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

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Sun Oct 24 03:23:14 EDT 2021

Namaste Raghav ji,

On Sat, 23 Oct 2021, 13:43 'Raghav Kumar' via advaitin, <
advaitin at googlegroups.com> wrote:

> Mananam and nidhidhyAsanam (in the context of Advaita vedAnta) are of the
> nature of vastu-tantra manovRttis - being pramANa-based and serve only to
> highlight the Gyaanam itself. They are surely different from upAsana (be it
> even nirguNa upAsana) which is puruSha-tantra.

shankarAchArya in the samanvayAdhikaraNa bhAShya differentiates between
dhyAna and jnAna thus:
क्रिया हि नाम सा, यत्र वस्तुस्वरूपनिरपेक्षैव चोद्यते,
पुरुषचित्तव्यापाराधीना च
Action is that which is enjoined, independent of the nature of a thing ,
and is subject to the individual's mental activity.

वस्तुस्वरूपनिरपेक्षैव - e.g. to create a pot, there is no requirement for
the pot to be present prior to its creation, whereas to know a pot, the pot
has to be present. The knowledge of a thing expects the existence of the
thing, it cannot create the thing.

पुरुषचित्तव्यापाराधीना - action is also dependent on the person's desire.
Unless he desires it, the person will not act.

ध्यानं चिन्तनं यद्यपि मानसम् , तथापि पुरुषेण कर्तुमकर्तुमन्यथा वा कर्तुं
शक्यम् , पुरुषतन्त्रत्वात् ।
Meditation though being a mental thought, it is possible for a person to
perform, not perform or perform in a different way, it being subject to the
person's will.

ज्ञानं तु प्रमाणजन्यम् । प्रमाणं च यथाभूतवस्तुविषयम् ।
Whereas knowledge is born from a pramANa. pramANa has as its object, the
thing as it is.

अतो ज्ञानं कर्तुमकर्तुमन्यथा वा कर्तुमशक्यम् ।
Therefore it is not possible for there to be a choice with regard to
something being known, unknown, or known in a different way.

केवलं वस्तुतन्त्रमेव तत् ; न चोदनातन्त्रम् , नापि पुरुषतन्त्रम् ;
It is subject only to the thing. It is neither subject to an injunction,
nor is it subject to a person's will.

My contention is that both manana and nididhyAsana are puruShatantra only -
in the sense that both require puruSha prayatna. The former is the
deliberate operation of reasoning for the purpose of removing prameya
asambhAvana and the latter is the deliberate entertainment of brahmAkAra
vRtti. So they are very much subject to kartum-akartum-anyathAkartum.

> For example mithyAtva niscaya through the yukti using the prasiddha hetu
> would be part of mananam. Does such mananam constitute karma/upAsana? It
> would appear not. The yuktis used in mananam only give rise to "seeing
> rightly" and removing false notions. All such pramANa vyApAra is not really
> karma, don't you think? I do understand the commonality of the result being
> pratibandhaka nivRtti for both karma/upAsanam and mananam/nidhidhyAsanam.
> Yet I understand the latter to be not karma. Is that tenable?

One could say that manana is anumAna based, but unlike the situation where
one sees the smoke in the mountain and automatically infers fire - ie even
without setting out with the sankalpa "I shall now infer fire in the
mountain", that fire jnAna happens automatically when one sees the smoke
and that triggers the samskAra of the concomitance between fire and smoke -
here one is deliberately invoking yukti-s in manana.

However I don't think nididhyAsana can be classified into any of the six

Even if aparoksha jnAna arises following manana and nididhyAsana, it is the
mahAvAkya pramANa that gives rise to it, the other two are supporting


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