[Advaita-l] Ritambara Prajna

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Fri Aug 19 00:03:18 CDT 2011

On Sat, 13 Aug 2011, Raghav Kumar wrote:

> Thank you for your explanation of the connection between gAyatrI and
> RtambharA prajnA. My doubt is that you have included "ordinary ...vedanta
> jnana" as inferior to the insight offered by the RtambharA prajnA. This is
> quite interesting. Could you elaborate on the difference between "ordinary
> vedantic jnana" and the deeper subtler jnanam born of RtambharA prajnA ? My
> personal view is that what you said makes perfect sense. But can we justify
> the idea of Patanjali's idea of RtambharA prajnA as being crucial in
> attaining to true mahavAkya jnAnam in the more orthodox vedantic tradition?
> Has any of the later Acharyas in the Shankara-paramparA also talked in a
> similar vein? (Given the fact that nirvikalpaka samadhi is not given such a
> great status in the vedantic tradition as in Yoga.)

I was wondering the same thing.  In the Samkhya/Yoga the "yogic intuition" 
of perfected (siddha) beings is accepted as a valid means of knowledge 
(pramana) or as the source of pramana.  The Vedas are authoritative 
because their author is Ishvara who being the primordial being is most 
perfect.  Vedanta on the other hand following Purva Mimamsa considers the 
Vedas to be authoritative due to their eternality and precisely because 
they are not authored by any being upto and including Ishvara.  There is 
no difference in kind between Vedic language and laukika language.  Yes it 
is somewhat harder to learn and there are certain non-literal and poetical 
usages etc.  which may not be intelligible to one who has not learned in a 
paramparagata way but the same could be said about a sufficiently advanced 
book in mathematics or any other laukika subject too.

In fact it is this rtambhara prajna which as presented seems to be 
defective being based on personhood.

The function of upasana in Vedanta is not to cause or increase jnana (or 
"a more subtle jnana" which is a concept that doesn't make sense.  jnana 
is jnana is jnana) but to annhilate ajnana which allows svayamaprakasha 
jnana to shine forth.  To this end an untainted intellect can be useful 
just as nirvikalpa samadhi can be useful but my point is it is orthogonal 
to whether one understands the shastra or not.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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