[Advaita-l] Realization through Mind

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Sat Nov 15 02:48:50 CST 2014

Dear Sri Anand Hudliji,

 You wrote Though both the mind and shabda are accepted by the two
schools, the debate here is about which of the two - mind or shabda, yields
direct realization. The BhAmatI holds that shabda can only give us indirect

 In other words Bhamati holds that only the mind gives us direct
realization. According to the Bhashya of Sri Bhagavatpada shabda leads to
realization in respect of svaprakasha Atman/Brahman by removing the
obstruction/ajnana which is hindering such realization. Realization is due
to the svaprakasha nature of Atman/Brahman. But when it is held , as in
Bhamati , that mind gives us direct realization, is it not tantamount to
saying that mind itself directly reveals Atman/Brahman leading to direct
realization. It is not by way of removing the obstruction/ ajnana to such
realization. Is this not contrary to the Bhashya? Does Bhamati deviate from
the Bhashya in this regard ? Please clarify.



On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 10:26 AM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Shri Chandramouli wrote:
> >Nididhyasana is to be undertaken only by such a su-samskruta mind to
> >achieve the results.
> Nice summary of the topic. I would like to add a few points based on the
> differences between the two main schools of advaita - the BhAmati and the
> VivaraNa.
> It must be clarified that both schools recognize the importance of Vedanta
> texts such as "tattvamasi" in the realization of Brahman. However, the
> Vivarana school holds that VedAnta vAkyas such as tattvamasi will give rise
> to direct realization (aparokSha pramiti) of Brahman. Says the Vivarana:
> evaM cha taM aupaniShadamiti taddhitapratyayena brahmaavagatihetutvaM
> shabdasya darshitam upapannaM bhavati aparokShaavagatereva
> samyagavagatitvaaditi. By the VedAnta text,  aupaniShadaM puruShaM
> pRcchAmi, the taddhita affix applied to upanishad indicates that shabda
> (upanishad) is the cause of Brahman realization and that realization is
> direct (not indirect), since only direct realization can be true
> realization. Though both the mind and shabda are accepted by the two
> schools, the debate here is about which of the two - mind or shabda, yields
> direct realization. The BhAmatI holds that shabda can only give us indirect
> realization.
> tadeva vAkyamAtrasyArthe .api na drAgityeva pratyaya ityuktam. Therefore,
> it is said that one cannot immediately grasp the meaning of a text.
> According to vAcaspati, it is difficult to understand the meaning of the
> words and the sentence in the case of texts such as "tattvamasi". In fact,
> it takes a long time to do so. (vilambena).
> And tatkiM iyameva vAkyajanitA pratItirAtmani tathA cha na
>  sAkShAtpratItirAtmani? ... vAkyArthapratItiH sAkShAtkArasya pUrvarUpam -
> bhAmatI . Why (stop) at the idea generated by the (vedAnta) text, which is
> not a direct realization of the Self? This idea (generated by) the meaning
> of the (vedAnta) text is a preliminary form of (or a precursor to) direct
> realization. So then how does one directly realize the Self? After hearing
> and reflecting on the meaning of the text, meditating on it for a long
> time, without interruption, and with attention, one directly realizes
> Brahman.  vAkyArthashravaNamananottarakAlA visheShaNatrayavatI bhAvanA
> brahmasAkShAtkArAya kalpate iti.
> In contrast, the VivaraNa school holds that VedAnta texts such as
> "tattvamasi" can directly give rise to Brahman realization. An example
> cited here is that of "the tenth man." There were ten people who crossed a
> river. They wanted to count themselves and ensure nobody was lost. The
> person who counted was making a mistake of not counting himself, coming up
> short. An observer told him: "dashamastvamasi". You are the tenth man. Just
> by hearing these words,  the tenth man realized that he was the missing
> person, the tenth one. In this case, the Apta-vAkya is alone sufficient to
> cause the realization. And this realization is direct and immediate. So if
> shabda (shravaNa) can give rise to direct Brahman realization, why do we
> need  manana and nididhyAsana?
> VivaraNa:
> yadA tu punaH shabdAdeva prathamam aparokSha-anubhavaphalaM vijnAnam
> utpannaM bhrantivikShepasaMskAra-khacita-antaHkaraNadoshAdartho.api
> parokSha-anubhava-phalatayA vibhrAntyA avatiShThate. tadA
> manana-nididhyAsane
> cittagatavikShepAdi-doSha-pratibandha-nirAsena-aparokSha-phala-pratiShTha-hetutayA
> pramANasya phalopakAri-angamiti na virudhyate|
> While shabda (shravaNa) alone gives rise to knowledge which results in the
> direct experience (of the Self), due to the defects that are the
> impressions of illusions in the mind, even this direct experience is
> apprehended as an indirect experience. In this case, manana and
> nididhyAsana will act as helping (auxiliary) factors of the shabda pramANa
> or shravaNa to eliminate these defects which are obstacles (to direct
> experience) and thereby cause the direct experience to be established.
> There is no contradiction.
> A natural question to ask would be: Is Brahman realization possible by
> hearing the VedAnta text, such as tattvamasi, just once? Considering the
> BhAmatI's position, it would seem that VAcaspati is unwilling to accept
> that this is possible, since he holds that a long process of shravaNa,
> manana, and nididhyAsana is necessary. The VivaraNa, on the other hand,
> would have no problems in accepting this possibility, because Brahman
> realization does happen directly through the shabda pramANa, and if there
> are no obstacles due to  saMskAras in the mind, then such realization takes
> place upon hearing the text just once. Shankara also agrees that such
> realization is possible: bhavet AvRtti AnarthakyaM taM prati yaH tattvamasi
> iti sakRt uktameva brahmAtmatvaM anubhavituM shaknuyAt. (B.S.B. 4.1.2)
> But the BhAmatIkAra has noted the BhAShyakAra's comment and has offered an
> explanation that reconciles his own view with that of the BhAShyakAra:
> sakRduktameviti| shrutvA matvA kShaNamavadhAya prAgbhavIya-abhyAsa
> jAtasaMskArAt ityarthaH. By "realization by hearing only once", the
> BhAShyakAra means that such realization happens by hearing and reflecting
> for an instant and from the impressions of repeated practice done in
> previous lives. So in the case of the person who realizes the Self by
> hearing the text only once, he must have practiced shravaNa, manana, and
> nididhyAsana in previous lives.
> Anand
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