaka.  The 'GyAnam' that he had initially is not the same as is spoken of
in the case of the akRtopAsti Jnani in the portion I have quoted above.

Sri Vidyaranya has argued that Yajnavalkya, despite not having
'chittavishrAnti' and positively given to 'raga', etc. is an accomplished
'jnAnasamakAleena videha mukta' and that his 'final' liberation is not in
jeopardy.  This assertion is possible only when the Jnanam he has is of the
type that is described in the above quoted portion with doubt, etc. having
been annihilated already and the jnAnam not fading.  The case of Shuka is
sa-pratibaddha jnAnam, the knowledge that is 'obstructed' by doubt and not
yielding the state of moksha.  If his case had been the one of '
jnAnasamakAleena videha mukta' , Vidyaranya would not have said that it, the
doubt, is an 'obstacle to Moksha'.  His case would have been akin to
Yajnavalkya's.  In view of  this the conclusion:

// So VidyAraNya is saying here that one who may have attained to GYAna, but
without vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha has NOT attained to mokSha. //

does not follow.  In fact even in the akRtopAsti Jnani case quoted by me
above, the vk and mn have been practiced to the extent of allowing doubt,
etc. to be overcome and the Jnana manifesting  itself fully.  It is only
that mn and vk are insufficient to give the Jnani complete protection from
praarabdha karma phala.  Vidyaranya does not include 'doubt' in this
category and foresee a possibility of the Jnani losing the Jnanam attained
already.  The chittavishrAnti abhAva of Yajnavalkya has not exposed him to
the possibility of doubt and viparyaya to repudiate his Knowledge.  Even the
presence of 'raga' etc. does not place his Jnanam in danger of preventing
him the final liberation.  The Naishkarmyasiddhi and Vartika verses have
been quoted there to finally show that Moksha for a Jnani, even of the
Yajnavalkya type, is a certainty.  He concludes, quoting from the Panchdashi

// ....in the JnaanimAtra there is the mere semblance of attachment and the
like, even as seeds already baked in fire are but seeds in name.  It has
been said with this in view:

'Attachment and the like, even when they come into existence, are burnt up
by the fire of discrimination then and there.  Where, then, is the chance of
their sprouting up' //

Best regards,

On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 10:40 PM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> In the Fourth Chapter of the JIvanmuktiviveka (JMV) by VidyAraNya, there is
> a discussion on "svarUpasiddhiprayojanaprakaraNam.h" or "The purpose that
> the accomplishment of jIvanmukti serves".
>   "It may be asked - what is the necessity of protecting knowledge?
>   The question of sublation does not arise inasmuch as the
>   knowledge of Reality has been obtained through proper evidence.
>   The answer is this - in the absence of tranquility of the mind
>   (chitta-vishrAnti), doubt (saMshaya) and error (viparyaya)
>   may creep in; for instance, VishvAmitra describes the doubt
>   in the mind of rAghava, the knower of truth, before it attained
>   calmness thus:"
> VidyAraNya teaches that GYAna once obtained needs to be "protected"
> (GYAna-rakShA), because doubt (saMshaya) and error (viparyaya) may creep in
> due to lack of tranquility of the mind (chitta-vishrAnti). This is quite
> similar to H.H.'s assertion in the VivekachUDAmaNi commentary that GYAna may
> become "clouded" with vAsanAs again.
> The JMV continues (279-280):
>   tasmAdvidite.api tattve vishrAntirahitasya shukarAghavayoriva
>   saMshaya utpadyate . sa chAGYAnamiva mokShasya pratibandhakaH .
>   "Therefore, doubt arises in him who is without tranquility
>   even though he has known the truth like rAghava and shuka.
>   And doubt (saMshaya) is an obstacle to Liberation (mokSha)
>   like ignorance (aGYAna)."
> VidyAraNya concludes that doubt (saMshaya) is like ignorance (aGYAna), in
> that it is an obstacle to Liberation (mokSha), and that it may arise AFTER
> GYAna has been achieved for one who is without tranquility
> (vishrAntirahitasya). The word used here is "mokSha" which is Liberation
> with a capital "L", and cannot possibly be interpreted any other way. So
> VidyAraNya is saying here that one who may have attained to GYAna, but
> without vAsanAkShaya-manonAsha has NOT attained to mokSha.
> Regards,
> Kartik

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list