[Advaita-l] Taittiriya Upanishad question

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 06:43:27 CDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM, Venkatesh Murthy <vmurthy36 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste
> But the Jivanmukta can not be the meaning in this sentence because he
> says Iman Lokan Kamanni Kamarupee Anusancharan.  If Jivanmukta is
> meant how can he roam these worlds. He stays with us on earth.
> Other Muktas can roam anywhere.

Any Jnani who has not yet attained videha kaivalyam is a jivanmuktaH.  It
could be in this world, in the body with which he attained aparoksha jnanam
or in any other body that he might acquire owing to his extraordinary
prArabdha karma, for example, in the body of an AdhikArika puruSha, like the
Yama-body of the Kathopanishat.  In all these cases he is a jivanmuktaH.
Swami Paramarthananda has said that even an upAsaka who goes to Brahmaloka
(krama-mukti) and gets aparoksha jnanam there having taught by BrahmA, till
he lives in Brahmaloka to attain videha mukti at the end of that Brahma's
tenure along with Brahma, is a jivanmukta there.

In fact, the Mundakopanishad teaches in mantra 3.1.10:

यं यं लोकं* मनसा संविभाति* विशुद्धसत्त्वः कामयते यांश्च कामान् ।
तं तं लोकं जयते तांश्च कामांस्तस्मादात्मज्ञं ह्यर्चयेद् भूतिकामः ॥

// Whatever world a man of pure understanding (Jnani) envisages in his mind
and whatever desires he cherishes, that world he conquers and those desires
he obtains, Therefore let everyone who wants prosperity worship the man who
knows the Self.//

Shankara comments: //  Any world whichsoever, such as the world of manes,
etc. (pitRs, etc.) that the man of pure mind, the man freed from mental
afflictions (klesha) the Knower of the Self, Jnani,* wishes for with the
mind, thinking, *'Let this be mine or for somebody else', and those
enjoyable things that he covets, he wins, gets, those very worlds and those
enjoyable things that are wished for.  Since the wishes of the enlightened
man are infallible, therefore, one who hankers after prosperity should
worship, through washing of feet, service, salutation, etc. the Jnani, who
is purified in mind by virtue of his knowledge of the Atman. Therefore such
a one, the Jnani,  is certainly adorable. //

Two features stand out in this mantra:  1. The word 'मनसा’ is present in the
mantra which means 'by/with the mind' in the instrumental, तृतीया, case.
This is the undisputable Scriptural evidence for the Jnani continuing with
the mind. The mantra says that not only does the Jnani have a mind, he uses
it too.  Shankara comments for the words मन्सा संविभाति thus: मनसा
संकल्पयति, मह्यं अन्यस्मै वा...By saying so Shankara confirms that not only
does the Jnani have a mind, he 'desires', wishes, and that the Jnani has an
ahankAra too:  the word मह्यं  ' for me' shows this.

2. The Jnani has great powers. He can grant anyone anything that is within
the confines of Dharma and Ishwara's dispensation.

>   all of which makes sense only in terms of
> > being a praise (stuti) of brahmavidyA. It is not to be taken literally.
> It
> > is not as if in the mukta sthiti, the brahman-knower actually sits around
> > eating and being eaten.
> The meaning can be like this. At the same time Mukta gets experience
> of becoming Food and Eater of Food. What is wrong?

That it is a 'stuti' is indeed said by the Acharya in the Bhashyam:
ब्रह्मविद्याकार्यस्य ब्रह्मभावस्य स्तुत्यर्थमुच्यते -
’अहमन्नमन्नमहमन्नम्....’ इत्यादिः । All these can be read at the end portion
of the bhashyam.

One can see the Acharya's consistency in viewing such mantras as 'stuti' of
brahmavidyaa, another example being the Chandogya mantra we discussed


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