[Advaita-l] the qualification to be an advaita guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 13:04:42 CDT 2011

The case of shraddhA, tapas, karma etc. resulting in Atmajnanam and moksha
is that of the krama mukti.  Such a sadhaka is said to go to Brahmaloka and
there get the Atmopadesha from Brahma himself and become enlightened.  In
the Kathopanishad mantra 2.3.5 छायातपयोरिव ब्रह्मलोके’ Shankara has said
that though it is so clear in brahmaloka, it is extremely difficult to get
there as the means to reach Brahmaloka are very strenuous involving immense
tapas, upAsana etc. स च दुष्प्रापो, अत्यन्तविशिष्टकर्मज्ञानसाध्यत्वात् ।

Atma jnana through shravana, etc. results in moksha here itself.  Even if a
shravana etc. adhikari (sadhaka) dies before getting the consummation of the
sadhana, the scriptural position (Bh/Gita 6th ch.) is that he will be born
again in this world to continue the sadhana and ultimately get enlightened.


The glory of life in the human body is that it is in this body that this
realization is achieved in its clearest and fullest form, just one sees
oneself in a mirror: यथाऽऽदर्शे तथाऽऽत्मनि । In the disembodied state, this
vision is hazy as in a dream: यथा स्वप्ने तथा पितृलोके । A little higher
than that is the world of the *gandharvas*, a type of celestial beings,
where the vision of Brahman is like one’s reflection in water: यथाऽप्सु परीव
ददृशे तथा गन्धर्वलोके and finally, in the *brahmaloka*, the world of the
cosmic Mind, the vision is near prefect, being clearly demarcated like light
and shade: छायातपयोरिव ब्रह्मलोके ।

      The vision of Brahman in *pitrloka* is compared to a dream. The same
applies to what one gets in the *gandharvaloka* also. In fact, all
experiences of Reality in the planes intermediate between the human world
and the *brahmaloka* ate treated by Vedānta as unsatisfactory, in the view
of their dream-like haziness in varying degrees. For the same reason,
Vedānta does not rank spiritually high dreams of a religious nature
experienced by seekers. If backed by the spiritual awareness of the waking
state, such dreams may have some values as indicators of spiritual trends.
Even then, Vedānta insists that true spirituality is a waking experience,
with the waking awareness progressively annexing all other states to itself
so as to result in a blazing light of spiritual awareness.

      The *brahmaloka* is the subtlest and purest of the planes of
existence; it is also known as *satyaloka*, the world of truth. In it the
vision of Reality is very clear; but it is extremely difficult to attain,
says Shankara in his comment, as it involves an extraordinary fund of pure
knowledge and action:

स च दुष्प्रापो, अत्यन्तविशिष्टकर्मज्ञानसाध्यत्वात् ।


On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 7:43 PM, Raghav Kumar <raghavkumar00 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Om
> When I asked a few Acharyas regarding this apparent conflcit with the idea
> that "jnAnam vinA moksho nAsti" etc., they explained that there is no
> conflict with the idea that "tameva viditvA ati-mRtyumeti, nAnyaH panthA
> vidyate ayanAya". When bhAshyakAra says that even shraddha, tapas etc
> (other
> than shravaNa etc) can result in jnAnam is certain exalted jIvas, what he
> means is this.
> Even these alternative means like shraddha, tapas are only useful if they
> manage to produce the brahmAkAra vRtti in some sadhakas. That vRtti-jnAnam
> alone removes atma- AjnAnam. When we say Atma-jnAnam removes Atma-AjnAnam
> (ignorance), we are not talking about any sacred books or words of the
> upaniShads even. We are talking of the pratyaya/vRtti these shAstra-words
> produce in the antaHkaraNam of the adhikArI sAdhaka. That vRtti alone is
> the
> actual pramANam. Without this brahmAkAra-vRtti-jnAnam taking place in the
> antaHkaraNam, there is no mokSha by mere karma or mere shraddha even. These
> "alternatives" may indeed deliver the goods ( i.e., the brahmAtma
> aikatva-pratyaya or brahmAkAra-vRtti) in some exalted cases, that is the
> idea,
> bhAShyakAra has quoted the example of a yogi being able to see forms
> without
> the aid of the eyes. In the case of such yogIs, the mind produces the
> vRtti-jnAnam about those objects, instead of the eyes. Ultimately,
> the ajnAna regarding any object is removed only by the jnAna-vRtti which is
> true to that object. In advaitic epistemology, the indriya or sense organ
> facilitates the arising of this vRtti-jnAnam about its sense object. The
> sense organ itself does not directly remove any ajnAnam; rather the
> antaHkaraNam takes on the form/shape of the object in fromt of the sense
> organ. This vRtti removes ignorance about that object, (This is known
> as vRtti-vyApti).
> In the case of brahmAtma jnAnam too, this vRtti-vyApti is essential.
> Whether
> it is caused by shAstra-study (the mainstream path) or by intense shraddha,
> tapas or whatever, this AtmAkAra-vRtti-vyApti HAS to take place in the
> antaHkaraNam . That alone leads to aparokShAnubhUti and is really the
> implied meaning of the word "pramANam". (pramA karaNam = pramANam, that
> which is the means/cause of knowledge is known as pramANam.),
> So "jnAnAdeva tu kaivalyam" remains non-negotiable in the siddhAnta,
> Raghav

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