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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 03:15:05 CDT 2011

Knowledge and Ignorance of the same object cannot co-exist in the cognizer.
One cannot have the experience of the type "I know there is an object called
vyakarana and I dont know the object called vyakarana". You are confusing
between the object called vyakarana and objects that it is composed of such
as vibhakti, kala, sandhi etc. You have inferred your ignorance about
contained objects based on the knowledge that vyakarana has contents and
that you have not experienced them. To experience that "I am ignorant of an
object", you need to have the knowledge of the object.

I think you have not read my latest post which answers this (vrtti jnana and
sakshi jnana).

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 8:20 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> Dear Rajaram,
> Even this clarification/elucidation fails to make much appeal.  Why can't
> there be jnana and ajnana with respect to the same object?  I know 'a study
> of vyAkaraNa is useful for Vedanta and that I must engage myself in its
> study'.  This is the 'knowledge/jnana' I have of the 'object' called
> vyakarana.  Yet the very need for my putting in effort for its study
> presupposes my ajnana with respect to the same object: vyakarana.
> So the above analogy fits all these conditions:
>   1. There is jnana of an object about which I have ajnana
>   2. That object is 'vyAkarana shAstra'
>   3. I know of the existence of such a shastra and its use for vedanta
>   4. I know that I have no knowledge of the shastra as such
>   5. This is my jnana about my 'ajnana'.
>   6. The ignorance is a condition of my mind and my awareness of it is due
>   to the sakshi, just like I am aware of a sukha/dukha vRtti owing to the
>   sakshi's revealing them
>   7. The knowledge that 'vyakarana is a shastra useful for vedanta' is also
>   sakshi vedya, being a condition of my mind.
>   8. Thus both the jnanam about the existence of an (unknown) shastra AND
>   about its ajnanam are both conditions of my mind and are revealed to me
> by
>   the sakshi.
>   9. Every voluntary learning activity takes place on the above module.
>   10. The mere presence of jnana about the status of the vyakarana shastra
>   viz-a-viz vedanta does not obviate the need for acquiring the specific
> jnana
>   of that shastra.
>   11. It operates like this: jAnAti, icchati, karoti. First I know that
>   vyakarana is to be studied for vedanta - jAnAti. I appreciate this fact
> and
>   generate a desire to take up the study: icchati.  I go about seeking the
>   right teacher, etc. and engage in the study and succeed in acquiring a
> fair
>   degree of proficiency:  yatate/karoti.
>   12. Your statement: //In the face of this jnana of the object, there
>   cannot be ajnana of the same object. // is clearly falsified as shown
> above.
>   13. This statement of yours: //If there cannot be ajnana, then there can
>   be no rising of jnana of the object.// also stands nullified owing to the
>   earlier step: For, ajnana of vyakarana is well recognized by me and
> efforts
>   to acquire jnana is also put in place.  So, why should there be 'no
> rising
>   of jnana of the object (vyakarana)'?
>   14. The situation you are talking about is first of all an
>   impossibility:  No one can have total jnana of an object before acquiring
>   that jnana.  Someone having a thorough knowledge of a subject will not
>   embark upon knowing that subject.  He does not even feel the need for
>   'knowing' it. Everyone proceeds to acquire knowledge of anything only
> after
>   'knowing' that he is 'ignorant' of that very thing.
>   15. Hence, Shankaracharya's presentation of the topic in the sutra
>   bhashya that I quoted is the only correct one that is most intelligible.
>  It
>   does not have the confusing statements and situations that are there in
> your
>   presentation.  Shankara, without confusing anyone, puts the entire
> situation
>   in the most simple terms.
>   16. In the Chandogya upanishad 8th chapter, Narada, versed in several
>   faculties, *feels* that there is no fulfillment and becomes aware that he
>   lacks Atma jnanam and securing it alone will satisfy him.  Thus he
>   approaches Sanatkumara and expresses: 'Master, I feel miserable.  I am
> not
>   an Atmavit.  Pl. make me enlightened.'  He gets instructed and becomes
>   enlightened eventually.
>   17. Here Narada has the jnanam of the object about which he has ajnanam.
>   So, jnanam and ajnanam co-exist.  He succeeds in eradicating the ajnanam
>   pertaining to that very object: the atman.  There is no situation here
> where
>   'in the face of jnana of the object about which there is ajnana there
> cannot
>   arise jnana of that object.'  Narada's is a fine case study to prove the
>   objection you have presented does not stand scrutiny.
>   18. The ShAnkaran presentation: presence of sAmAnya jnana and the absence
>   of visheSha jnAna (ajnana) with respect to the same object and the
>   subsequent removal of this ajnana - cannot be bettered by anyone.
> Regards,
> subrahmanian.v
> On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 6:54 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
> rajaramvenk at gmail.com
> > wrote:
> >
> > Now the question should make more sense. As ajnana is always with respect
> > to
> > an object, jnana of the object of ajnana is a pre-requisite for ajnana.
> In
> > the face of this jnana of the object, there cannot be ajnana of the same
> > object. If there cannot be ajnana, then there can be no rising of jnana
> of
> > the object. If I know the cost of the travel to Tiruvannamalai is 100Rs.,
> > then how can there arise knowledge of the cost, which is pre-existent?
> >
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