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

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 01:55:22 CDT 2011

The term Sakshi did not appear in either of your posts until I posted
on how Madhusudana resolved it. Your philosophy teacher will not give
you marks. Of course, Isvara may give you liberation.

It is totally fallacious to say that advaita acharyas used minimum use
of nyaya (which FYI is different to tarka) and mainly for polemics.
Sankara used the tools of nyaya of his time and so did Madhusudana
extensively even in his bhakti works such as bhakti rasayana.

I still think you don't get it though you believe. Is Sakshi Jnana
cause of vrtti jnana and/or ajnana?

On 06/07/2011, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Ramesh,
> I am in full agreement with you.  Actually the entire shAstra of Advaita
> Vedanta as presented by Shankara is very simple, shorn of all the
> complicated meanderings. He used simple tarka formats just necessary for
> making things clear.  It is only when the non-advaitic schools embarked on
> the terse nyAya methods to attack Advaita hoping to corner it, did the later
> advaita acharyas, in defence-mode, adopted a similar language.  Madhusudana
> rose up to the offensive of Vyasatirtha and did a splendid job that brought
> accolades for him even from the dvaita school.  The foreword of the
> न्यायामृत-अद्वैतसिद्धिः book published by the Dvaita Vedanta Research
> foundation, Bangalore, has some nice words for Madhusudana.
> Swami Paramarthananda made this humorous remark:
> Even to put across a simple thing the man of Tarka loves to use a
> complicated process:  There is an elephant in front of you, so obviously
> making its presence known to you.  Yet the Tarkika would present this as:
> अयं गजः। शुण्डादन्तत्वात् । व्यतिरेकेण घटवत् ।
> This is an elephant.  Because it is qualified by the property/attribute of
> having a trunk and tusk. Conversely like a pot.
> The first statement is a claim/proposition: प्रतिज्ञा.
> The second one is the reasoning: हेतु.
> The third is the example part: दृष्टान्तः. Since there is no other animal
> like the elephant to give as an analogy (अन्वयदृष्टान्तः), he chooses to
> give a contrary example: व्यतिरेकदृष्टान्तः.
> In Advaita, as with regard to any knowledge-process, the ignorance
> pertaining to an object and the subsequent knowledge of it are both a mental
> condition, revealed by the witness, sAkShI.  My awareness of my ignorance
> and my subsequent knowledge is possible only because the two are revealed by
> an entity that is different from them.  Just as I am aware of emotions
> rising in my mind.
> As you rightly put it, both these conditions, pertaining to Atma jnana and
> the prior ajnana, belong to the mind alone and that is why bandha and mokSha
> are at the jiva/mind level; Atman/Brahman being completely outside this
> duality, totally unaffected by either of them.
> Regards,
> subrahmanian.v
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 9:40 AM, Ramesh Krishnamurthy
> <rkmurthy at gmail.com>wrote:
>> The way the question was posed, the response from Subbu-ji (and the rest
>> of
>> us) was natural. As a certain scholar told me, some of the medieval
>> pUrvapakSha polemicists did succeed in tying themselves in knots by using
>> complicated constructs to explain simple things, much like a person trying
>> to touch his own nose by bringing his hand from around his head. Whether
>> such an action is absurd or not, it is certainly not the simplest way of
>> doing things.
>> And ultimately, all these polemicists needed to know was something as
>> simple
>> as the sAkShI witnessing the pramAtA's ignorance or, to put it
>> differently,
>> the pramAtA's viSheSha jn~Ana/aj~nAna being predicated on the
>> AtmA/sakShI's
>> jn~Ana.
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