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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 19 06:16:04 CDT 2010

On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:03 PM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> -
> However, I still disagree that this particular akR^itopAsti has already
> attained mokSha in the strict sense of the word! I've already provided
> several reasons, here are a few of the important reasons again, none of
> which you have answered so far:
> 1) There are several verses in the JMV that categorically deny mokSha to
> one who has not yet undergone vAsanAkShaya, as for instance:
>   tatra vAsanAkshayaprakAram Aha vasishhThaH -
>   bandho hi vAsanAbandho mokShaH syAd vAsanAkshayaH .
>   vAsanAstvaM parityajya mokShArthitvam api tyaja .. [LYV 18.20]
>   "About the destruction of vAsanAs, VasishhTha said thus -
>   'Bondage is truly the bonds of vAsanAs and mokSha is getting rid
>   of them. Giving up all vAsanAs, give up even the desire for mokSha.'"
> It is clear from the above that mokSha = vAsanAkShaya.

The above equation is clearly not the one held by the ShAstra.  The JMV
itself has stated in categorical terms, which I quoted earlier in caps:
Atma Jnana is sought by one  ONLY  with a view to be free from the
possibility of obtaining another body.  And when this is achieved,  there
ensues the jnAnasamakAleena videha mukti, not to wait for death to occur.
This is the cherished view of videha mukti of Vidyaranya.  So, how do we
explain Vidyaranya quoting the above verses of the LYV?

We shall consider an analogy: There is a karmakAnDa passage: अपाम सोमं अमृता
अभूम  This passage means: the drinking of the Soma (juice) confers
immortality.  Now, we know that immortality is really had only upon Atma
jNana and this juice-born immortality is only relative; it confers a very
long life in a heaven.  This statement, then, is clearly meant to woo people
to perform such yaga-s.  It is arthavAda.  In the same way, the LYV is in a
serious vaasanaakshaya teaching mode.  It has to say so if the teaching is
to be taken seriously and implemented.  The aspirant will conclude: No
vAsanAkshaya, no liberation for me.  Seen in this light, there is no
contradiction between what Vidyaranya has categorically stated: 'Atma Jnana
confers moksha'  and the LYV quote.  In fact Vidyaranya has also assigned a
secondary role to vk and mn in helping Atma jnana.  And here too there is no
contradiction: The AkRtopAsti case is clearly demonstrated where the vk and
mn have indeed been practiced and the Atma Jnana achieved without the
standard three obstacles.  Thus, taking the LYV statement as arthavada or
taking vk to be a means to Jnana and thru that to moksha, does not weaken my

> 2) It is not the case, as you seem to maintain, that
> Videhamukti-alternative (one is not free of the suffering of the present
> body, but only those of future bodies) is used as the true meaning of
> Videhamukti throughout the JMV. There are many instances where Videhamukti
> refers only to Videhamukti-original (one is free after the dissolution of
> the present body), as for example (page 273, end of chapter 3):
>   arUpastu manonAsho yo mayokto raghudvaha .
>   videhamuktAvevAsau vidyate nishhkalAtmakaH .. [LYV 28.26]
>   "O descendent of the Raghus, the dissolution of the mind
>   without form, which has been described by me, happens in the case
>   of the Videhamukti only wherein remains no trace of the mind".
> It is impossible to maintain that the above reference to Videhamukti is to
> Videha-mukti-alternative, due to the reference to manonAsha.

In any case, the above quoting of the LYV by Vidyaranya does not contradict
his cherished view of videhamukti had at the moment of Atmajnana.

> In fact, the whole set of verses leading upto this one also refer only to
> Videha-mukti-original, as the context obviously speaks of manonAsha
> throughout these verses. Moreover, this occurs towards the end of Chapter 3,
> after the discussions on YAGYavalkya etc. are over, so it is almost as if
> VidyAraNya has "once again reverted to his non-cherished view of
> Videha-mukti-original as in the first chapter"!

It is not any case of 'reverting'.  Even if he is going to quote a hundred
verses talking of the videhamukti upon death, his cherished view stands
unopposed.  For, its application is in a different context and the
application of the LYV stated manonasha is in a different context.  Mere
quoting of such verses does not mean that Vidyaranya has given up his
cherised view which is also the view of Shanikaracharya as being the purport
of the Upanishads, as I have pointed out before.

> Now, the way I would interpret VidyAraNya speaking of his "cherished view"
> of Videha-mukti-alternative is this:
> VidyAraNya has defined Videha-mukti as Videha-mukti-original in the first
> chapter and in the later chapters also refers to it the same way. This is
> the "real" meaning of the term "Videhamukti" for most advaitins, and it is
> so for VidyAraNya as well. The reason he defines "Videha-mukti-alternative"
> is only because he is in effect telling the opponent, "Please let us not
> quibble on the meaning of this special usage of the term
> 'Videha-mukti(-alternative)', as I personally like this tangential meaning
> of the term". That's all!

Actually, the very lengthy discussion of this topic was ONLY intended to
establish beyond doubt the shastra abhimata videha mukti view.  It is common
in the texts that when the siddhAntin wants to establish a particular view,
he himself raises a pUrvapaksha and initiates a discussion at the end of
which he establishes his view.  So, all his efforts in doing so is not just
to boil down to what you have assumed to be the case.

> 3) VidyAraNya writes (page 87, ibid):
>   mumukShoH purushhasya jIvanmuktirvidehamuktishcheti
>   prayojanadvayam . ata eva "vimuktashcha vimuchyata"
>   [KU 2.2.1] iti shrUyate .
>   "The person who is seeking liberation (mumukShu) needs both
>   jIvanmukti and Videhamukti. For this the shruti has it thus:
>   'First liberated from ignorance while still alive, is again
>   freed on disembodiment." [KU 2.2.1]
> The above reference to a mumukShu being keen on both jIvanmukti and
> Videhamukti cannot be interpreted with Videhamukti-alternative ALONE.

I have already said that the word 'needs' is not the correct translation.
If that were the intent of Vidyaranya, and if that had been the fact too,
why would Vidyaranya go to great lengths arguing the clearly
jivanmukti-unfriendly case of Yajnavalkya and Bhagiratha and establish that
their moksha is unquestionable both ways:  the moment they became
enlightened AND after their death?

> 4) The term "mukta" without qualifications occurs more than once in the
> LYV, as quoted by VidyAraNya (page 176, ibid):
>   hRRidayAt samparityajya sarvameva mahAmatiH .
>   yastishhThati gatavyagraH sa muktaH parameshvaraH .. [LYV 18.26]
>   samAdhim atha karmANi mA karotu karotu vA .
>   hRRidayenAstasarvAsho mukta evottamAshayaH .. [LYV 18.27]
>   naishhkarmyeNa na tasyArthastasyAtho.asti na karmabhiH .
>   na samAdhAnajapyAbhyAM yasya nirvAsanaM manaH .. [LYV 18.28]
>   "He, the man of vase intelligence, who does away with all (desires)
>   from the mind and remains devoid of agitation, is liberated (sa muktaH),
>   and he is the supreme lord."
>   "He, the great soul, whose heart is free from all expectations, and who
>   is noble-minded, is indeed free whether he performs or performs not
>   concentration (samAdhi) or rituals."
>   "He, whose mind is desireless (nirvAsanaM manaH), has no concern
>   with the performance of or refraining from acts, nor is he in need
>   of concentration (samAdhi) or muttered prayer (japa)."
> In the set of above verses taken together, note that the person who is
> referred to as "muktaH" is one with "nirvAsanam manaH" - one with no
> vAsanAs.

I have already answered this objection when I addressed the equation:
VasanAkshaya = moksha in an earlier paragraph/post.

> Best regards,

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