[Advaita-l] Fwd: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 83, Issue 2

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 13:49:40 CDT 2011

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 09:38:08 +0530
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Definition of Jnani
what is the definition of jnani as per advaita tradition?

Hare Krishna

Unfortunately, definition varies from individual to individual, school to
school, from one understanding of jnAni to another :-)) Since there
accepted a gradation in jnAni's jnAna (brahmavidvara, variya, varishTa
etc.) we have to be specific about the jnAni before asking for the
definition of jnAna in him.  In short, there is no standard & universally
accepted definition of the jnAni...'prArabdha' would play a vital role
here !!??

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

*Bhaskar, I agree that there can be different definitiond of jnani based on
which stage he is on the jnana bhumi. I dont agree that the definition can
be based on prarabda karma. If such a position is admissible, there will be
as many definitions of a jnani as there are jnanis as each one has has a
unique prarabda karma. Also, the definition of jnani has to be based on
sastras. Gita offers two definitions of a jnani -  nitya yukta eka bhakti:
and vasudevam sarvam iti. In both cases, Madhusudana says that jnani has
bhakti. Sankara does not specifically that one who has attained vasudeva is
a bhakta but he does not say that a jnani transcends bhakti either. I heard
that Vidyaranya Swami says jivan mukta Hari bhakta. Brahmananda, the
disciple of Madhusudana, says that bhakti is his guru, a jivan mukta is the
residual effect of bhakti done before attainment of realization. However,
Madhusudana says that a jnani not only has tattva jnana but also experiences
mano nasa and vasana kshaya. So, how can the past tendency of bhakti remain?
Not only in the Gita, but even as per the tradition I hear that bhakti:
jnana lakshanat (jnana is characterized by bhakti) and vairagya is jnana
lakshana (knowledge is characterized by renounciation). So, the definition
of jnani (or types of jnani) remains a open question to me. If one wants to
be a jnani, either in this or a future life, one should know what a jnani
is. *

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 12:43:34 +0530
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Definition of Jnani
On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 12:35 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:


It is quite natural that many who have not undertaken a deep study of the
Acharya's bhashyam are likely to carry ideas about the Advaita Jnani that
are quite contrary to the Advaitic presentation.  'A brahmavit, jnani, is
non-different from Brahman'  does not incapacitate the jnani, who is
essentially a person also, from expressing love, compassion, empathy, etc.
with reference to 'others'.  All these traits are described in the Bh.Gita
and the jnani with these is said to be a 'sthita prajna', ' trigunaateeta',
'bhakta', etc.  Shankaracharya has said in the Brahmasutra bhashya 4.1.19
that the jnani, as long as he is alive, will have 'bheda darshana'.  This
statement of Shankara could come as a shock to some people as their
'kalpana' of a jnani is someone who is endowed with abheda driShTi, which
also Shankara has stressed.  What Shankara means in that sentence is only
that the jnani, who operates with the body-mind-sense organs in the world,
will have the appropriate vision of difference too that is required for
vyavahara.  Otherwise, Shankara Himself could not be capable of
differentiating between the Brahma sutra, the Gita and the Upanishads and
within the upanishads between one and the others and within the Gita between
one chapter and others and between verses and within the Sutras between one
and the other.  All this vyavahara will be possible ONLY if the jnani is
understood to be having the necessary 'bheda driShTi' too, which however, is
not antagonistic with the 'abheda drishTi' that the Advaita jnanam has given

With this background, we can see just a couple of 'definitions' of a jnani
that Shankara has given:

1.  Chandogya Up. 4.9.2:  प्रसन्नेन्द्रियः प्रहसितवदनश्च निश्चिन्तः कृतार्थो
ब्रह्मविद्भवति । //A knower of Brahman is possessed of tranquil organs and a
smiling face; he is without care, and contended.//

2. Taittiriya Up. 2.7 बाह्यानन्दसाधनरहिताः अपि निरीहा निरेषणा ब्राह्मणा
बाह्यरसलाभादिव सानन्दा दृश्यन्ते विद्वांसः, नूनं ब्रह्मैव रसस्तेषाम् ।
//Inasmuch as those BrAhmaNas who have realized Brahman are seen to be as
happy as one is from obtaining an external source of joy - though, in fact,
they do not take help of any external means of happiness, make no effort,
and cherish no desire - , it follows, as a matter of course, that Brahman
is, indeed, the source of their joy and is the spring of their happiness.//

The above are only samples; there are several other sentences from the
Acharya's pen on the jnani.


*Very useful. Could you please post the different definitions as per the
tradition? And the pramana for the definitions? *
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 03:40:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Definition of Jnani
According to advaita jnaani is the one who has realized
1. Brahma satyam
2. Jagat mithyaa
3. Jiva brahma eva na aparaH

Hari Om!
*Agreed. But on realizing brahma satyam, does a jnani continue to devote to
the Lord? As mentioned above, Madhusudana and Sankara both say that in the
context of Bhagavad Gita.  *

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