[Advaita-l] Seeking clarification on Bri. Up. Mantra 1-4-2

subhanu via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Tue Apr 22 09:43:14 CDT 2014


Chandramouli wrote:

“This is what is not acceptable to Sri Sadanandaji as I understand
according to whom if knowledge were to arise without any further instruction
then he should have got the knowledge in the previous birth itself. In support
of his contention that further instruction only could lead to knowledge he
cites the bhagavatham incident. As I could see from the vartika, no other
reason is adduced except the above which according to the Acharya is quite

satisfactory as per reasons given thereof.”


Sri Sadananda wrote:  

“If you can clarify the sidhanta that followed the objection and how it address the objection, that is great.” 


“If your feel Shankara’s sidhaanta following the objection addresses the issue or if you feel that vaartika addresses the objection posed in a different way please let me know.” 


I have fully understood the crux of the issue that Sri Sadandanda has raised. I
had started writing a response to Sri Sadananda when I saw Sri Chandramouli’s
response with which I largely concur, including that Suresvara follows his
teacher but amplifies considerably each step of the argument. (one
clarification: the smriti quoted in BUBV 1.4.79 is not manu smriti as you
suggest but is vāyupurāṇa 1.1.3 ज्ञानमप्रतिमं यस्य
वैराग्यं च जगत्पतेः। ऐश्वर्यञ्चैव धर्मश्च सहसिद्धिचतुष्टयः ।।३।।
Note the vārtikā as apratigham and the purana has apratimam). I would just add the following to Sri Chandramouli’s comments:

siddhānta of the tradition is satisfied with the
response given in BUBV 1.4.77-81 etc including the smriti authority quoted in BUBV
1.4.79 where, in the case of the Lord, such sahasiddhatva is sufficient to
explain how the knowledge arose in this life. As I previously mentioned, the
how when and why of the rise of knowledge in Virāj is incidental to the main
point of the illustration, and the objection is answered in detail in the vārtikā
more in the spirit of completeness than anything else. Remember, all
illustrations have their utility up to a point.

you were really uncomfortable with the seeming contradiction that, if knowledge
somehow arose in this birth, then it could have easily arisen in the previous
birth when the knowledge was only partial, then you can take the implication
from Suresvara’s detailed response in BUBV 77-90 and in other places that the
exact combination of factors that give rise to the knowledge accruing have, for
whatever reason, come about in this current life for Virāj, and not in the previous

  3)   Anandagiri gives a
  detailed explanation in his commentary on BUBV 1.4.79 that throws more light
  on the vārtikā. It is too long to give
  here, but I will just provide the last sentence for context: ukta-driṣṭāntāt
  prajāpaterapi niratishaya-jñāna-karma-vāsanāvatastajjakārya-karaṇa-yuktasya jñāna-vairāgyādau
  vaishāradyam gamyate’tastasya brahmāsmīti jñānamapyāchāryādyapekṣām vinā
  smaryamāṇa-vākyādeva syādityarthah. 

you have access to it, brihadāranyaka-vārtikā-sāra (BVS) 1.4.40-50 gives further
colour to the position from the traditional point of view. For example we have
in BVS  1.4.43-44: sahasiddhatva vachasā
parāpeksā  nivāryate. na janmakāla evāsya
jñāna-sadbhāva ucyate.  āchārya-nirapekṣatve
shushrūṣādir anarthatām. Prāpnoti chet svayambhātavedānām astvanarthatā. 

in summary, the knowledge arose from remembrance and reflection
of what he learned in the previous life and not through any teacher etc in this
current life, and such circumstances for the knowledge to accrue now and not
before only fructified in this current life. 

Now, I suspect you will remain unsatisfied with the
traditional position on this matter so I offer the following thought which you
may/may not agree with: When
“The Lord” is invoked for an instruction on Brahman beyond name and form, there
might inevitably be what seems to be a “get out of jail” moment invoking simply
the Lord’s desire that something did/did not happen at a particular moment in
time, beyond which the illustration ceases to have utility. 
Whenever adhyāropa-apavāda
prakriyā is being used, then Suresvara’s advice at 2.3.219 is always beneficial
to keep front and centre, to not lose focus on the true goal: sākṣādbrahmatva-siddhyartham
ādeshoy’am athochyate. Sri Sadananda, I can try and scan and send you the vārtikā
and vārtikā-sāra sections in full for your own study if you like. I can do this
when I return from my business travel after the next 10 days (I will be in
Miami and Phoenix then back to Mumbai)



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