[Advaita-l] j~nAna, aj~nAna and sarvaj~natvam

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Aug 10 16:12:56 CDT 2011

On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 3:18 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 7:27 AM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> > There is another term, sarvavid, which implies knowledge of all things in
> > vyavahAra. Ishvara in the sense of the samaShTi is said to be a sarvavid.
> > In fact, one often finds both descriptions (sarvaj~na and sarvavid)
> applied
> > to Ishvara in the same verse/sentence. If sarvaj~na itself meant
> knowledge
> > of all things in vyavahAra, the use of 'sarvavid' would be redundant.
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> I had in mind the above too when I wrote the earlier post:  The
> Mundakopanishat has this very expression in the mantra: yaH sarvajnAH
> sarvavit yasya jnAnamayam tapaH... where Shankara gives the meanings:
> sarvam sAmAnyena jAnAti iti sarvajnaH [He who knows everything in general
> is
> sarvajnaH], sarvam visheShENa vetti iti sarvavit [He who knows everything
> in
> particular, that is in their particularised aspects is a sarvavit]. Ishwara
> has both these.  This distinction merges in the word sarvajnaH if it is
> used
> without the sarvavit accompanying.  Generally, the word sarvajnaH is used
> only with regard to Ishwara and occasionally with regard to very exalted
> Rishis like Vyasa where trikAlajnAna is attributed.  Otherwise a jnani is
> only a sarvam sAmAnyena vEtti iti sarvajnaH where he possesses the
> knowledge
> of that which underlies everything.  And that is Brahman.  Knowing,
> realizing, Brahman as the substance of everything including himself is what
> makes a person an aparoksha jnani.

 How is this possible? If Ishwara is sarvanja, He knows the underlying Self.
Then He cannot know anything else in particular because there is nothing
else to be known. If He knows everything in particular, then He cannot know
the underlying Self. But this is possible because (BSBh 2.1.14)  'He who is
called ether is the revealer of all forms and names; that within which these
forms and names are contained is Brahman'. 'He, the wise one, who having
divided all forms and given all names, sits speaking (with those names)'
(Taitt. Âr. III, 12, 7); 'He who makes the one seed manifold' (*S*ve. Up.
VI, l2). He does this through the instrumentality of Maya, which is
non-different from Him: 'Belonging to the Self, as it were, of the
omniscient Lord, there are name and form, the figments of Nescience, not to
be defined either as being (i.e. Brahman), nor as different from it, the
germs of the entire expanse of the phenomenal world, called in *S*ruti and
Sm*ri*ti the illusion (mâyâ), power (*s*aktî), or nature (prak*ri*ti) of the
omniscient Lord.'

It is not possible for some to attain the state of Vishnu but be less than
Vishnu in any respect.  As you know, this is what is said by Shankara with
respect to an aparoksha jnani in BG 15.19. sah, he; is sarva-vit,
all-knowing- he knows everything through self-identification with all-, i.e.
(he becomes) omniscient.

What is the meaning of jnapti? Has Shankara defined it anywhere?

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