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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 17:30:38 CDT 2011

I am happy to call you or discuss offline as what is important is to arrive
at truth not win or lose a discussion. In fact, losing in a discussion is
more beneficial because it means learning.

On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:

> Response:
> Actually, all these issues have already been addressed in my previous
> posts.
> In fact, the questions are based on deeper misunderstandings you seem to
> have.
> Moreover, even if you had clearly understood your own earlier statements on
> sAkShI, some of these misunderstandings would not have arisen.
> Anyway, if possible, please read the previous posts again. All the answers
> are already there. Here is a clue. Since you talk of prArabdha, what is the
> cause of prArabdha? Who is affected by prArabdha? What is a brahmaj~nAnI's
> view of prArabdha? Is prArabdha mithyA or satya? If an aparokSha j~nAnI is
> brahman, how can he be affected by prArabdha?
Let me first answer your questions based on my understanding and then come
back to why I think the two questions are relevant. The cause of prarabda is
past karma. A jivatma who identifies with the body is affected by prarabda
as it were. I say as it were because in reality it is the mind which enjoys
and suffers because we dont experience anything in deep sleep though the
jiva is there because the mind is at rest. If the mind is devoid of all
modifications achieved through sam-yama, then waking state and dream state
will also be like deep sleep devoid of happiness or sorrow. Even if the mind
has modifications in the form of thoughts, there can be no happiness or
sorrow if there is no attachment to those thoughts. This attachment will not
be there if the jivatma resides detached in the body like a we live in a
house (rf. city of nine gates). This is possible if the ajnana, which is the
cause of identification with the body is destroyed. But it is not possible
to destroy an attribute without destroying its substratum. If ajnana is
destroyed, then the jiva cannot exist as jiva because it is the locus of
ajnana. In that condition, only the inner most Self remains in the body.
This also happens if the jivatma turns inward towards the Lord and is
absorbed in to Him. The body and mind may continue to operate to exhaust
prarabda-karma though the jivatma has realized its identity with paramatma.
This is different from a paroksha jnani who sees the Lord, himself and other
jivas as well as knows that there is absolute oneness beyond this relative
difference. He has not entered or become one with the Lord. The paroksha
jnani is different from an intellectual who understands through textual
study or lectures the different terms such as jiva, brahman, isvara etc.
While an intellectual can only know what he has studied or thought through,
a paroksha jnani knows every thing but he will still transmigrate. I had
earlier quoted Madhusudana's commentary and the verse from Patanjali yoga
Sutra. Here is a verse from SBh to substantiate that view that jivatma is
sarva vit (knower of everything).  nitya ātmāvyayaḥ śuddhaḥ sarvagaḥ
sarva-vit paraḥ (SBh. 7.2.22). As you know sruti also says that jivatma is
vipascin (K.Up. 1.2.18). On the other hand, the aparoksha jnani has realized
that He is one with the Self (jnavan mam prapadyate). That this Self is
jnapti matram or advaya jnanam is well accepted. There is no knowing or
otherwise for It or Him.  When you ask Him a question or He speaks on His
own, it is Isvara sankalpa only because there no desire in His mind to
speak. It is like a panchaloka vigraham speaking and it will be faultless.
We see that Suka, Uddhava etc. were glorified by Their disciples as perfect
in speech answering faultlessly. We cannot find fault in the works of
Sankara or Madhusudana as well. But if a person is learned and very sattvik,
we will feel happiness in the presence of such a saint but he will not be
inerroneous. The smrti can be erroneous where it talks about indeterminate
subjects such as origin or structure of universe where multiple truths are
possible or when it records the opinion of an ignorant person. But sruti,
Isvara and a realized acharya cannot be wrong. Now, the two questions are
relevant in the face of aboove understanding.

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