[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 01:05:50 CDT 2012

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> But then we have another stream of thinking on this topic raised and
> handled elaborately in the Jivanmukti viveka by Vidyaranya.  There he
> supplies us instances of Jnanis like Yajnavalkya as an elaborate case
> study.  Yajnavalkya is an aparokSha jnani, a brahmavidyAchArya of the
> Upanishad and whose words are pramANa for AtmajnAna and therefore is not to
> be taken as a paroksha jnani.  So argues Vidyaranya.  Yet here is a case
> where  the shAnti, etc. were not present and as the various incidents in
> the Upanishad itself point out (like Y cursing shAkalya to death, heated
> debating, amassing wealth thru debates, etc.) Y finally decided to renounce
> and take to a state where he will be devoting all his time for mending the
> mind.  Vidyaranya also explicitly says in that work: there are people who
> come to AtmajnAna vichAra without going thru the preceding upAsana but
> still manage to get aparoksha jnanam which will surely give them moksha.
> But the fruit of shAnti, etc. will elude them as they have not practiced
> upAsana to the extent of getting manonasha and vasanakshaya.  Hence, for
> those jnanis there is still open the practice that leads to attain that and
> this involves dhyana, etc.
> So, there we have the one type of 'ideal' route that is what I strongly
> feel Shankara has in mind when the Br.Up.bhashyam passage is said.  We have
> also the other type not ideal but also not impossible where there is jnanam
> and the resultant atmasmrti santati is not there but needing a specific
> practice to attain that, rather set it in motion.


The aparoksha jnAna is possible for those who have properly followed the
scheme of shravaNa, manana and nidhidhyAsana which is clear from the
brihadAraNyaka upanishad bhAshya. Swami Vidyaranya too in the jivanmukti
vivEka itself says that this scheme is mandatory. He says aparoksha jnAna
is gained by those who properly follow this scheme (samyag anuSTitaiH).

Here is a highly pertinent excerpt by Swami SS from his introduction to
munDaka upaniSat:

Some people may get doubt about the need for the sAdhanAs in the prakriyA
of the bhAshyakAra since knowledge is gained from the vAkyArthajnAna alone.
But then, the brahmavidyA is not like any other worldly knowledge. For
Atmadarshana the sAdhanas are - shAstrOpadEsha, AchAryOpadEsha, shama,
dama, dhyAna, sarvatyAga & vairAgya. Through these sAdhanAs one
attains a *special
kind of knowledge (vishEsharUpa/sAkshAdanubharUpa jnAna). This is called
vijnAna in the vEdAnta*.

vairAgya, vEdAdhyayana, granthadhAraNa, arthavichAra also required.

One should follow strictly - satyavachana & brahmacharya. The Atmachintana
should be continuous. Since the Atman is the sAkshi for the vrittis of the
antaHkaraNa one should turn one's extrovert mind inward & direct it towards
the  Atmapratyaya and follow it. *This is most important according to
AchArya he says*.

(Swami SS cites various bhAshya passages in support of this. The
aforementioned passage is translated from a kannada book)

I think none of the traditional AchAryas say that AtmAkAra/akhaNDAkAra
vritti is not required. In fact it is this vritti which destroys avidyA.
Whether  during this vritti triputi is transcended, as it were or not,
seems to be the subject of debate?

Best Wishes,


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