[Advaita-l] Jnana and ajnana (Bhakti vs. Jnana)

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sun Jul 3 15:58:53 CDT 2011

None of the answers hit the mark. The answer is not partial knowledge,
co-existence of knowledge and ignorance, objective knowledge of brahman,
error in percpeption, total ignorance or about avidya being eyong time and
space. The question is very straightforward and simple and has been answered
by advaitins but not in the ways listed above. Let me rephrase the question
and give an example to make the question clearer if it was not already

As ajnana is always with respect to an object, jnana of the object of ajnana
is a pre-requisite for ajnana. I say, "I do not know the cost of travel to
Tiruvannamalai". When I say this I have knowledge that there is a cost to
travel to Tiruvannamalai. So there is knowledge prior to ignorance. Now, I
may be ignorant of the actual cost but this is not known to me through
direct perception. I will never have perceptive knowledge of ignorance of
the type, "I do not know the cost of travel to Tiruvannamalai is 100Rs."  We
see that knowledge of the object is a pre-requisite for direct knowledge
of ignorance of the object. If "I do not know the cost of travel to
Tiruvannamalai is 100Rs.", then I know the cost of travel to Tiruvannamalai
is 100Rs. Then, how can there arise knowledge that the cost of travel to
Tiruvannamal is 100Rs? It is pre-existent. This is what is meant by how can
ajnana arise at all in the face of jnana with respect to the same object? If
ajnana does not exist, then there is no question of jnana arising with
respect to that object. But we cannot say that ajnana with respect to
particular object does not exist at all because we have the experience of
ignorance. Otherwise, we wont say, "I am ignorant" or such a statement would
be meaningless. And a position that "I have general ignorance but knowledge
of all particular objects" is illogical because it is like saying "I know
every one but I dont know any one".

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