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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 20:56:43 CDT 2011

On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> The arguments are logical but a two questions remain.
>   1..... But visesha-ajnana is due to avidya.   If avidya is destroyed with
> respect to the jiva, then what is the cause of  visesha-ajnana in a
> brahma-jnani?

In a way, as per the adhyAsa bhAshyam, vishesha vijnAna itself is due to
avidya. Only because there is the ajnAna 'I am a pramAtaa, knower' there
extend the other ajnAna-s of knowing and knowledge. The shruti quoted by
Shankara elsewhere is: yatra hi dvaitamiva bhavati, taditara itaram
pashyati..And when this dvaita adhyAsa has gone, 'yatra tvasya sarvam
Atmaiva abhUt tat kena kam pashyet..'

Ishwara's vishesha vijnAna of all things in the universe is due to His
position; as karmaphaladAtA, sRiShTikartA, etc.  He has to have them for
administrative purposes.  The aim of the mumukshu is not to have them; in
fact there is specific instruction in the scripture for the aspirant to give
up vishesha vijnana which is due to nAma rUpa and concentrate on the sAmAnya
jnana, Brahman.  The goal of the Yogi who wants to go to samadhi and the
Vedantin who wants to engage in deep contemplation of Brahman is to give up
vishesha vijnAna of all objects and delve deep into the nirvishesha
brahman.  For these two, vishesha ajnAna is a boon, much sought after

For a jnani whose avidya has gone, the avidya pertaining to taking the nama
rUpa as true has gone.  So, what results for him is not a situation where he
has vishesha vijnana but sAmAnya jnana of Brahman as the substratum of all
visheshas. For Ishwara, as stated earlier, the presence of vishesha vijnana
is by default, not by choice.  It is a functional necessity.  Nevertheless,
it should not be thought that Ishwara has ignorance when we say He has
vishesha vijnana.  A jnani too has vishesha vijnana of all that he has to
deal with.  For example, Shankaracharya, as a bhAshyakaara, had the vishesha
vijnana of shruti, smrti, purANa, vyAkaraNa, pUrva mImAmsA, etc. He could
differentiate the one from the other.

  2. An aparoksha jnani is identical to brahman. Brahman is neither a
>   knower nor ignorant but pure knowledge itself. Given that, how can any
> thing   remain known or unknown to Brahman?

Since there is nothing other than Brahman as a second entity, Brahman is
beyond the duality of knowing/ignorance.


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