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

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 6 15:09:14 CDT 2011

> Yes prabhuji, one more striking definition of the jnAni, as upanishad 
> itself asserts it, is : 'brahmavit brahmaiva bhavati'. But I think this 
> definition holds good only on the paper as description of the jnAni's 
> jnAna depends upon the 'individuality', parichinnatva and prArabha of that 
> particular jnAni. Since we cannot point our finger to a particular jnAni 
> and declare : he knows brahman so he is brahman :-))

Please let us not make this into a discussion along the lines you suggest.
Rajaram asked for a definition of jnAnI and I pointed out that it may be
useful to think of the word description, rather than the word definition.
This was said with a view to be helpful. It is unnecessary, in my opinion,
to speculate whether a definition holds good only on paper or otherwise.

If you think that the definition holds good only on paper, then you have
given up the advaita stance. If you think that others within the traditional
circles of advaita hold that the definiton holds good only on paper, then 
you are accusing them of giving up the basic advaita stance. Please check
whether you are representing or understanding these others correctly.
It is possible, to hold that the definition is worth a lot more than being
good "only on paper" and still have a different view from yours about the

For me, the issue is very simple. When people say that such and such a 
person is a jnAnI, they are talking of a person in time. An account of the
life of Sankara bhagavatpAda can be one sentence, "He is Brahman", or
it can be a book detailing life events. The one liner is a definition, the
book is a description. That is all.

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