[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Yet another Mahavakya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Sat Oct 23 07:25:02 EDT 2021

Sri Venkatraghavan ji,
Thank you for your response. If I understood you correctly, then I believe
that we are both aligned on the following:
1. A mahavakya reveals the Truth about jiva-brahma-aikyam.
2. Shravanam of a mahavakya alone is enough for realization of the Truth,
provided that one has a pure mind that allows to understand it clearly.
3. If there are obstructions in one's mind, like one's vasanas, mananam and
nididhyasanam are required to remove them in seeing the Truth that has
already been revealed by shravanam. However, the mananam and nididhyasanam
are not revealing anything new beyond what the shravanam has already
Please do excuse my limited ability of expression which may have stood in
the way of accurately conveying my thoughts. However, I believe there are
no points I disagreed with earlier. I was just trying to convey that simply
knowing (i.e., listening to) a mahavakya is not enough for those who have
not attained the purity of mind. In this case, further reflection on the
mahavakya is needed to remove the obstruction in their mind to realize the
Truth conveyed by the mahavakya.

Sri Bhaskar ji,
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is indeed worth noting
the points you mention: the difference between dhyana for sake of a result
vs. dhyana for sake of jnana, the shravanadi sadhana not just on mahavakyas
but on all of shabda in general, and need to keep performing this sadhana
until the Truth is realized (like cooking the rice until it is cooked!).
It is also worth noting that shravanadi are called "sadhana" merely out of
limitation of language and from the point of view of an ajnani. This is
because the Truth, which is eternally present, need not need be attained as
a siddhi after performing some action. The "sadhana", if anything, is just
the apparent removal of the illusion blocking the Truth from the point of
view of an ajnana. Due to one's false the notion of agency and wrong
assumption of subject-object differences, an ajnani keeps performing this
"sadhana", until the point where one removes all apparent illusions at
which point only the Truth remains and there is neither a sadhaka nor a

Om tat sat 🙏

On Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 3:05 PM 'Bhaskar YR' via advaitin <
advaitin at googlegroups.com> wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> If meditation is taken to mean “upasana” (imagining one thing to be like
> another for the purpose of worshipping), it is right that a mahavakya
> conveys no such upasana. This is because a mahavakya is simply conveying a
> fact, and is not conveying any action (meditation is also an action).
> Ø     Yes, meditation is purusha taNtra, kartuM, akartum anyathAkartum
> shakyaM says sUtra bhAshya.  dhyAna is vidhi para as per yOga whereas in
> Advaita vedAnta dhyAna is not something that is explained in ashtanga yOga
> and not vidhipara but jnana para.  But bhAmati relates
> dhAraNa-dhyAna-samAdhi with Advaita-s sAdhana sharavaNa, manana and
> nidhidhyAsana and darshana, darshana as per bhAmati is samAdhi which is
> experienced in an inert state of mind.
> However, by “meditation” here, I mean the mananam and nididhyasanam of
> the statement (that is, a thorough analysis and reflection on the
> statement) that reveals that jiva is Brahman until one attains firm
> conviction of this Truth. Why is this required?
> Ø     In bruhadAraNyaka bhAshya AchArya explains what is shravaNAdi
> sAdhana, shravaNaM is listening and understanding the shruti vAkya, mananaM
> is contemplating the shruti vAkya in line with shrutyanugraheeta tarka (
> mantavyaH tarkataH) and nidhidhyAsanaM means synching the contemplating
> vichAra till it is realized. For some (uttamOttama adhikAri), as you
> mentioned below, this realization happens just by shravaNaM without taking
> the subsequent steps i.e. mananM and nidhidhyAsanaM.  But here point to be
> noted is here shravaNAdi sAdhana not just on traditionally believed
> mahAvAkya/s but vedAnta vAkya / shabda / shruti vAkya in general.
> By knowing a mahavakya, do we all immediately “know” the truth that jiva
> is Brahman? Clearly, we all seem to “know” that jiva is Brahman because we
> have heard it, but do we still not fall under the illusion of maya? So what
> does it really mean to “know” the truth? Is it the same as “knowing” the
> mahavakya as an object of knowledge (like we know “this is a blue lotus”)?
> Clearly not, because if so, by simply “hearing” this statement one “knows”
> it, but this does not seem to liberate one from the spell of maya.
> Ø     Yes that is right, it is just an additional knowledge included in
> data base in our mind and nothing more or less than that.  My teacher used
> to say, one shishya after being convinced that he is indeed brahman, asked
> his guru :  OK OK, now I am completely convinced that I am brahman, so
> what’s next !!?? 😊  this sort of mere intellectual understanding that I
> am brahman is nothing but another face of avidyA.
> Therefore one has to go beyond “knowing” the truth, wherein there is still
> the difference of knower and known, to having the firm conviction in the
> truth, wherein all subject-object differences disappear completely, at
> which point the one knowing and the one known are no longer seen as
> separate. At this point, one no longer knows the truth, but rather one is
> identical with the truth.
> Ø     Hence there is lot of difference in mere ‘knowing’ and
> ‘realizing’.  So the question is till what time we have to do the
> shravaNAdi sAdhana or how many times we have to do nidhyAsanaM to elevate
> ourselves from mere knowing to realizing??  Shankara replies no need to ask
> this question, it is not a sane question if someone asks till what time we
> have to cook raw rice to eat it.  So till what time sAdhana till we don’t
> get mundane doubts like this 😊 bhidhyate hrudaya granthiH, chidyante
> sarva saMshayAH says mundaka.
>    - Just few of my thoughts.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
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