[Advaita-l] [advaitin] Yet another Mahavakya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 07:46:01 EDT 2021
Sri Venkatraghavan ji and Sri Prasad ji, thank you for the clarification
that knowing does not involving any desire (or will) of the knower. It
seems to make sense, especially with Dayanand Saraswathi's examples. In the
video, he points to a cup and says "this is a paper cup". That this is a
paper cup does not depend on the will or desire of the knower. As Sri
Venkatraghavan ji had also mentioned earlier in this thread, Shankaracharya
has made a similar observation about knowing:
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.
As sravana (which is a form of knowing through hearing) is not dependent on
the will (or desire) of the listener, it appears therefore that it is not
similar to manana and nididhyasana, which do require the person to perform
a particular action through his will.
Moreover, the last email by Sri Venkatraghavan ji gives a very nice analogy
of manana and nididhyasana being angas (parts or supporting causes) of the
main cause of Brahmajnana, which is sravanam (which is the angi). In this
way, it does appear that manana and nididhyasana, while required (in most
cases) for the fruition of sravana into Brahmajnana, are not necessarily in
the same category as sravana.
However, in this context, another question arises. If knowing does not
involve any desire of the knower, why does the Brahma Sutra start by
talking about the desire to know Brahman (brahma-jijnasa)? How does one
interpret this given that Acharya says "ज्ञानं कर्तुमकर्तुमन्यथा वा
कर्तुमशक्यम् ।" (it is not possible for there to be a choice with regard to
something being known, unknown, or known in a different way)?
On Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 3:29 PM Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:
> Namaste Bhaskar ji,
> Agreed, the requirement for manana and nididhyAsana is not being denied.
> If you recall, the discussion started off with what constitutes a mahAvAkya
> - the answer to this was: a sentence that reveals the identity of brahman
> with jIva is a mahAvAkya. This then moved to whether the sentence reveals
> the identity or whether a meditation on the sentence reveals it.
> Thereafter, the central thrust behind the discussion became whether
> shravaNam is the primary cause of liberation, or is it manana and
> It is in this context that it was said that the mahAvAkya, being shabda
> pramANam, is the pramAkaraNam, the primary cause for the valid cognition of
> Brahman, and mananam and nididhyAsanam are supportive causes. Hence, in
> response to Raghav ji yesterday, it was said "Even if aparoksha jnAna
> arises following manana and nididhyAsana, it is the mahAvAkya pramANa that
> gives rise to it, the other two are supporting causes."
> This particular reference, bRhadAraNyaka upaniShad 2.4.5 is relevant to
> the discussion and thank you very much for bringing it to light. The
> Anandagiri TIkA to this bhAShya is particularly illuminating and pertinent
> to our discussion. Pasting it here for reference:
> श्रवणस्य प्रमाणविचारत्वेन प्रधानत्वादङ्गित्वं मनननिदिध्यासनयोस्तु
> तत्कार्यप्रतिबन्धप्रध्वंसित्वादङ्गत्वमित्यङ्गाङ्गिभावेन यदा
> श्रवणादीन्यसकृदनुष्ठानेन समुच्चितानि तदा सामग्रीपौष्कल्यात्तत्त्वज्ञानं
> फलशिरस्कं सिध्यति । मननाद्यभावे श्रवणमात्रेण नैव तदुत्पद्यते । मननादिना
> प्रतिबन्धाप्रध्वंसे वाक्यस्य फलवज्ज्ञानजनकत्वायोगादित्यर्थः ।
> shravaNa, being an enquiry into the pramANa (shruti), it is the pradhAna
> (the primary) and hence the angi (the main), whereas as manana and
> nididhyAsana serve to destroy the obstacles in its (shravaNam's) result
> (being brahmapramA, the valid cognition of Brahman), are anga. Thus, as
> they have an anga-angi, part-whole relationship, when shravaNa etc (manana,
> nididhyAsana) are performed multiple times in unison, the strengthening of
> the causative factors (for the rise of brahmajnAna) leads to the attainment
> of the highest result. In the absence of manana, and only through
> shravaNam, that cannot happen. What this means is that in the absence of
> the destruction of the obstacles (to bramajnAna) through manana etc, the
> sentence will not produce a fruitful cognition.
> To summarise, the necessity of manana and nididhyAsana is not denied, but
> the primary means for brahmajnAna is the pramANa, being the shruti. The
> reason for this is because it is the shruti that is revealing a hitherto
> unknown truth - that the jIva and Brahman are identical. The anadhigatatva,
> or the quality of revealing something otherwise unknown, is present in
> shruti janya jnAna. In the absence of the shruti, no amount of manana and
> nididhyAsana can reveal that truth.
> On Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 9:17 AM 'Bhaskar YR' via advaitin <
> advaitin at googlegroups.com> wrote:
>> praNAms Sri Venkataraghavan prabhuji
>> Hare Krishna
>> *the hearing of the texts (sravana), thinking about their meaning
>> (manana), and meditation on them (nididhyasana).* *This leads to
>> intuition." *
>> "*Mere hearing does not result in full comprehension of realization of
>> - Perhaps you can look into the bhAshya vAkya in bruhadAraNyaka
>> 2-4-5, nAnyathA sharvaNa mAtreNa….etc. The order of shravaNa, mananaM and
>> nidhidhyAsaM also you can find here. nidhidhyAsitavyaH nishchayena
>> dhyAtavyaH etc. But I don’t think, irrespective of adhikAra bedha, this
>> vAkhya making mananaM and nidhidhyAsanam as mandatory in all cases after
>> shrvaNa during the Atma vijnAna sAdhana.
>> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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